Chewing to Lose Weight and Improve Health

Tip Content Provided By: EXOS

Feel pressed for time and eat in a hurry?  Eating breakfast in the car, lunch in front of the computer and dinner in front of the television sound familiar?  Slowing down our eating and chewing thoroughly actually helps reduce how much we eat and improves our overall digestion and thus our health.  

When we eat slower, studies have found that there is an increase in satiety and water intake along with a decrease in calorie intake.  People feel more full and satisfied and are less likely to snack or overeat at the next meal.  Hormones that tell you to stop eating do not have time to signal fullness when eating quickly.  When you eat slowly you actually know when you’re full and can stop eating at that point, meaning you feel satisfied with less food.  Eating slower also makes you believe you ate a larger portion then eating quickly.  If you find you feel hungry soon after you eat, it may be because you’re eating too quickly and not savoring your food.

There has also been evidence through research studies that link eating rate to obesity and waist circumference.  When we eat quickly blood glucose rises quickly and this may lead to an increase in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes over time. 

Another benefit of eating slowly and chewing thoroughly is the ability to obtain more nutrients from food.  We improve digestion and get more benefits from the food we eat.  Many digestive complaints like food sensitivities, bloating and heart burn can be alleviated by changing how you eat.  The gut is the home to most of our immune system, so by improving our digestion we increase our overall physical and mental health.  

How many times we should chew a food likely varies based on the food.  A common recommendation is to chew each bite until it is liquefied and loses its texture.  Just as a warning, you may find your jaw becomes tired when you first try this since it’s likely not used to doing its job!  Start slowly, maybe one meal per day that you really chew and enjoy at a leisurely rate, then do the same with other meals and snacks as you’re able. 

Of course life happens and there are times when you can’t dedicate to eating slowly.  At these times try to consume easy to digest foods.  This includes rolled oats, cooked fruits and vegetables, soups and smoothies.  Basically think of foods that are soft or liquid.   


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