Take the time to chew your food, say researchers from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, doing so will help you eat less.
In this new study, 30 young women were given a lunch of pasta, tomatoes and cheese. On one occasion, the women were told to eat the meal without pausing between bites. Then, they were instructed to take small bites, put their spoons down, and chew 20 to 30 times.
When they slowed down and chewed their food thoroughly, the women ate nearly 70 fewer calories. They also reported feeling fuller and more satisfied after the meal.
Dining at a leisurely pace allows time for the body to register satiety signals, explains this study's author. Similar studies have found that it takes a few minutes for appetite-related hormones to kick in and tell the body that it's had enough.
Given that one pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories, eating 70 fewer calories at each meal would result in a loss of about one pound every two and a half weeks.
For an eating plan that encourages healthy weight loss, check out Leslie Beck's No Fail Diet or speak to your registered dietitian.
This study was published in the July 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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