Sing with me! Slow down you eat too fast! If you pause between each bite of food not only will your digestion improve but you will be trimming your waistline as well. So stop chowing down and enjoy each morsel of your meal.

This particular study was conducted with children with weight issues, but the findings can easily be applied to adults. If parents begin teaching their offspring good table manners it can help prevent them from overeating and gaining weight. In a year-long study, researchers instructed children to wait 30 seconds between each bite of food. Simply by slowing down, which generally is partnered with chewing your food well, children lost an average of 3.4% of their body weight. While those you didn’t pace their munching saw their weight increase by as much as 12.6%. None of the focus was on limiting portion size, but concentrating on polite table manners.

The group was divided with half the kids receiving a 30-second hourglass for use at mealtimes. They were instructed to take a bite, flip the hourglass, and wait until it was empty before taking another bite. Another helpful strategy is setting down your fork between each mouthful of your meal. The youngsters were also encouraged to drink a glass of water before meals, and avoid second helpings and snacking. This is definitely, great advice for everyone young at heart.

If a child used the hourglass four or more days a week, they were considered compliant, less than that they were placed in the category as non-compliant. A third group did not get an hourglass or any manners training. The compliant group lost 6.6 pounds, on average, while the noncompliant students gained an average of 15.5 pounds while the control group packed on 12.9 pounds, over the year. The crowd that followed instructions slimmed their waistlines by about an inch and the others, bulked up, adding about 2 inches to their middle. Their Body Mass Index (BMI) readings revealed a similar pattern.

People of any age can learn good manners by slowing down and savoring each spoonful of goodness. Regardless how much you have eaten, at about 15-minutes your body’s satiety signal begins firing giving you feelings of fullness no matter how much food you have consumed. The slower you eat, the fewer calories you need to gobble before feeling full. So, slow down and don’t eat so fast and body will treat you with better health.

(From the journal Pediatric Obesity /New Study Suggests Manners Might Reduce Obesity.)

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