How often do you consider the types of food you are eating when it comes to weight loss? How often do you consider chewing? By that I mean the number of times you chew when you take a bite. Given our busy lives, most of us rarely sit down to a relaxed meal anymore, but rather eat on the run. Consciously chewing your food has significant health benefits, including weight loss.
Digestion And Absorption: Chewing triggers digestion which begins in the mouth. If food is not chewed thoroughly, the amylase and lipase enzymes from the saliva aren't in contact with it long enough to begin the digestion process. When food is properly broken down, the risk of bloating, gas, and indigestion will improve. In addition, the more you chew your food the more nutrients you will absorb. Properly chewing your food helps to metabolize and digest your food more effectively. You've heard the saying "You are what you eat," but actually we are what we absorb and digest!
Weight Loss And Mindfulness: The more mindful you are of chewing helps to slow down how quickly you're eating. Research shows that eating slowly helps you to eat less. And eating less can result in weight loss.
For example, slowing down gives you the chance to tune into your body and actual hunger and satiety cues. This active mindfulness can decrease your risk of overeating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal your stomach that you're full, so people report feeling fuller when they slowed down while eating. Chewing your food more slowly helps control your portion sizes, which naturally decreases calorie consumption.
How Many Times You Should Chew: Food is generally chewed 2-3 times and washed down with liquids. Try chewing your food 20-35 times or until it is liquefied. The more thoroughly it is chewed the better the digestive process will function, but it will vary depending on what you're eating. Eggs and fish will take fewer chews, but raw kale may take up to 45. Consider "30" a good number as a way toward slowing down your chewing.
Good Health Practices: A guide to support good health and proper chewing is to eat in an enjoyable, relaxed atmosphere, and at a moderate pace. Avoid eating on the run, in front of the television, or in the car. Wait to drink fluids until you've completely swallowed your food, and put your fork down between bites.
Try this out for a few weeks and see how it works for you. I'd love to hear your feedback!
To your health & happiness,