Gulping down your meals is increasing your kilojoule intake, according to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Researchers found a link between eating speed and calorie intake, in the study of 35 normal weight and 35 overweight participants.
Participants ate the same meal under two conditions: in one, they ate slowly, taking small bites, chewing roughly and pausing between bites. Under the second condition, they ate fast, taking big bites, chewing fast and not pausing between bites.
Normal weight participants ate 368 fewer kilojoules when they ate slowly, indicating a significant difference while the overweight participants ate 242 fewer kilojoules when they ate slowly, showing no statistically significant difference.
According to the authors of the study, the reason why the overweight participants ate less than the normal weight participants during both meals is because they may be self-conscious about eating in public. Water consumption increased by 27% among normal weight participants during the slow meal, and by 33% among overweight participants.
An hour after participants finished their meal, both groups reported being less hungry after eating slowly, compared to eating fast. The higher water intake during the slow meal may have led to stomach distension, resulting in less food consumption. Eating your meals slowly may therefore lead to reduced calorie consumption, say the authors of the study. Now eat your way to a six-pack.