If you’re tired of pleading with your kid to stop eating like pig following a juice cleanse, science has some ammunition for you: A recent study in the journal Pediatric Obesity finds that slow, careful chewing might be the easiest way for kids to shave off extra weight.
The researchers divided 54 kids around 12 years old into 2 groups and asked one group to eat at their regular speed and the other to chew every bite for 30 seconds. Six months later, the slow chewers had lost between 2 and 5.7 percent of their weight. A year later, they had cut a total of up to 6 percent. Meanwhile, the fast chewers gained a hefty 8.2 percent. It’s the first clinically-controlled trial to test the effectiveness of timed eating on satiety and body weight, but one thing it didn’t test was how many of the slow chewers fell asleep while watching the little 30-second hourglass they had to tip after every bite. Seriously.
According to the researchers, eating slowly leads to weight loss because it gives the kid’s brain time to process and determine whether the body is full before they take another bite. The genius of the 30-second chewing technique is that it appears you can apply it to any diet, without changing foods, and still reap some weight loss benefit. And, if you’re wondering whether the same thing will work on your own dadbod, go ahead and borrow your kid’s hourglass and try it. They’ll probably be thrilled to give it to you.