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This article highlights an important aspect of eating that seems to be neglected as a healthy means of weight loss--speed of eating as it relates to portion size. Plenty of popular articles are boasting specific vitamins, minerals, and/or foods as they relate to weight loss. However, we cannot lose sight of the pure simplicity of the weight (wt) gain and wt loss relationship to portion size--eating more or less Calories (energy) than we expend. Speed of eating a meal plays a role in portion size and weight gain in how decreasing the speed at which food is consumed creates a feeling of "fullness" (satiety) with less food consumed than eating quickly. This illustrates the connection of eating slower with eating fewer Calories than eating faster, leading to weight loss without the sacrifice of a satisfactory feeling of satiety at the end of the meal.
In controlling portion size, some people think starving themselves is the only way to consume less food at a meal. This approach creates an unsatisfactory feeling at the end of our meals/snacks that we begin to associate with consuming food. This lack of satisfaction is an unhealthy relationship with food since old habits, which do relate satisfaction with food in larger portions, will return with a vengeance. Instead, create the positive association you crave, while satisfying your feeling of hunger by simply slowing down and making food a relaxing part of your day.
If relaxing while eating may seem impossible for some of us, stop and think where your time is devoted in a day. For example, pre-packing portion sizes of our lunch each night before work may seem time consuming. And yes, it technically takes time, but compare the amount of time you spend each night packing a lunch to the amount of time you would spend driving to the grocery store or a fast food restaurant, picking out the food, driving back to work, and eating the food. Most likely many of us would save a considerable amount of time with pre-packaging, allowing more time to relax and enjoy our food. This slowing of eating will allow less food to be consumed while obtaining the satisfaction of eating a meal.
Make a goal of pre-packaging at least two of your lunches this week, and take time on these days to enjoy your food without distraction. Try incorporating foods that are pleasing, but still healthy, such as nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, and 100% whole grain products.
-handful almonds, handful raisins, carrots dipped in hummus, an orange, and a 100% whole grain bread sandwich with tomatoes, spinach, and a lean meat like turkey--all with a glass of 100% juice or water
There are numerous other combinations you can create for your own delicious, nutritious, and relaxing lunch that satisfies. Good luck in accomplishing this week's goal, I will be checking back next week!"
Washington State University
Exercise Metabolism and Physiology and Coordinated Program in Dietetics
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