It’s not what you eat it’s HOW you eat that’s key for weight loss, docs discover

HOW you eat your meals is much more important than what you eat if you're trying to lose weight, doctors have discovered.

Experts said portion size, slowing down when you eat and taking smaller bites of food could help avoid over-consumption.

This in turn could stop you piling on the pounds without having to restrict your diet too much.

A study conducted by doctors at Pennsylvania State University looked at the eating habits of 44 men and women.

In order to measure their consumption, the men and women were served different portion sizes of macaroni cheese for lunch, once a week over a four week period.

The experts filmed the participants and analysed how fast each one ate and the size of the bites they were taking.

They found that in general, people ate more when they had a bigger portion in front of them.

If the meal size was increased by 75 per cent then the participants ate on average 45 per cent more.

Author of the study Paige Cunningham, a doctoral student at The Pennsylvania State University said it was one of the first studies that looks at eating speed and bite size in relation to a person's consumption.

She said: "Based on our findings, being aware of portion size, slowing down when you eat and taking smaller bites of food could help avoid over-consumption.

"Also, since people eat more when served more, over-consumption of calories from large portions can be reduced by choosing foods that have less calories per bite.

"This lets you eat the same filling portions of foods while consuming fewer calories."

The study was published in the American Society for Nutrition and participants were diverse in terms of age, sex, body weight, income and education.

The findings come after experts revealed that pregnant women who eat too much are at risk of diabetes.

Eating too much food can cause a range of issues such as poor digestion, weight gain and acne and for pregnant women, the experts said it could also prompt gestational diabetes..

If you're struggling with your weight then your GP can help you look at how you can change your lifestyle.

Exercise is also key to a healthy diet and it was also recently revealed that just three minutes of exercise for every hour sat down can slash the risk of early death.

Scientists said getting up for a short while balances out the harms of prolonged periods of inactivity, which is linked with a range of diseases and a shorter life

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