Friday, October 2, 2009

Chewing is hard!

I eat really fast, as if someone is about to steal my food. So this week's goal — chewing each mouthful of food 20 times — is quite the challenge. In fact, it's torture. 
Last night I forced myself to do it. It also took me 30 minutes to eat my dinner, but about 20 minutes into my meal, I realized I wasn't hungry anymore. In fact, I actually left some of the food on my plate. That's so not me.
So I guess there really is something to eating slowly. There was also another side effect that I hadn't thought of: I was calm at the end of my meal, and after the busy day I had at work, I thought it was going to take me hours to unwind.
There is an ever-growing number of studies that back up my experience: If you eat slower, you will take in fewer calories. Of course, the cynic in me says it's the boredom factor that comes into play. But then I did learn in Weight Watchers (I really have been on every diet), that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that your tummy is full. 
I also so enjoyed my dinner, and tasted every bite of my grilled steak salad (heavy on the greens, light on the protein), dressed with Newman's Own Low-Fat Lime Vinaigrette. Normally, I would have needed more "things" on my plate, but this wonderfully nutritious meal sated me perfectly.
Eating slower also helps digestion, so even though I was eating hours later than usual, I had no trouble falling asleep an hour later. The "wired" me had turned into one calm, cool mama. Added plus: No heartburn in the middle of the night. 
I've heard it takes 30 days to break a habit. I'll let you know how this is working Oct. 30.

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