One Easy Change That Will Help You Lose Weight

Weight loss: the eternal quest for so many of us. It’s no wonder we’re always trying to lose weight… because weight loss is so confusing. First they tell us not to eat fat. Then they tell us not to eat carbs. Then they tell us to eat fats… but only the right kind. Then they tell us to eat carbs… but only the brown kind. What’s a person to do?

It’s safe to say that the diet rules are going to keep changing. After all, every time the rules change, they can sell another batch of diet books. So, we sane folks have to look for a constant in the dieting madness.

It’s quite simple, really.

If there’s one piece of advice that has made the biggest difference in the weight loss goals of my clients, it’s been one simple word, “Chew!”

Now, don’t tell me you’ve heard this chewing advice before. Don’t stop reading yet. Hear me out, please!

Yes, the instruction “Chew More!” may be about as appealing to you as someone telling you to clean out your belly button lint.  BUT… there’s merit to this piece of advice. Let’s take a bit of time little to explore the phenomenon of chewing and see how it will help you reach your goal.

Why Should I Chew?
Eating well and losing weight begins with the simple art of chewing:

- Chewing slows down the rate at which you eat. 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.

- Chewing breaks down food and initiates the release of digestive enzymes, which helps your body assimilate nutrients more effectively.

- Chewing creates saliva, which makes the food more alkaline, creating less gas after the meal.

- Chewing will relax you. If you tend to binge when you get stressed, it will greatly benefit you to chew well during stress-induced eating fests.

- Chewing helps you enjoy the taste, aroma, sensation, and texture of the entire meal.

- The more you chew carbohydrates, the sweeter they will become.

- Chewing well will prevent that heavy, bloated feeling after a meal.

How Much Should I Chew?
You should aim to chew every mouthful of food at least 35 times each, until the food becomes liquid. This will seem weird at first... but after a while it will feel even weirder to swallow after a few bites.

I Know I Should Chew, But I Can’t Do It!
“This might sound weird, but one of the biggest things on my mind is how I eat. I know I am supposed to chew and eat mindfully. I’m not a great chewer - I'm more of a gulper! I'm great at eating and working, eating and typing, and eating and reading.... but I don’t quite know how to eat mindfully. Help!”

I received the above comments from a woman who took my “Are You Sabotaging Your Health” quiz on my website. She speaks for many of us, who already know we should eat mindfully. BUT… the challenge is making it happen.

A few tips to help you transform from a “Gulper” to a “Chewer”:

- Pick one meal to practice Conscious Eating. The best meal to start with is the meal that you eat in a relaxed manner, not the meal that you eat while doing fifty billion other things.

- Remove all other distractions. Yes, this means turn off the TV, put down your magazine, and ignore the phone.

- Sit down to eat. It’s tough to chew well if you’re standing at the counter picking at your food

- Sit up straight and breathe.

- Count the number of times you chew. Aim for 35 times per bite. You may not be able to keep this up throughout the entire meal, but you’ll get better with practice.

- Take smaller bites, otherwise your mouth will get too full and you will have to swallow before you’re ready.

- If counting is distracting, then try chewing until your food is liquid (you will get used to the mushy consistency after a while)

- Use chopsticks – these do a great job of slowing you down.

- Eat with the opposite hand. If you’re right-handed, eat with your left hand. This is guaranteed to make you take your time.

- Put your fork down between every bite. Don’t sit there waiting to shovel the next bite in before you swallow. Clasp your hands together gently while you chew so they don’t feel antsy.

- Concentrate on the sensation of the food as you chew. Really TASTE it.

- Make it a competition – aim to finish ½ of your plate by the time everyone else is done. Get everyone else involved (particularly kids) to make it a fun game!

- Use a smaller plate. That way, you will feel like you’ve finished your meal.



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