Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chew on this: How you eat can help you lose weight

Chewing can help you lose weight? Seriously?

Yes, it can, but only if you do it right, says Brian Udermann, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse who studies health myths.


A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2008 found that participants who ate a meal in eight minutes consumed 11 percent more calories than those who ate the same meal in 21 minutes — 645 for the fast eaters versus 579 for the slow eaters. The researchers also found that the slower eaters drank more water during the meal and rated the food more satisfying and pleasant.



Udermann said the 20-minute lag time between eating and the body's signal that it's full may be one of the reasons for the calorie difference.

Here are some tips, tested by Udermann and his family, for stretching out meals:

Avoid eating on the run or in the car. Americans eat one in five meals in their car. Set aside time to eat at the table without the television on.

Go for foods with more flavor, and concentrate on what your eating.

Practice counting how many times you chew your food. Try for 15 or 20 chews and purposely try slowing down the speed at which you chew.

After two or three bites of food, put your fork down and take a drink of whatever beverage you prefer. This can help you slow down a bit when you eat and will also likely help you feel full a bit quicker.

Use smaller utensils and smaller plates. Some people eat until their bowl or plate is empty. If it is smaller to start with, you will likely consume less food, unless you go back for seconds or thirds.

Talk while you eat. Chat with your kids. Ask how school went, how their sporting events are going or music lessons. Tell them about your day and discuss upcoming family activities.


Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2008;

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