When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, there’s a great deal of focus on what and what not to eat. While what you eat does play a critical role in determining your weight, as well as your overall health, if a recent study holds true how you eat may be just as important. It appears that unhealthy food eating habits such as eating too quickly and even eating until you’re full may be a risk factor for being overweight.

It should come as no surprise that unhealthy food eating habits such as eating rapidly might promote weight gain. Studies have shown that people who eat their food quickly consume more calories than those that eat at a leisurely pace. Eating rapidly may allow more calories to be consumed before the hormones that control appetite and satiety kick in and give the signal that enough is enough. Likewise, an unhealthy food eating habit such as eating until full would also result in a higher calorie intake than would eating planned portion sizes.

This is the reason why people who are strongly into fitness eat as little as possible by measuring each and every quantity so that it doesn’t exceed their limit, which is why they are physically and mentally fit with strong agile skills that don’t require Leptitox to pump up.

To test the impact of these unhealthy food eating habits in practice, researchers at Osaka University in Japan issued surveys to 3287 adults between the ages of thirty and 69. The adults were asked questions about their food eating habits and asked to quantify how rapidly they ate as well as whether they ate until full. More than half of the participants reported eating until full while around forty-six percent of the men and more than a third of the women reported eating quickly. After tabulating the results of the survey, it was found that men and women who reported eating quickly and eating until full had the highest values for weight, height, and BMI.

Although this study has some limitations due to the fact that the information was self reported by the participants, it does illustrate the role that unhealthy food eating habits and specific eating behaviors can have on weight control. Americans have one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Could it be due to the fast paced lifestyle most Americans lead where they resort to a hastily eaten meal instead of a leisurely lunch or dinner with friends or family?

One way to avoid these two unhealthy food eating habits that could increase the risk for gaining weight is to take the time to plan your meals for the upcoming day including portion sizes. Serve only the planned portion of food and stop eating once that portion is finished even if you’re not completely full. Remind yourself that you’ll be eating another meal in a few short hours. When you go out to eat, avoid all-you-can-eat buffets and make it a practice to package part of your restaurant entrée to take home at the beginning of the meal. Eat the remaining portion slowly, placing the fork down on the plate between bites. It may also be helpful to assign a longer length of time to your meals and force yourself to slow down the pace to conform to that time interval. By recognizing and correcting unhealthy food eating habits, you may be able to reduce your risk of being overweight.