Change everything with one simple change
You can change one simple habit and it may change your whole life. It doesn’t cost anything, plus you’ll end up eating less and feeling more energetic. You may even have less anxiety and a new appreciation for life and the world.
The next time you eat, count how many times you chew each bite before swallowing. Most people chew their food only a few times before swallowing which results in gulping down entire meals in just a few minutes. Swallowing large chunks of food can cause you to eat more, have digestive issues, and be tired after eating! Slow down and chew more.
The Macrobiotic lifestyle recommends chewing your food up to 100 times; however, I have found that nearly impossible. Try chewing your food 30 or 40 times before swallowing. The food should be completely liquefied and mixed with important digestive juices before it reaches your stomach. By the time you finish a bite of food, your dining companion may have eaten 3 or 4 bites.
Chewing more enables you to eat less. It takes your brain 10 – 20 minutes after filling your stomach to realize that it has had enough food. Chewing your food 30-40 times will slow down your eating and your brain will tell your stomach it is full while it has less food in it. Chewing more and slowing down will enable you to eat much less food and feel the same satiety.
Chewing more helps alleviate digestive issues. By chewing your food completely and liquefying it before swallowing, you have mixed the proper digestive juices completely with the food before allowing it to enter your stomach. This means your stomach will have less work to do. Many times this can relieve digestive issues such as pain, bloat, gas, and other nasty annoyances.
Chewing helps you feel less tired after eating. Since your stomach has less work to do, you will have more energy after eating that can be devoted to other things. If you frequently feel overtired after eating, simply chewing your food can be a big boost to your energy level.
Slowing down will allow you to enjoy your food more. You may not have even paid attention before to the beauty, taste, smell, or texture of your food. You may not have observed how it makes you feel, and how much you can enjoy a fresh strawberry or a cup of green tea. Once you appreciate your food and what you are eating, you may start eating healthier food.
Slowing down and enjoying your food may cause you to relax and think about slowing down and enjoying life more. You may realize that life isn’t about rushing around, getting lists of things done, and stressing yourself out anymore. The simple act of slowing down at meals may allow you to extend the principle into your whole life. May you will slow down and enjoy your children, or enjoy talking to a friend instead of rushing off to work.
Chew your food more. From the simple act of chewing your food, you may eat less, feel better, enjoy life more, and get healthier. You may end up noticing and nurturing the beautiful people and things that were right there all the time.
(Beth Anderson is a certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of the Holistic Health Hotspot in Evansville, Indiana. She is also the author of “The Holistic Diet: Achieve Your Ideal Weight, Be Happy and Healthy for Life.” Beth received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Beth is helping people improve their lives through nutrition and lifestyle education, health coaching, and by helping others to learn to make informed choices. Beth continues to spread understanding of the connection between body, mind, and spirit and encourages all to discern the truth about food, consumer products, environment, and life choices. You can find Beth on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HolisticHealthHotspot or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org)