Weight loss…the eternal quest for many. It’s no wonder we’re always trying the next diet book, exercise dvd, pill. Weight loss is so confusing. Some say carbs are bad for you. Oh, wait only eat the brown kind. AND you can eat fat, but only the right kind of fat.
The diet rules will always change. That is a fact. Luckily, there is one constant in all this dieting madness…and you don’t have to go out and buy it.
All you have to do is CHEW.
Yep, I know. I know. You heard this before, and it kinda sucks actually. In fact, I am continuing to work on this myself. I was an elementary school teacher in my past life so with about 10 minutes to shove a pb & j down my throat, I learned to scarf my food fast. I had about 20 minutes to get the kids to the lunchroom, open a few milk cartons, fend off the tattle telling, go to the bathroom, grade some papers and eat my lunch.
Not good for digestion. Not good for stress. Not good for losing weight.
So why should you chew?
Chewing slows down the rate at which you eat, and you will feel full well before you finish your plate. This means you will consume less calories than normal, but you will feel more satisfied. Translation: you will eat less food.
Did you know that the more you chew carbohydrates, the sweeter they become? Try it and see. Just another reason to chew your food.
Plus chewing can prevent that heavy, bloated feeling after a meal.
How much should you chew?
Now research states to fully break down your food, you should chew 35 times for each bite. The food should turn into liquid. In my opinion, you can start with 15 times and still notice the difference in your jeans after awhile. It sounds a little nutty at first, but over time you will see that it will even feel weird to swallow after a few bites.
Are you ready to transform from a gulper to a chewer?
Pick one meal this week to practice. The best meal to start with might be dinner since you are more likely to be home. Usually breakfast is running out the door and lunch is at the computer (okay, we will address this in another post).
-Turn off tv, computer, phone, and put away the People (I just love my trashy magazines!)
-Sit down,sit up straight, and eat. Count the number of times you chew and aim for 15 to start. Work your way up to 35 if you can (I am still working on this myself). You might not be able to keep this up during the full meal, but you’ll get better with practice.
-Take small bites and put your fork down between every bite.
-Use a small plate and concentrate on the food you chew. Really taste it!
-Another trick is to use your non-dominate hand. This is guaranteed to make you take your time.
What do you think? Which meal will you pick to practice mindful eating? Are you with me?
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