Slow food is more satisfying

Slow down, savor your meals and you may even shed a few pounds. According to a new study published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, taking longer to eat a meal results in a greater release of hormones that signal feelings of fullness or satiety.

In this study, 17 healthy men volunteered to eat a little over one cup of ice cream (675 calories) in random order on two different occasions. Sometimes they gobbled it up in five minutes while in other sessions they made the treat last 30 minutes. After each session, the men rated their feelings of fullness and the researchers measured their levels of glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY, two satiety hormones.

When the meal was stretched up to last 30 minutes, the men reported feeling fuller and showed more pronounced hormonal responses to the food. Eating too quickly stunted the release of satiety hormones. Subsequently, the 5-minute meal was less satisfying.

These findings support numerous recent studies which show how mindless eating can cause weight gain while eating at a delibrately slow pace can decrease portion sizes, cut down the number of calories consumed, and increase feelings of fullness.  It’s a win-win situation. When you slow down your eating, you can lose weight and enjoy your food more.

For more on this study, check out the Health section of the New York Times.

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