Weight loss experts remind us over and over again that if we eat too fast, our brain might not recognize that we are full until after we've already consumed more than enough calories. And, here's yet another reason to slow down at mealtimes: Chewing more could make you eat less.
A new study showed that participants who chewed about 2.5 times more than the typical 15 times caused them to eat almost 12 percent less calories. Do you know what this means? If further research produces similar results, it's only a matter of time before the "Chewing Diet" catches on among people looking to drop some poundage.
First, some explanation of the science behind the study: By comparing a group that chewed their food 40 times to a group that chewed it only 15 times, researchers found that more chewing showed lower blood levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone called ghrelin and higher levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone called CCK.
In other words, the group that chewed 40 times ate less calories because their brain told them to stop eating. The obvious takeaway from this study? More chewing could lead to significant weight loss.
Can you even imagine how potentially attractive a "Chewing Diet" could be to dieters (should further research prove conclusive on this topic)? People could eat whatever they want -- cheeseburgers, French fries, cheesecake! -- as long as they chewed it a significant number of times. Along with nutritional information and calorie counts, menu offerings and groceries would come with a chewing label instructing people about how many times they need to chew it to lose weight. Not to mention the fact the gum industry would be even more successful than it already is (which makes me wonder who actually funded the study in the first place ...).
Regardless of whether there's any merit to this study, the reminder to slow down when we eat is a good one. Maybe it won't lead directly to weight loss, but at least it will help us to appreciate and enjoy our food.
Would you consider chewing more as a way to lose weight?
Image via ariel wants a chip/Flickr