Eating Slowly For Weight Loss

Rarely, it seems, do people sit down just to eat. They usually sit down to eat and talk, or to eat and read or eat and watch TV.

People talk too much and chew too little. Talking between chewing would be a better habit. It would slow you down.

Slowing down, in fact, may be a valid strategy for losing weight. Wolfing down food with hardly a break between bites results in excessive amounts of food in the stomach. By contrast, slow, careful chewing seems to put less food in the stomach. More time is spent chewing and less on swallowing, giving the person more of an opportunity to get in touch with feelings of fullness.

Additionally, the more you chew, the more you taste. Chewing forces air and odour back into the nose through your throat. That’s the way we get most of our odour and taste from the food we eat. We don’t smell it through the nostrils. We get it retro-nasally. When you put it into your mouth you may think it’s taste, but it’s really odour that’s going up the back of the throat and being picked up by the nose.

It is perhaps for this benefit of chewing that hardcore epicureans argue that the dinner table is a place to conduct the business of eating rather than business while eating. Conversation is the enemy of good food,” was the way the late, great movie director and gourmet Alfred Hitchcock put it.

Arthur L. Kaslow, MD, a Solvang, California, physician specialising in nutritional medicine, found in his patients a strong connection between improper eating and indigestion, gas, constipation and diarrhoea. When he asked about chewing, patients will usually say they don’t pay much attention, or that they usually read when they eat, or watch IV, or are busy talking.

Well, what they’re reading, watching and saying at the time of eating will determine how well or how fast they chew and swallow.

These people usually have a lot of gas, a lot of bowel problems, a lot of difficulties, and they may even be in what is called secondary malnutrition. They may be taking good food into their mouth but don’t get good nourishment out of it.

The physician would tell such a patient, “I can take care of your digestion, I can give you digestive enzymes, I can take care of the gas-forming bacteria, but nobody else but you can eat for you. That’s your job.”

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