Very often you will see me write stories on our Health Channel that are technical in nature and often built around some study recently performed at a major research institution. Today, I would like to start something a little different. What I would like to do puts me in a very vulnerable position. I hope for some of you that this will be helpful and that I build my credibility with you not only as an author, but as a real person going through some of the same challenges that many of you face. You see, I struggle with being overweight and have for a while now. It has been a steady increase and is a result of many factors, but mostly inactivity and over eating are to blame. Why do I say all of this? I say this because I am in the trenches just like many of you and I want you to know you’re not alone. I also want to be able to share, from time to time, some of the things that have worked for me and some that haven’t. I’d like to call this segment “Just One More Bite” because that seems to be a very big problem for me. Maybe I could call it “I’ll Have Another”, hmmm…, but I digress. Before I go any further, I must add a disclaimer. I am not a doctor, so please consult your doctor before you take any advice that I, or any health publication for that matter, might give. There’s a lot of pseudoscience out there, so please be careful!
I came across some good advice lately, that has really been a big help for me. When it comes to eating, slow and steady wins the race!
I am sure some of you probably heard things like “chew your food 32 times”, or “don’t inhale your food” from your Mom at the dinner table. It turns out, there is quite a bit of wisdom in those words. Paul McKenna, author of I Can Make You Thin, introduced a concept to me in his book. Basically, he says to “eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful”. This is one of his 4 golden rules that he lays out in his book. The gist of this statement is that you put the fork down between every bite. This is not as easy as you think. If you’re anything like me, you scarf down your food. If you take the time to slow down and really enjoy the food you’re eating, you may find that ever elusive signal that tells your brain your stomach is full. I would also like to emphasize that this works much better when you eat foods you actually enjoy. If your eating little bars of twigs and leaves that are glued together with a little honey, you may not find a lot of success with this technique. However, if you pick a food you enjoy, slow down and savor each bite, the chances of you feeling full are much greater and that means you might have the will power to leave a little food on the plate. I know, your Mom always said to clean your plate, blah blah blah… Listen, take those left overs and pack them for lunch tomorrow. I can honestly tell you that I have lost 10 pounds in less than a month using this technique alone.
But hey, don’t take my word for it, there’s some science behind this. (You didn’t honestly think I wouldn’t quote a study did you?) A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, proved that eating too fast blocks the release of “gut hormones” that make you feel full. This is one study I wouldn’t have minded participating in. 17 men were given ice cream and they consumed it at different speeds in two sittings. Hormone levels were tested through blood samples before, during, and after they ate the ice cream. The result? “Eating at a physiologically moderate pace leads to a more pronounced anorexigenic gut peptide [appetite reduction] response than eating very fast.” Bottom line, slow down and give your stomach a chance to tell your brain when it’s full.
I hope some of you find this tip helpful. I would love to hear your feedback, especially if you try this and it works.