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Lose Weight Faster by Eating Slower

August 3, 2010
(Article first published as Eat Slow, Lose Weight Faster on Technorati.)

Many people race through the day, eating as though they were on a dietary rollercoaster. Eating on the run may be hazardous to your health as food choices will be limited to high calorie, processed foods which work against your natural hormone balancing system to regulate appetite. Your brain doesn’t have enough time to react to the calorie load in the food you just ate, and you overeat.

Eating is Evolutionary

The body has evolved a very intricate hormonal balancing system which signals when to eat and when you’ve had enough. Eating too quickly, especially when consuming a calorically packed junk food diet, dampens the signal to stop eating. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the digestive hormone leptin signals the brain when it’s time to put down the knife and fork, but only if the meal lasts for at least 30 minutes.

Eat in Accordance With Your Hormones
Meals today are typically eaten in a matter of minutes, rarely coming close to the half hour needed to benefit from your natural leptin signal. People who are naturally thin take much longer to eat a meal than their overweight or obese counterparts. It’s more than likely that they stretch out the time it takes to complete a meal without a second thought.

Take Control of Your Hunger Hormones

Naturally thin people also tend to eat healthier and exercise more. They stay away from fast foods and highly refined, processed fare, and are more active in their lifestyle. This is evolved behavior, and researchers have noticed that it tends to run in families.

As more is learned about these powerful dietary hormones, we know leptin supply isn’t the problem, but rather it becomes dysfunctional and doesn’t transmit the satiety signal to the brain properly. Fortunately, it’s possible to reverse leptin resistance and allow for natural fat release and weight loss.

Make Gradual Changes, Eat Slower
When you’re continually on the run, it becomes second nature to eat quickly, and your food choices are usually limited to drive thru foods making the problem even worse. You must resolve to make modifications to both your diet, and the amount of time allocated to eating. You’ve likely developed your current dietary lifestyle over many years, so you’ll need to make changes slowly.

Begin by substituting a healthy salad for a fast food meal 1 or 2 days a week, and be certain to carve out enough time to allow leptin to signal the brain. If you haven’t finished eating in the time allotted, or you feel full, you’ll know it’s time to stop. Extend your new eating style gradually to include 3 or 4 days per week. Not only will you begin to work in concert with your dietary hormones, but you’ll see progress toward your weight loss goal with minimal effort.

Eating is a behavior which is learned from childhood, but is actually controlled by a sophisticated hormone balance system through our evolutionary past. Eating poorly balanced meals too quickly causes systemic communication problems, leading to weight gain. It’s possible to regain proper balance by eating healthy foods at a slow pace, and naturally tip the scales toward healthy weight loss.

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