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Chew your food... longer...

Chew your food... longer...It will help you reach your weight goal and improve your calorie management.

Busy lives and hectic schedules mean that for many of us, sitting down and having a leisurely meal just isn't possible all the time but new science is emerging suggesting that chewing your food for longer may actually help you to lose weight.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that chewing your food 40 times instead of the typical 15 chews resulted in 12% fewer calories being ingested.  For an average 2000 calorie diet, that equals 240 calories.

Over the course of a year, that’s 11kg’s. Not only does chewing your food cut down on the calories, it also helps you slow down and enjoy your meal more.

Why? It's all about timing - chewing for longer prevents overeating by giving the brain more time to receive signals from the stomach that it's full. Feeling full can actually take about 20 minutes to reach the brain, so if you polish off your plate in 5 minutes, you don't have time to reach that 'full up' feeling before it's all gone. Taking a more leisurely approach means you might just stop eating before your plate's clean - meaning less calories in the long run.

What does this mean for me?

Have a think about how you eat. Are you always rushing your meals or eating on the go? Are you so hungry by the time you eat that you clean your plate in double quick time? Or are you a '6 chews and it's gone' kind of person?

However you eat, think about whether taking a bit more time about it might make a difference to the amount you consume - give it a go and it might just work. You could even keep a diary of 'number of chews' vs. the number of calories eaten in your personal Food Diary.