Weight Loss for Kids

Study Shows Eating Slower is Related to Weight Loss for Kids

Diets don’t work. At the very least, they’re not sustainable. But weight loss for kids is necessary for those facing weight-related illnesses. I’ve talked about my Rule of Twos and how they are a great guideline for weight loss and now there’s a study from the University of San Diego that demonstrates how children who waited 30 seconds between each bite lost weight.

To lose weight, you need to stop eating. But it’s not that simple for most people, so we decided to investigate how effective eating slowly would be.

– Marcos Intaglietta, study co-author, UC San Diego

The goal of the study was to help children minimize the amount of food they ate before their brains caught up with their stomach. The satiety reflex, or when your stomach tells your brain that it’s full, can take about 15 minutes to activate. Meaning, if you’re stuffing your face quickly, your stomach doesn’t have time to send the signal to your brain until it’s too late and you’re overfull (and overeating).

In my Rule of Twos, I recommend that people chew twice as long and dine twice as long for the same reasons. Forcing yourself to eat slower gives your stomach time to communicate with your brain that no more food is needed.

The slow eating approach has the advantage of being sustainable over the long term, unlike most diets, because it doesn’t require you to change what you eat on a daily basis. It doesn’t deprive you of your favorite foods and it can be applied in any cultural and ethnic context.

– Geert Schmid-Schonbein, a study co-author, UC San Diego

Taking a non-diet approach to weight loss, especially with kids, is the best way to ensure that healthy eating habits are sustainable. It’s not just about what you eat, it’s also about how you eat. In addition to eating slower (taking twice the time to dine), I also recommend that you teach your children to:

  • Eat twice as often
  • Eat half as much
  • Chew twice as long

Learn more about adopting the Rule of Twos as the first step to developing healthier habits in your family and how I incorporate the Rule of Twos into my daily diet.