You may not realize it, but your ability to recognize hunger is regulated by your hormones. That’s why many people recommend you drink water when you feel hunger; sometimes your body tells you you’re hungry because of hormonal triggers caused by things like thirst. Now, when you eat and become full, the body releases a hormone that tells you to stop eating. The problem is that this hormone only starts to affect your appetite approximately twenty minutes after you start eating. This means that when you wolf your food down, you’ll probably end up eating much, much more than you actually need. By slowing down your eating, your body will be better equipped to tell you when it’s time to stop. If all goes well, you’ll then eat less and lose weight!
This sounds good in theory, but how do you slow yourself down?
One simple strategy is to simply do as your mother no doubt told you as a child; chew each mouthful of food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing it. While you’re at it, put down your knife and fork while you chew. Swallow your food, then pick up your cutlery and take another bite, rather than waiting with your fork poised at your mouth.
On its own, this might not be a complete game-changer. For most people it’s certainly not going to be the one big thing that precipitates a massive, rapid weight loss. What it does help with though, is making you eat in a more conscious, mindful way. By being more in tune with what you’re putting into your body, as well as how much and at what speed, you can take a lot more control of your overall intake.
This in turn will help with your digestion, your ability to recognize and control your appetite, and your food cravings. So while on its own it may be a small change, it sets the stage for wider-ranging changes of your mind-set and your body.
Chew More Until Satisfied
Simply try this at your next meal. Put each bite into your meal, put down your knife and fork, chew twenty to thirty times, then repeat until satisfied. You may or may not notice a difference straight away, but keep it up for a little while and changes start to happen. You’ll notice that fast food, just as an example, is much less attractive when you have to stop and look at it for minutes at a time. Before you know it, you could have a whole new attitude towards food and hunger. And all it takes is for you to slow down and pay attention a little bit more.
Pic by: www.flickr.com/photos/indi