Eating slowly helps you eat less
Your appetite and calorie intake is largely controlled by hormones.
After a meal, your gut suppresses a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger, while also releasing fullness hormones (7Trusted Source).
These hormones tell your brain that you have eaten, reducing appetite, making you feel full, and helping you stop eating.
This process takes about 20 minutes, so slowing down gives your brain the time it needs to receive these signals.
Eating slowly can increase fullness hormones
Eating too quickly often leads to overeating, as your brain doesn’t have enough time to receive fullness signals.
Additionally, eating slowly has been shown to decrease the amount of food consumed during the meal due to an increase in fullness hormones (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
In one study, 17 healthy people with a normal weight ate 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of ice cream on 2 occasions. During the first, they at the ice cream within 5 minutes, but during the second, they took 30 minutes (8Trusted Source).
Their reported fullness and levels of fullness hormones increased significantly more after eating the ice cream slowly.
In a follow-up study, this time in people with diabetes, as well as overweight or obesity, slowing down did not increase fullness hormones. However, it significantly increased rates of fullness (11Trusted Source).
Other research shows that young people with obesity experience higher levels of fullness hormones when they eat slowly (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Eating slowly can decrease calorie intake
In one study, people with normal weight or overweight ate at different paces. Both groups ate fewer calories during the slowest-paced meal, although the difference was only statistically significant in the normal-weight group (10Trusted Source).
All participants also felt fuller for longer after eating more slowly, reporting less hunger 60 minutes after the slow meal than after the fast one.
This spontaneous reduction in calorie intake should lead to weight loss over time.
SUMMARYEating slowly increases the levels of gut hormones responsible for feeling full, which may help reduce calorie intake.
Eating slowly promotes thorough chewing
To eat slowly, you need to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
This can help you reduce calorie intake and lose weight.
In fact, several studies have found that people with weight problems tend to chew their food less than people with normal weight do (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
In one study, researchers asked 45 people to eat pizza until full while chewing at different rates — normal, 1.5 times more than normal, and twice the normal rate (16Trusted Source).
The average calorie intake decreased by 9.5% when people chewed 1.5 times more than normal and nearly 15% when they chewed twice as much as usual.
Another small study noted that calorie intake decreased and fullness hormone levels increased when the number of chews per bite increased from 15 to 40 (17Trusted Source).
However, there may be a limit to how much chewing you can do and still enjoy a meal. One study found that chewing each bite for 30 seconds reduced snacking later on — but also significantly reduced meal enjoyment (18Trusted Source).
SUMMARYChewing food thoroughly slows down your eating pace and reduces the number of calories you take in, which can lead to weight loss.
Eating too quickly can lead to weight gain and decreased enjoyment of food.
However, slowing down can increase fullness and promote weight loss. It also provides other health benefits.
If you minimize your screen time, chew more, and focus on high-fiber foods, you’ll be well on your way to slower eating.