Thursday, 5 November 2009

Eating predestined conclusions makes you fatuous

This report on a study soon to appear in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, claims eating quickly is responsible for overeating. Hey, isn't everything, why not that?

Overlooking the promiscuous misuse of that term to the point where it has become ill defined, we'll stick with, eating more than, less.
The habit of eating at your desk which has become more prevalent in recent times is helping to fuel the obesity epidemic.

How so?

Encouraging people to eat quickly whilst doing other things.

The study split people into groups and gave them the same amount of ice cream, 300ml. Different people ate at different speeds.

Those who took 30 minutes to finish their portion, reported feeling fuller than those who were quicker and their blood sample had higher levels of hormones that tell the brain the stomach is full.

Scientists believe eating quickly stops the release of a hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is full.

Believe is right, because this would mean that people eat fast to resist fullness. Fullness gives a large range of pleasureful feelings, a sense of satisfaction, which brings an emotional uplift, you know when you sit back after having had your fill, feeling like all is right with the world?

Now why would you recklessly cast this aside, to eat faster and according to this report, lessen the chances of this happening and increase the likely amount you will ingest?

Why pleasure of course. Hang on a minute: D'OH!

Let's go over that.

Eating more than you need is more likely to lead to indigestion, heartburn, sluggishness, physical discomfort etc.

And yet scientists are prepared to 'believe' this is likely.

It is much touted that fat people eat faster, on average than those less so. I don't know, all I do know is that honestly the fastest eaters I've ever witnessed happen to have been amongst the thinnest people I've ever met.

If this is more than mere anecdote, it might be in part because fat people are more likely to make a conscious effort to slow down their eating.

I once had one of the few successes I've ever had doing this. I apropos of nothing decided to do this one time.

Unsurprisingly, everything was fine at first, then even though I suffered no discomfort whatsoever, it's as if something shifted in the background-internally that is- and for the life of me, It wasn't the same.

I could get no pleasure whatsoever from eating, so I actually stopped, usually out of boredom, but strangely unsatisfied, I felt what I'd eaten, but not in the way you are supposed to feel it.

It was a feeling way out there in the distance somewhere, unconnected with anything like fullness or satisfaction, but running parrallel to it, I knew I'd eaten though.

I carried on, but that's really what did for me in the end, the inability to get any pleasure at all, eating just became, not so much a bore, as a blah. Gray meaningless somehow. This is the kicker, it didn't lessen my appetite. It didn't give up and slink off, as usual, it just became more insistent, until it all became too self defeating and I stopped.

I would not claim universality for my experience, but I'm pretty sure aspects of it are widespread, if not, certainly, the upshot is.

Which is that the same as other attempts to slip calorie reduction and the threat of starvation past the body's defences, it might in a few yield dramatic results which will be trumpeted wildly as if we've never heard it before.

And the overwhelming majority will find it short lived as the body merely adjusts. Yeah, it doesn't always cotton on/act, immediately but come on, if someone was stealing amounts from your bank account, at some point it's going to register, right?


  1. From my personal experience, when I took 30 minutes to eat the 100/150 calories I was allowed for a meal when I was dieting, yeah, it filled me up - for about an hour. Then I was hungry till mealtime rolled around again. Taking a half hour to eat that meal sorta kinda maybe filled me up, but within half an hour, I was starving. Needless to say, I didn't last long on those very low calorie diets.
    Now, I take however long it takes me to eat a meal and enjoy every bite of it without watching the clock or checking to see if everyone else at the table has finished their meal. Sometimes I finish first, sometimes last, and none of it matters as long as I've had what I want to eat and enjoyed it. Usually, I'm left feeling full, but not uncomfortably so, and I'm not hungry again till another 4 or 5 hours have passed, so I must be doing something right (but those scientists would say I'm not, because I'm still fat).

  2. 100-150 calories for a meal? Sweet sanity! I'd like to make a rule, if you recommend a diet, you do it first.

    Put all the obesity smeckperts and bandwagon jumpers in big brother style houses, with cameras 24/7. And watch, taking notes.

    In fact I'd scratch 'biggest loser' and put that on instead.