Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chugga Chugga Chew Chew

So I am working on a new habit. As simple as it sounds, it is proving to be more difficult than I thought. The habit is chewing. My food, that is.

Since deciding to adopt this new way of eating, I am amazed at how many times I find I am half-way through my meal and haven't consciously been chewing, but rather I've been chugging. I have found, however, that when I take the time to count my chews (I aim for 30 with every bite), I am full sooner and way more satisfied. I like to eat and this chewing habit slows me down enough so that I get to eat for longer periods of time, often consuming less food!

But here's the neat thing: chewing is actually good for you! Not only does it help you feel fuller sooner, it helps immensely in digestion. Did you know that digestion starts in your mouth and not your stomach?? Our saliva gives off enzymes that immediately start breaking down our food into energy - the good kind of glucose is released.

Plus when we chew properly, we get more nutrition out of our food. Big chunks of food are harder to digest and can end up in the intestine that way, with all their goodness still trapped inside. Wouldn't that suck?! Not to mention the gas and bloating.

It is hard to do, I am discovering. It is even harder when I am eating with other people as we all tend to talk. I am learning to talk only between bitefuls (yes, I know we all learned not to talk with our mouths full but let's all admit that we are guilty). There is also the tendency to swallow before my 30 chews so that I can say something.

Who would have thought something so basic would be so difficult? But like everything else, it is about developing a new habit. Try it out - even just for one meal - and see if you can do it and if you feel any different!


Geosomin said...

30? Wow. That's a lot of chews. I think I'd lose trains of thought from focusing on chewing...but yet...what a good idea.
I should try least go for 20. I eat *way* too fast...

You're full of good ideas :)

Claire said...

is is super hard to chew that much! Matt does it so naturally - one time I randomly counted his chews (before I read about this) and he had done 75!! chews in one bite!

Cindi said...

That's some serious mastication!!