Can you gain weight by eating fast?

First of all, let’s discuss what happens when eating fast.

Leading hectic lifestyles, many people tend to eat fast and mindlessly without realizing this may lead to overeating and of course, weight gain.

When you eat, your brain needs time to process the signals of fullness sent by the stomach through the hormone, ghrelin. It may take up to nearly 20 mins for your brain to receive the fullness signals.

Eating fast makes it so much easier to consume more food than needed, and we all know those excess calories will lead to weight gain.

A Japanese study published in the National Library of Medicine (NIH) National Centre for Biotechnology Information in 2015 concluded that “Eating quickly is positively associated with excess body weight. Further studies are warranted to determine whether interventions to slow the speed of eating are effective for weight control.”

Apart from increasing your chances of becoming overweight, eating fast has also been linked to other health problems which include:

Poor digestion – people who eat fast tend to have poor digestion, as they may not take sufficient time to bite and chew their food into smaller pieces which are easier to digest.

Metabolic syndrome / insulin resistance / type 2 diabetes – eating fast and its associated weight gain may increase your chances of getting metabolic syndrome, a group of diseases comprising of high blood sugar, excess visceral (abdominal) fat, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

According to a medical study done by Dr Lina Radzeviciene and Dr Rytas Ostrauskas in 2012 that was published in the National Library of Medicine, the conclusion was “our data support a possible relationship between faster eating speed and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus”.

Lastly, fast eaters tend to find their meals less pleasant compared to slow eaters. Perhaps it is because they do not spend enough time savoring their meal.

Can eating slowly help you lose weight?

Eating slowly may be a smarter way to lose weight and it could provide some other benefits as well, which we will explore here. Fast eaters tend to gain more weight over time compared to slow eaters.

Another Japanese study published in the National Library of Medicine concluded, “Our results suggested that the speed of eating is related to the rate of weight gain”.

How can eating slowly be beneficial?

You eat less – as mentioned earlier, the hormone ghrelin releases fullness signals to the brain. As the process takes about 20 mins to sink in, eating slower gives your brain sufficient time to receive and process the signals to tell you to stop eating when you are full.

Reduced calorie intake – yet another study published in the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information on slower eating, concluded, “Eating slowly significantly lowered meal energy intake in the normal-weight but not in the overweight/obese group. It lowered eating rate and energy density in both groups”.

Slow eating promotes proper chewing & digestion – by chewing your food thoroughly, you slow down your pace of eating. This in turn slows down your calorie intake and can lead to successful weight loss.

The smaller pieces of food make digestion and the absorption of nutrients easier in the gastrointestinal tract.

Food enjoyment – eating slowly makes us aware of what goes into our mouths and how different food tastes. This way, you will better appreciate your favorite foods. Eating slower allows a bit of socialization, which is also a good stress reducer.

In conclusion – eating fast does not allow you to enjoy your food and can lead to increased weight. On the other hand, eating slowly has more health benefits overall. Just a few tweaks in your eating style will go a long way to help you achieve the benefits of eating slowly.

This article is meant to provide general information on eating quickly compared to eating slowly, which we hope our readers have found informative. It is not to be taken as medical advice, which readers should always obtain from a medical practitioner.

By Aaron
1st September 20:30 2020

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