No more overeating

By Stephanie Caronna • Published: March 12th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Slow down… that burger isn’t going anywhere! Why not take some time to savor the flavor in each bite of that juicy hunk of meat? You’ll enjoy your food more. Plus, your body will thank you.

A new study published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that “scarfing down” a meal can have dire consequences.

Certain hormones in the gut inform the brain when your stomach is full. But it takes roughly fifteen minutes for this message to reach the brain. Eating too quickly delays this message until you’ve already eaten too much.

Think about it: Why are so many French so much smaller than Americans, and yet they tend to consume fattier foods? The secret could lie in their rate of consumption, that is, how quickly they eat their breakfast, lunch or dinner. Researchers from the University of Rhode Island found that, on average, the French spend much more time eating their meals. What’s more, they generally eat smaller portions than their American counterparts. The result? The French feel fuller sooner. And they also add fewer pounds to their bodies.

Don’t trick yourself into thinking that “fast food” means you have to eat it fast, too. Go ahead and order something that will arrive quickly. Then, sit down, relax and take a few extra minutes to really enjoy it.

So maybe it’s time to follow the French example, at least when it comes to savoring your supper. After all, why not take pleasure in eating an occasional French fry, while maintaining a slim French figure?