Of course, what you eat matters when it comes to weight reduction or maintenance, and some studies suggests that when you eat matters as well. However, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports, another important aspect of your eating habits can help: chewing food more slowly.
Researchers put 11 healthy, normal-weight males through three trials to test the effects of delayed chewing: drinking liquid food regularly every 30 seconds, drinking liquid food but retaining it in their mouths for 30 seconds before swallowing, and chewing food for 30 seconds before swallowing.
All three methods produced the same amount of satiety, but the slow chewing method stood out because it boosted what’s known as diet-induced thermogenesis, or DIT. This is the amount of heat produced in the body after eating and how it impacts your metabolic rate. A low amount of DIT promotes weight gain, whereas a high level promotes weight loss.
Raised chewing among participants increased their DIT, despite the fact that the difference each meal or snack can be little, the cumulative effect done every time you eat could be significant, according to the study.
Even though the study has limitations due to its small sample size, it isn’t the first to link delayed eating to weight loss or maintenance. For instance, according to a scientific experiment published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, increasing the number of chews before swallowing reduced meal sizes in part because people ate for longer periods of time, which led to eating less.
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Another study published in Frontiers in Psychology reveals that there is also a mental component. Participants in that study who focused more on chewing had a change in their reward circuits, which led to fewer impulsive eating habits.
According to Vanessa Rissetto, R.D., co-founder of Culina Health in New York, another advantage of slow eating is becoming more attentive of what you’re eating and simply appreciating the taste more. She believes it can be daunting to try to consume each and every mouthful with conscious attention, but much like with meditation, start small.
Try being conscious of your next three bits of food, for example. As you include the method into your eating habits more frequently, you’ll be more likely to address the second important question about food, which can help you improve your eating habits and meet your weight-loss objectives.
“Are you eating because you’re hungry or because you’re bored, stressed, or tired?” Rissetto wonders. “Are you becoming into the habit of grabbing a sugary thing because it makes you feel good and you’re on autopilot? It makes a tremendous difference if you know why you’re eating.”