Five Ways to Eat Slowly (for Weight Loss)

Noodles with a chopstick


You may have noticed that our New Year posts are focused mostly on weight loss. This is not a coincidence. A new year is a huge motivator for many people to take charge of their health and habits. We’re here for you with what we hope are helpful suggestions and sound advice.

Let’s take a moment to talk about speed. Apparently, people who eat more slowly, have a lower chance of gaining weight. In controlled studies, people were given identical meals. Half were told to eat “normally” while others were told to chew more and place their fork on the table between each bite.

The slower eaters ended up consuming less food, and thus fewer calories. They drank more water during the meal, which helped them feel satiated. Additionally, an hour after eating, they reported feeling less hungry than the fast eaters.

What can you do to slow down your pace of eating?

  1. Eat real food. Soft white bread is very chewable, but whole grain bread requires more work. In general, “fast food” is made to be easy to eat without much effort.
  2. Eat your fruits and vegetables, don’t drink them. Smoothies are all the rage now, but drinking down your meal is probably the fastest way to ingest more. Chewing an apple or an orange is going to take more time.
  3.  Eat with other people to slow down. You’ll talk, laugh, and be more polite than if you’re eating on your own in front of the TV or computer.
  4. Use smaller utensils. Smaller spoons make for smaller bites. Is that the secret of people eating with chopsticks?
  5. Allocate enough time for your meal so you won’t have to rush through.

Are you a fast eater or a slow eater?

  • Ashley

    Slow eater. Definitely the best way to go. Lost 30 pounds doing this! Do.

  • The Lone Marmot

    I agree with the comment about “smoothie-mania” that is so prevalent nowadays.

    It seems a trend common amongst those who decry processed food, when mashing up your albeit healthy fruit and vegetables is in fact a form of processing.

    Let your guts mash them up. That’s what they are for! :-)

  • Tatyana

    I read while I eat. It makes me go slower and now that I drink water before, during and after eating, I notice how much I am chewing. My plate is also about as big as my hand and I keep my portions within the middle to guage how much I put on my plate.

  • Brandon

    I’m a fast eater for some reason. It comes naturally and I’m able to eat a large bowl of rice in less than 3 minutes and thats without rushing!

  • stardust

    Sometimes it’s hard to eat slow when your food tastes soo good lol!

    • Roni

      Or when you’ve been trained to eat fast (military) it becomes habit.

  • Danielle Robertson

    I find that protein and shake powders help me avoid skipping meals but it doesn’t fill me up as much. Middle-ground – I add fruits and veggies to my smoothies and shakes as much as possible. A shake for breakfast isn’t as good as a whole food meal, but it’s better than skipping breakfast.

  • Danielle Robertson

    Caveat to #3 – eating with others may help you slow down, but you might end up losing track of your portions like you would eating in front of the tube. I think the trick is to eat with other people AND to put your utensils down between bites so you could A) talk with your hands and B) give your satiety hormones more time to kick in.

  • Lauren

    I love using chopsticks—
    I am terrible with them, thus I take a long time to actually eat anything

    • Wanda Wyatt

      If I had to use chop sticks I would starve to death. It would slow me down if I could the hang of it. Happy New Year!

  • Romeo Jett

    Slow and easy is how I eat it, so much better.

  • Toshi

    I’m a fast eater. Food taste too good to stare at it between each bite.

  • regroe

    I try hard to be conscious of how fast I eat and make myself slow down when I catch myself. I’ve noticed, I get full alot faster eating slower. If I can remember when eating something delicious!…

  • Blackgalb6

    It all depends on how hungry I am

  • Wanda Wyatt

    I agree I use to eat like a turtle and I was slender. Now I eat like a chow-hound and I if you tie a string around me I look like a balloon. I will try this again.