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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chewing the Fat

OK.  I love food.  I appreciate food that tastes really good.  So why do I eat so fast?  Even when I am intentially trying to slow down, I eat much faster than Mary Beth and Jake (who, in my defense, both eat about as fast as tree sloths). 

Part of it is the fact that I just don't chew my food that much.  I chew a few times and...gulp...down the hatch it goes.  You'd think that I would want to savor the flavor and keep the food in my mouth as long as possible. 

Chewing on popcorn shrimp for Jake's birthday.
Well, a recent study shows that there might be a connection between the amount of times that you chew and losing weight.  It seems that the more you chew, the less calories are taken in by your body--up to 12% fewer calories than those in the study who didn't chew as much.  That could translate to significant weight loss over the course of a year.

Of course, as is usually the case, this study has some holes.  It was a small group of young men who were tested.  The results don't account for foods such as soup or ice cream that don't have to be chewed.  But still, it makes some sense.

For many years, experts have agreed that it takes time for the brain to register that the stomach is full.  So the more you chew, the slower you eat, the less food you eat before the brain says "Stop!".

Will the potential of losing weight make me chew more and eat slower?  It's worth a try, right? 

Hmmm...I could go for some ice cream...

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