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Chew More, Lose More?

Could cutting down on calories be as simple as chewing your food more? It’s something that many of us have heard for years, but how reliable is this advice, really? A recent article in the Associated Press takes a closer look at this theory.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a study in 2011, comparing how obese and regular-weight men chew their food. The resulting article said that the men took in about 12 fewer calories after 40 chews than they did after 15 chews. This lends credit to the “chew more, lose more” theory, but the test was only conducted on 30 men.

The AP report mentions a related theory: chewing has little to do with calorie consumption—it’s all about timing. The body takes “20 to 30 minutes to register that it’s full and satisfied,” the theory goes. “Chewing food slowly allows you to eat less food, giving enough time for the brain to realize that you’re full.”

How can these studies help you? We’ve put together a few ideas that can help you feel full and eat less.

  • Eat a little, then wait. Eat an apple, a fresh salad, or a few carrot sticks 30 minutes before dinner. Then see how hungry you are when you sit down to eat—you might be surprised to see how just a little food can fill you up!
  • Chew slowly—enjoy! Small portions disappear quickly. Slow down and take in the flavor from every bit you take. And if you think dieting means flavorless food, think again! Check out all the ways to boost your food’s flavor—and your metabolism!

How do you get the most out of a healthy meal? Leave us a comment and let us know!