When people dine, they often either rush through their meals or take their time with it. According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating slower can help people consume fewer calories and feel full faster, and it can increase energy.
Researchers had both normal-weight and overweight or obese participants eat two meals in a controlled environment. One meal was eaten at a slow speed as individuals were told they had no time constraints, allowing them to take small bites, pause frequently, chew thoroughly, and put the utensil down between bites. The second meal was eaten quickly because investigators told them to imagine they had a time constraint.
The results showed that normal-weight participants had a considerable reduction in caloric intake during slow eating at 88 kilocalories, while the overweight and obese group save a 58 kilocalorie reduction. Both groups felt less hungry an hour after the slowly eaten meal, indicating that hunger could be better suppressed when food is consumed at a slower rate.
Senior care services can prepare meals for older adults. Caregivers can also monitor their eating to ensure they take their time while eating to reap the benefits.