Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Trick to Consume Fewer Calories

Sit down at the table, fold your napkin in your lap and chew slowly. Very, very slowly. If you do this, you will not only enjoy the meal more, but also eat less and lose weight.

That's the promise of researchers from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, who have confirmed what your mother always knew: Wolfing down your food isn't good for your waistline or table manners.

The study: Reuters reports that on two separate occasions, 30 young women were given a lunch of pasta, tomatoes and cheese. During the first lunch, the women were told to consume the meal as fast as they could eat comfortably, taking no pauses between bites. During the second meal, they were told to take small bites, put their spoons down between bites and chew each mouthful of food a total of 20 to 30 times.

The results: When the women ate the meal slowly and thoroughly chewed their food, they consumed, on average, 70 fewer calories than when they ate the meal quickly. Multiply that times three meals a day and you could lose weight without even breaking a sweat on the treadmill! Best of all, the women said they felt more full and satisfied after eating slowly since they spent more time savoring the meal's flavors, textures and aromas.

Although it's a long-recommended weight-loss tactic, there was little scientific evidence that eating slowly reduces calorie intake--until now. Lead study author Ana M. Andrade told Reuters that dining leisurely gives the body enough time for its natural signals of fullness to kick in, including stomach distension and changes in several appetite-related hormones. If you eat too fast, this doesn't happen, making it easier to overeat and not even realize it.

The study findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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