Mom Was Right: Chew More and You’ll Eat Less

Cut calories by 15 percent without changing your exercise or diet plan.

Mom has been wrong about a lot of things, but sometimes, she nails it right on the head. She was wrong about brushing your hair 100 strokes, which actually damages your hair. She was misguided in telling you would catch a cold by going outside in cold weather because studies show temperature makes no difference. But Mom nailed it when she told you to chew your food thoroughly. It turns out that chewing more slows down your eating, helping you feel full on less food and lessening the amount of food you eat in a meal.

Scientists Discover What Mom Knew All Along

A new study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics proves that chewing your food thoroughly reduces the amount of food you consume. In the study, researchers had participants eat the same foods and chew those foods a specific number of times before swallowing. They also asked the eaters how full they felt throughout the lunchtime eating session.

Interestingly, no matter whether munchers were thin, overweight or obese, they all ate less when they chewed more. When increasing the number of times they chewed by 50 percent, realized a 70-calorie reduction in the amount of food they ate, roughly a 10 percent calorie savings. When researchers had them double the number of chews, they ate 15 percent less, eating 112 fewer calories. Researchers noticed, however, that thinner participants ate more slowly that heavier ones did.

chew more, weigh lessChew More, Lose More Weight

By chewing eat bite more times, you feel full before you can overeat. The study shows it’s true and here’s why researchers think it works that way:

When you feel hungry, your body stops hormones that prevent you from feeling hungry all the time.

When you sit down to eat, your body re-releases the hormones to stop the hunger again. But it takes about 20 minutes to kick in.

Chewing more takes more time, slowing down the speed at which food enters your system.

If you take your time eating and give your body a chance to realize you’re full, you will eat less.

A fast eater can consumer many more calories in 20 minutes than a slow eater can.

Taking the time to enjoy your food to the fullest can also reduce stress, a common contributor to overeating and weight gain.

Chew More, Get More Nutrition

Chewing also gives you more nutrition from the foods you eat. Believe it or not, the mouth, tongue and teeth are all parts of your digestive system. If you don’t allow them to do their work as designed, you aren’t letting your body fully digest the foods you eat.

Your saliva works along with the grinding of your teeth to break down the food you eat. This is the first action of your digestive system. If you send down food that hasn’t been thoroughly chewed, the enzymes in your stomach cannot break the food down enough to absorb all the nutrients.

How Much Chewing Is Enough?

Theoretically, doubling the number of times you chew your food could help you lose 30 pounds in one year, assuming you now consume a 2,000-calorie diet and you practiced this chewing method every time you ate. Anyone could try this ultra-simple weight loss method. Until it’s tested further, we won’t know for sure if chewing more will actually help you lose weight. We only know it will help you eat fewer calories in at least one meal a day.

And you don’t necessarily need to count how many times you chew. Just make sure you chew the bite in your mouth completely and swallow it fully before shoving in another bite. You’ll likely see a strong reduction in calories and your weight.