Most of us know that in order to reduce our weight we need to choose the right foods to put in our mouths, but what we do after the food is in there is important, too.
With our typical on-the-go lifestyles, many of us are accustomed to wolfing our food down as quickly as possible while we are doing other things. (Full disclosure: I am actually eating my lunch as I type this.) Good for saving time, but not as good for our weight loss endeavors.
This is because you are short-circuiting the normal communication between your stomach and your brain.
In a slow and mindful eating session your stomach and brain send each other signals about fullness. Very simply, the stomach will indicate to the brain that it is getting full and then the brain will send a STOP signal.
But when you shovel it in like you’re trying to get in under a time limit, it takes longer for your brain to get the “full” message and you end up ingesting a lot more than necessary. In fact, research shows that chewing every bite about 40 times can help you eat up to 12% less than if you scarf it down.1
And, adding to the problem, says Dr. David A. Kessler, M.D., author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (Rodale, 2009), is the fact that many of the processed foods available today have a soft “pre-chewed” texture to them. Yuck.
Foods that are high in fat like french fries and cakes are soft and easy to swallow, which reduces the need for saliva and chewing. Of course, that allows us to gulp them down as fast as we can.
Here are some suggestions:
Eating mindfully and chewing food thoroughly does not come naturally to many of us and does take practice. But doing so regularly is how the extra weight loss of up to 25 pounds a year comes in to play. That’s a benefit that is well worth your chewing time.
Change your habits with the Genetix Program. Our team of doctors, certified counselors/trainers and nutritionists can support you in achieving these goals with behavior modification. You can do it and we can help!