Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Lose Weight By Chewing Your Food More

A study has found that chewing our food for longer could help us lose weight and may be a significant factor in combating obesity. Researchers discovered that chewing each mouthful of food 40 times instead of the average 15 times, can result in us consuming around 12 percent fewer calories overall.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was carried out by scientists at the Harbin Medical University in China. Their aim was to compare the differences in chewing activities between obese and lean people to see what sort of effects chewing had on calories absorbed and the release of the ‘hunger hormone’, ghrelin.

The study volunteers, 14 obese men and 16 lean men, were given a typical breakfast to eat and their chewing habits were observed. It was noted that those who chewed more times, had lower levels of the hunger hormone which stimulates appetite, but higher levels of another hormone, CCK, which is thought to reduce appetite.

The results of chewing each mouthful for longer, means the stomach starts signaling the brain that it’s becoming full. This in turn can lead people to stop eating earlier, and therefore consume fewer calories.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the idea of chewing more to help you lose weight has been considered. Previous studies have examined the connection between obesity and chewing, where some studies show a definite link between faster eating and being overweight, while others show no clear connection.

But back in Edwardian times, long before all these modern day studies, an American named Horace Fletcher had already discovered the benefits of chewing food multiple times. In fact, he invented his own diet called the Chew Chew diet, whereby all food must be chewed exactly 32 times. It became extremely popular in the US and England and it obviously worked because Horace managed to lose more than 40lbs in just four months.

It certainly makes sense. After all, many diets advise us to sit down and chew our food properly while concentrating on what we’re eating as this helps us feel more satisfied after a meal. All this rushing about, eating food on the go, is no good for our digestive systems and doesn’t seem to help in the weight department either. Perhaps if we all just slowed down a bit, the obesity problems in the western world would follow suit.


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