So I have been trying to sit down and write this post for like a month (it was totally a March goal that never happened). Yikes!
Over the years, I have read many cookbooks, healthy living blog posts, books, and magazine articles relating to food, nutrition, eating, superfoods, moderation, weight loss, and other related topics. One common thread that I repeatedly read was the importance of chewing. Sounds crazy, right? Don’t you have to chew to eat? After reading about this for the third or forth time, it really got me thinking. How much do I CHEW my food? The answer is embarrassing…I am a total mouth stuffer!
This realization was eye opening for me. I always thought that I was doing it right, preparing my meals at home, rarely eating out, and being in tune with hunger. The fact that I often eat standing, on the go, during a work meeting, or as quickly as possible and that this was impacting my healthy lifestyle and weight loss never crossed my mind…until last month!
Breakfast is a quick meal, usually eaten in standing with one foot out the door. Lunch is stuffed into my mouth quickly and efficiency during a mid-day work meeting. Dinner is typically eaten in sitting, but when it is 8PM, I am HUNGRY and the food disappears QUICKLY!
Why is this a problem?
Digestion begins in the mouth
Chewing allows you to slow down your meal and enjoy the flavors
Chewing is key in the absorption of important nutrients
Savoring your food is important during every meal
Satiety is linked to chewing and the amount of time spent eating
I eat way too much food because I don’t register when I am full
I think that recognizing my lack of chewing is the FIRST step. Hooray! However making changes is hard. I don’t know that I will ever wake up early enough or give up my morning run to have a sit down breakfast during the week and lunch meetings are not a choice, just a reality. However, there are many dinners and weekend meals that deserve my time and appreciation where an easy change in eating habits (that begins with this realization) can lead to improved digestion, nutrition absorption, and possible weight loss. For all of these reasons, I am willing to give CHEWING a try!
Source: Food Rules
How can I make a difference in my eating habits…
Chew, Chew, Chew each morsel 20-30 times (from Tosca Reno’s Just the Rules)
Put down the fork in between bites
Enjoy (and savor) a tasty beverage (like wine) with a special meal
Never eat unless I am sitting down
Make every meal a dining experience
Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it takes to prepare it (from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules)
For me, recognizing my patterns has already made a difference in how I eat many of my meals. I am hoping over the next few months to create some new habits that support my clean and healthy eating goals. This knowledge and understanding is just the beginning!
Do you chew your food?
What other suggestions do you have to increase satiety?