Eat slowly say scientists
Those who make more time to enjoy their dinners might not just be more relaxed - they could benefit from finding it easier to keep weight off, too. That's because they tend to feel fuller afterwards, claims a new study.
For a while scientists have been aware that slow eaters tend to have lower BMIs, but the reason why was unknown.
Now researchers from the University of Bristol have decided to investigate whether eating slowly affects how hungry we feel afterwards.
To make sure quantities and rates at which people ate were exactly the same, 40 participants were fed tomato soup through a tube for this experiment. Exactly 400ml were pumped in; one group had theirs fed at a fast rate, a second at a slower pace (11.8 ml per two seconds, then a four-second pause for the fast group, 5.4 ml of soup per second, then a ten-second pause, for the slower group).
Participants were then quizzed on feelings of fullness, both straight after the meal and again two hours later.
Those in the slower category claimed to feel more satisfied both times around. Interestingly, the participants in this group also estimated they had eaten more than their counterparts (108 ml more on average).
To take their research further, scientists then asked participants to taste two kinds of biscuit after they'd had their soup. Both groups consumed roughly the same amount, so now they want to repeat the experiment without 'forcing' people to eat, but simply offering snacks after. They believe this will give more of an insight into whether eating slowly prevents snacking.
There are many benefits to eating slowly, so maybe you should take more time over dinner tonight. As well as having potential slimming effects, it makes digestion easier and leaves you less likely to feel bloated or suffering from heartburn.