Whether you actively count calories as part of a weight loss plan, or just watch your diet in a more general sense, you might often feel frustrated. Some people say there’s no way to keep their calorie count low enough, without feeling hungry. Most people won’t stick with a plan for long, if it requires a constant feeling of sacrifice and dissatisfaction!
But what if there were another way to lower your calorie count, without the perception of “eating less”? As it turns out, how we eat might matter as much as what or how much we eat.
The idea is simple: Slow down when you’re eating!
The theory is based in science. One study in New Zealand found that eating quickly was associated with a higher BMI (body mass index). In Japan, researchers found that those who eat quickly weighed an average of four pounds more than those who take it slowly.
Why does the speed of your meals matter? Most likely, it’s because your brain takes some time to recognize fullness signals from your stomach. So, if you’re eating too fast, you will keep eating for several minutes past the time you’re actually full. Over time, that will lead you to consume significantly more calories than you really need, which of course translates into weight gain (or difficulty losing weight).
Taking your time to eat more slowly will become especially important if you’re restricting calories due to a prescribed weight loss plan. It’s always difficult to adjust to a lifestyle change at first, and walking away from the dinner table feeling hungry won’t exactly inspire you to stick to your program. Putting your fork down between bites, chatting leisurely with a meal companion, and sipping water throughout the meal can help you pace yourself. Then, you’ll recognize those fullness signals when they arrive … Hopefully right around the time you’ve polished off a delicious, low-calorie and nutritious meal.
Slowing down at mealtime is just one of several lifestyle changes you might make throughout your journey. For more help with your weight loss plan, give us a call. We can discuss your goals and help you get on a track to success.