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Want to lose weight? Eat slowly
How many times have your parents yelled at you to chew your food well?
In fact, Ayurveda even suggests you must eat your food slowly and chew each morsel 32 times, since you have 32 teeth. This, says the ancient Indian science, is beneficial for digestion and, consequently, results in good health!
A recent study, conducted by Kathleen Melanson, assistant professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Rhode Island, USA, also shows that women who eat their food slowly stay slim.
In our busy life, most of us go through our meals without really tasting or savouring it. Try this -- ask anyone you know what they had for lunch the day before. Most of the people you ask this question to will be unable to give you the right answer. Do you remember what you ate yesterday?
We tend to eat so quickly that the meal rarely registers in our memory.
Chewing your food well and eating it slowly can have several benefits.
Chewing helps to break down the food in the mouth itself. This is where the first step of digestion takes place, where the food mixes with saliva. If you tend to eat very quickly, without really chewing well, a lot of gas bubbles get trapped in the food. This gives you the 'bloated' feeling, resulting in the production of gas, and belching.
Having your meal slowly can ensure you eat less. If you are aware of the eating habits of the French, you will realise that most of their meals consist of pastas, wine & cheese. Then how do these people stay so slim? The answer could lie in the fact that they eat small portions of these foods.
But how to you feel full by eating smaller servings? By eating your food slowly & chewing it well of course!
Our body is designed in a way that our stomach sends the message to the brain via neurotransmitters only 20 minutes after it is full. Which means you may be quite full much before you realise it. As a result, you may have eaten too much which will make you feel overfull later.
If you are trying to lose weight & cannot seem to get a hold on your appetite, start your meal with thick vegetable soup followed by a large helping of salad. Increasing your vegetable servings in this form helps you feel fuller due to the fibre intake. It also makes you chew the food more so that, by the time you reach the main course, you eat lesser portions.
Eating high fibre food like salad & fruit is not just good for your waistline, but also a great exercise to help your teeth & gums remain healthy!
Choose more of whole foods over processed foods. Take out some time from your schedule for your meals. Don't gulp it down. Don't work at the computer while eating your food. Another major culprit is the television -- switch it off at mealtimes.
Instead, eat your food slowly, preferably in the company of family and/ or friends. Besides learning to really appreciate your food, you'll find you've notched on several health benefits as well!
Samreedhi Goel is a nutritionist and certified personal trainer. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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