Something to chew on

The faster you eat, the fatter you get…and if you want to slim down, you’ve got to slow down.

This is already diet gospel, no matter who you talk to. But now, a new study is showing exactly how much influence a little extra chewing can have on your eating habits.

Over the course of five different days, researchers instructed 26 men to chew food without swallowing for either one or 8 minutes. At the same time, a nasogastric tube filled the subjects’ stomachs with varying amounts of the same food.

To establish a control, researchers fitted the same subjects with tubes, but they received no food, either by mouth or by tube.

After 30 minutes, researchers offered the subjects a meal and told them to eat until they were comfortably full. Results showed that both gastric and oral stimulation reduced appetite, as one might expect.

Simply chewing longer, however, curbed appetite by as much as 19 percent, depending on the volume of food the subjects’ received via tube. But a fuller stomach by itself didn’t have the same effect.

Of course, it’s worth noting that none other than Nestlé sponsored this little experiment. No doubt with the intention of creating some lab-grown Frankenfood designed to fill you up on fewer calories.

But I’ve got a better idea.

Spend a little extra time lingering over your next fresh, home-cooked meal. And savor each and every bite like it’s the only one you’ll get.

Needless to say, this approach is a lot more enjoyable than 8 minutes hooked up to a feeding tube. But I think you’ll find that it works just as well.

“Effects of oral and gastric stimulation on appetite and energy intake,”Obesity (17 May 2012). doi:10.1038/oby.2012.131