According to a Japanese study published in the British Medical Journal, if you eat fast, and you eat till you are full, you are likely to be fatter: by three times! What you eat makes you fat, how much you eat also does so, but how you eat is also important. Weight gain from eating fast or till fullness is independent of total energy intake.
It makes sense for weight-watchers to eat slowly. The more you chew your food, the faster the satiety. If you are prone to gulp down your food, you tend to eat more. This is why television dinners are such an important factor in weight gain, especially in children. Among the interventions recommended to reduce the obesity epidemic in school children, reducing the time television is watched has been considered one of the most important.
In the Japanese study, eating fast till fullness is associated with insulin resistance, a condition that accounts for that pot belly that is so troublesome to get rid of.
Moral of the story: eat slowly, like the Italians, and eat smaller, more frequent meals.

21 responses to “YOU ARE HOW YOU EAT!

  1. Now since I don’t get any time to exercise, I have tried to lessen my food intake but still no results in sight. I am expanding like a balloon. I think this is the reason. I eat only twice in a day and that too very fast…
    Don’t you think it is also genetic? Obesity runs in my family.

  2. Good info Doc. Off late I have been eating slowly by tasting what I eat. This way I seem to be eating less than what I used to. Japanese techniques are always interesting.

  3. now i have to time myself eat??? sheeesh!!

  4. ah! I can think of someone who could use this! 🙂

  5. Thanks I will use this one. Man I didn’t know this, you mean just start eating slowly will also help?

  6. @ Doc:

    “The more you chew your food, the faster the satiety..”

    Works only for those, who have not learnt to override any satiety signals. That needs constant practice 😉

    BTW that correlation of weight gain with duration of TV watching has been found to be true in male children but not in girl children. Any hypothesis you care to offer?

    @ Amit:

    There is a genetic component to it all, of course, but in your weight gain, may be you want to consider the behavioural changes.

    You have moved from Madras (probably less familiar food) to home (Mom will make sure you eat more); your commute is passive and only you know if you eat in the bus (do you?); you do not exercise; of your own admission (in an earlier blog conversation), you appear to be at an age when metabolism starts to slow down and dietary and lifestyle changes must be made to keep the downside to a minimum. It _is_ more complicated than just diet and exercise 🙂 .. although nearly all thin people I know, who have remained thin, eat slowly and only as much as they want to eat, and are not keen to over-indulge in mithai, cakes and UFO (unidentifiable fried objects).

  7. Amit:
    Make exercise (supervised) a compulsory part of your daily activities. As if a day is not complete without an hour of active exercise. And then see the difference it makes to your life!
    Cool! No weight problems for you, then?
    Child, behave! don’t time yourself, but don’t eat all the time! 😉
    Not you, surely?!
    If you want hypotheses, I can give at least one: Boys are rascals, and cheated the study by watching wrestling and cartoons on the sly, and by eating chips on the sly…
    If you want a scientific answer, here is one:
    “..more studies are required to determine the findings of this study.”
    PS- UFO was a good one! Here is another you may know- CHIPS: Changing Individuals’ Purchase of Snacks.

  8. @Shefaly, @Doc : I am done with the Mommy-made-food euphoria. Now I try to eat only the quantity which is required and no, I don’t eat while I am commuting. My biggest concern is that I don’t have time to exercise and that disturbs me a lot. Infact, sometimes I think the weight I put on is because of that tension. Although, I am not fat but the problem runs in my family and I try to be cautious.
    And from now on, I am going to chew everything really slow. 🙂

  9. hmmm…. need of the day, when obesity is increasing like a pandemic phenomenon!

  10. The more one chews their food, the faster their jaws would tire as well? Therefore, the eating should stop at a much earlier stage? Is that the logic?

  11. This post should have come before Diwali. Effects of over eating could have been less.

  12. This is quite helpful advice, Doc. I have begun what I hope is a sustained effort to eat slower. Thanks for posting this!

    On reflection, it would probably also help a bit if I learned how to cook.

  13. Nikhil, Sakhi:
    Everyone I see seems to be fat. Even girls who are, in conventional eyes, not fat.
    I don’t like the skeletal, always-hungry look, myself!
    Avionic Wanker Spanker:
    Welcome to this blog! 😉
    No, chewing gives you a sense of satiety faster than if you wolf down food. So you eat less. Got it?
    Never too late. By next Diwali, this lesson will have been forgotten!
    If you cook badly, weight loss could get even better, especially when combined with certain yogic positions that are used to cure diseases like celibacy.

  14. Chomp, chomp, chew chew, gulp, gulp, huuwaaaburrp!

    Yuff mean weatingh dlike dhiss bis whfat bmakesh mef fat?


  15. It takes time for the signals from the tummy to reach the brain and so if you eat fast and quickly you will definitely overeat. I do that at times, but at one time I used to be a slow eater. I find that when I am busy I tend to gulp down food but yes, need to be conscious of it!

  16. Thanks for the gyan! Hopefully i can use this info and see some results soon 🙂

  17. Ohh is like that? Can anyone tech me “How to eat slowly?”
    Or Nikhil can write a dummies guide for it.

  18. interesting
    will try implementing it

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