Slowing down when you eat is a weight-loss strategy based upon the fattening fact that our brains register fullness about 20 minutes after our stomachs. This lag time causes overeating and, ultimately, weight gain. By making a few easy changes to your eating style, you can slow down your swallowing and allow your brain to catch up with your belly. As a result, you’ll consume fewer calories without feeling any less satisfied. Plus, you’ll be able to continue to enjoy your favorite foods because you’ll be at less risk of overindulging.
1. Schedule more time for eating. Seems contradictory to the goal of weight loss, doesn’t it? But if you only allot a short time to eat, you’ll gobble your food down so fast, your body will never have a chance to signal you that you really didn’t need so much. So unless you feel you have the utmost of control, adjust your schedule so you eat your food slowly and calmly over 30 minutes. Two-thirds of the way through, you’ll probably start feeling full, and will lose your desire for more.
2. Substitute chopsticks. This is another way to guarantee you eat slower. Start by buying a really nice pair that you’d be happy to eat with frequently. Then eat even non-Asian meals with them. This slows you down because chopsticks pick up much less food with each bite than a fork. They also require more dexterity and concentration than a fork. If you find chopsticks too frustrating, try holding your fork or spoon in your non-dominant hand.
3. Keep your focus. Okay, we know you want to eat with others, and if you have a family, probably insist on it. Doing so provides all kinds of health benefits that have nothing to do with nutrition. So if you do eat with others, just don’t get so lost in conversation that you lose awareness of the eating process. Your task is to cherish each bite, eating slowly and mindfully, even while talking with others.
4. Drink water between bites. While water doesn’t reduce appetite, it does slow down your eating process. And it’s certainly healthy for you. So after every swallow of food, take a small sip of water before picking up the fork again.
Plus: Chew More, Eat Less
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