How To Eat Less

One of the things, which makes dieting so difficult, is the tremendous amount of information available.

Information is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the extent to which we’re inundated with new data on a daily basis, can be overwhelming at times.

With all this information, we often tend to over-think our dieting and weight loss program. And, it can even be difficult to know exactly where to begin.

But, what if I told you there’s a simpler way to reduce your calorie consumption, which doesn’t involve counting calories, weighing your food, or having to eat specialized (and often none-too-appetizing) meals?

Thanks to some new research, a very simple way to reduce your calorie consumption has come to light… chew more and eat less.

That’s it!

Pretty simple,  don’t you think?

So, let me explain it in a little more detail…

The Research

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A group of nutritionists performed a study on young men, some of whom were lean, while others were obese.

The study was divided into two parts:

Firstly
The researchers simply observed the chewing habits of the lean and obese individuals.

Based on their observations, the lean participants chewed their food more frequently, and ate their meals less quickly than the obese group.

Secondly
Both groups of subjects were given the same meal on two occasions.

The first time, they were asked to chew at a rate of 15 times per 10g (one mouthful) of food. The second time, they were given identical meals, and asked to chew 40 times per 10g.

The results of part two, showed that both the lean and obese groups, ate 11.9 percent fewer calories, when they chewed 40 times per bite, as opposed to 15.

This calorie reduction on it’s own, could allow you to lose as much as 25 pounds per year.

In addition, both groups had higher levels of CCK (a hormone that tells your body you’re full), and lower levels of ghrelin (an appetite stimulating hormone).

The researchers concluded that altering your eating habits to eat more slowly, and chew your food more, could be a useful tool in combating obesity.

How To Chew More

So, how can you incorporate the study’s information into your own eating habits?

1. Eat Mindfully

We know that when we are distracted while eating, we tend to chew less, and are often less aware of how much we’re eating.

So, avoid eating in front of the television, eating while reading, or eating while you are working on the computer, etc.

2. Pay Attention

While there’s probably nothing magic about chewing exactly 40 times, it’s an interesting experiment to count the number of times you chew the first few bites of your food at mealtimes.

This will give you some feedback as to whether you are chewing your food as often as you should, allowing you to make adjustments, if necessary.

3. Eat Slowly

The more rushed you are when you eat, the less likely it is that you will chew your food adequately.

So, try to schedule time for your meals, and avoid options such as drive-through restaurants, since they encourage eating in a hurry, eating while driving, and also eating unhealthy foods.

One of the nice by-products from eating this way, is that it gives you a chance to enjoy your food more.

Food is one of life’s great pleasures. And, taking the time to savor your meals, can not only help you to lose weight, it can reduce your stress levels, and give you a sense of well-being.

What are your tips on ways to eat less?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

cathy in NZ September 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

put less on your plate

eat smaller meals through the day

try to make all the meals have one of the essential whatevers that you believe you need

even something that is a basically banned – just eat only a “taster” as such of it

but if you feel that at your main meal you just haven’t imbibed enough have another food item – a hot drink, fruit or even a cookie…just a bit not a whole lot

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Melanie October 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

Great tips, Cathy, thanks for sharing them.

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Katy September 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I just found your website tonight and I have been on it for about two hours taking it all in. I was doing so great a year ago working out every morning, eating healthier meals, and I lost 30lbs! However I had to move from where I was lving into a much much smaller house. I have not changed my eating habits much but, I have pretty much stopped exercising due to the fact that I have no room to even do a simple yoga routine without rolling into something. Anyway.. out of nowhere one night I realized that I scarfed down my dinner so fast that I didn’t even remember eating most of it.. I know that sounds funny but I was like Oh my gosh, did I seriously just eat my whole plate of food! So I told myself, when I start dinner the plate should be cleared in 20-25 minutes not 10. This led to making sure I was chewing at least 20-30 times. I was eating way less and enjoying way more! I love cooking so I was actually getting to enjoy my meals instead of just filing my belly, (usually way to much!!) Plus, and I know this from juicing, chewing helps break the fibers of the food and the longer you chew the more saliva mixes with aiding in better digestion and increased absorption of nutrients. Anyway, I thank you for this website, it has a ton of information and tips that I know will help me get back onto my weight loss goals. Once I moved I did gain that 30lbs back, so that’s my first goal! To lose that 30!! Thank you again!

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Melanie October 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Hi Katy,
Thank you so much for leaving this comment. This blog exists for people like you, and I really appreciate your feedback. I’m just thinking of your workouts with limited space…. squats are one of the best exercises you can do, and you only need the space you stand up in for them. That’s just one suggestion, but I hope it helps.

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Ashly October 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Thank you for the article! I was trying to find some helpful tips on training myself to eat less and these three simple tips will help immensely!! I am going to try eating all of my meals at the table to see what kind of an impact that makes. I live alone so it’s challenging to discipline myself to eat at the table when there’s nobody to talk to. Allowing myself to pay attention to the chewing process will occupy my mind at least.

The only thing I could think of to add might be to eat more things that actually take longer to eat. Mushy foods would be pretty tough to chew 40 times. Example: replace mashed potatoes with a blend of brown rices. There is this blend of 8 or 9 brown rices I get from my local asian supermarket that is chewy and crunchy and very filling.

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Melanie October 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Hi Ashly,
Yes, I see your challenge, but perhaps it will become something you throughly enjoy doing :-) Your idea to substitute with brown rice is a great idea, much more nutritious, too!

Reply

Ashly October 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I thought of another one too…. something my mom used to tell me. Put your fork down between each bite.

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Melanie October 20, 2011 at 8:04 am

Definitely a good one to practice, Ashly. Thanks!

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