Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Chew Chew Diet

What Sort of Diet is it?

The Chew Chew diet was invented in Edwardian times by an American named Horace Fletcher. Horrace, who was somewhat overweight at 15 and a half stone, believed that all bodily weakness resulted from the improper treatment of food while in the mouth. This diet is extreme and most people would find it pretty hard to stick to. On the other hand, if you like the idea of having no restrictions on what you eat, you might be tempted.

How Does it Work?

The idea Fletcher came up with was that every mouthful of food should be thoroughly chewed until it is liquefied. He believed food should be chewed this way to enable the body to easily digest and absorb it into the body. As a general guide, all food must be chewed exactly 32 times. Anything which isn’t reduced to liquid pulp after this amount of chewing, has to be spat out. This meant that diners had to have a separate bowl at the table specifically for this purpose.

What Can You Eat?

You can eat virtually anything you like on this diet. However, as dieters will soon find out, food such as meat and fibrous vegetables take inordinate amounts of chewing effort and usually result in remains which must be spat out. As such, portion sizes are likely to become smaller as it takes so long to get through a meal. Fletcher particularly liked sweet foods and cereals with full cream milk and sugar. However, he did warn against the danger of consuming too much protein from animals. Also, he didn’t recommend eating breakfast and suggested toast or fruit or just going without. Wine was allowed but must be swilled around the mouth

Is It Healthy?

This diet could be healthy if you eat lots of fruit and vegetables. If you’re cutting down on meat because of the difficulty in chewing, you’d need to make sure you replaced the lack of nutrients such as protein with alternative sources. Food such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice are easier to chew.

Does it Work?

The diet worked extremely well for Fletcher who shed more than 40lbs after four months. It also caught on across the Atlantic in England where diners held ‘munching parties’. However, most people these days would have a hard time sticking to the diet under their own willpower since it would be too easy to cheat by swallowing food too soon.

As featured on Channel 4 as one of the ‘Diets That Time Forgot’, the participants following this diet found it revolting and often had to abandon their meal halfway through because of the monotony of the chewing, not to mention an aching jaw and meals gone cold.

But, if you’re looking for a cheap way to diet where you can eat what you like, it may be worth a try!

© Diets and Calories 2011


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