What you eat is crucial, when it comes to maintenance and weight loss, and some research suggests that the time you eat is important, too. A new study in a Scientific Report said that another huge part of your eating habits that can help is chewing your food slowly.
To study the possible effects of chewing slowly, researchers asked eleven men that were healthy and had a normal-weight to participate in three trials: drinking liquid the normal way every thirty seconds, drinking liquid but holding it in their mouths for thirty seconds before swallowing it, and chewing food for thirty seconds before swallowing.
The three test ended up causing the same amount of fullness, but chewing slowly was the best, because it caused the diet-induced thermogenesis, to increase. This has to do with the amount of heat accumulated in the body after you eat and what it does to your metabolic rate. A lower amount of DIT tends to cause weight gain, while a higher level is the opposite effect.
Even though it seems like a small action, when participants increased their chewing, it raised their DIT. The research showed that even though the difference per snack or meal might be small, the effect of doing this every time you eat could be huge.
Even though the test has limitations because of its small sample size, it is not the first to connect weight loss, maintenance, and slow eating. For example, a trial written in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said that raising the number of times you chew before swallowing lowered the size of meals partly because people were eating less because they were eating longer.
A study in Frontiers in Psychology states that there could be a mental part as well. In this study, participants who focused more on chewing had a change in their brain’s reward circuits, and that led to lower behaviors of impulsive eating.
Thinking more about what you are eating is another benefit to eating slow and it helps you to enjoy the taste more, said Vanessa Rissetto, R.D. She also said it could be stressful to think about every bite you eat, but to think of it as a meditation exercise.
You can start by thinking on your next three bites of food. As you do this it helps you improve your eating habits and achieve your weight loss goals.
“Are you really hungry when you are eating or is it because you are stressed, tired or bored?” says Rissetto. “Are you eating sweets because it is a habit that makes you feel good? It makes a huge difference if you realize why you are eating.” More awareness can help with healthier eating habits without feeling deprived, she adds.