Wolf down your lunchtime sarnie? Inhale your dinner? Yeah you might want to take it easy as according to a new study slow eating could be the secret to losing weight.
The research, published in the journal BMJ Open, analysed health insurance data from 60,000 people with diabetes in Japan who attended regular health check-ups between 2008 and 2013.
During their health checks participants were asked about the speed they ate food, fast, normal or slow, and other food habits including whether they snacked after dinner and skipped breakfast.
Their weight was also assessed using their body mass index (BMI) score and their waist circumference was measured.
The results revealed that compared with those who eat quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese, rising to 42% of those who ate their food slowly.
While the slow eaters had an average BMI of just over 22, the normal eaters had a BMI of 23.5 on average, and the fast eaters had an average BMI of around 25, while waist circumference was also found to increase with faster eating pace.
Further analysis of the results found that slower eating speed, no sleep loss, not skipping breakfast regularly and not regularly eating dinner just before bed were all associated with a lower chance of obesity.
But before you vow to never gobble your dinner again, there were certain limitations to the study including the fact that it only focused on participants with type 2 diabetes, only featured a few older participants, and did not take into account levels of physical exercise or the amount of food eaten daily.
What’s more it relied on the participants revealing the pace they ate, rather than actually scientifically measuring the speed.
Nevertheless, the researchers concluded that the results could serve to provide some valuable advice in helping to tackle the obesity crisis.
“Interventions aimed at altering eating habits, such as education initiatives and programmes to reduce eating speed, may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases,” the authors wrote.
The news follows the revelation earlier this month that standing instead of sitting at your desk could burn an extra 54 calories, which adds up to roughly half a stone a year.
And back in January it was revealed that tucking into bacon and eggs for breakfast could also help you lose weight, thanks to the fact that high-protein breakfasts (such as eggs) help to control eating later in the day.
So if you’re looking to shift a few extra pounds time to readjust your eating habits so you’re eating bacon and eggs, slowly, while standing at your desk! Simples!
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