Chewing Foods for Longer Periods may Help Curb Appetite

Christmas is normally one of those rare moments when you allow yourself to indulge whatever is on the dinner table. This means scarfing down that extra helping of turkey and following up with a large plate of pie with a scooping of ice cream. Now that Christmas is over and New Year’s is approaching, dieting may be a part of your resolution for 2013. If so, then you may want to consider chewing your food for longer periods as a way of reducing appetite.

New research suggests that chewing every mouthful of food for a minimum duration of 30 seconds can serve as a powerful appetite suppressant. This means less snacking after a meal, which means less calories consumed.

The experiment was conducted at the University of Birmingham and consisted of 43 student volunteers who were all given identical meals of the same type and portion. A third of the participants were simply instructed to eat as they usually would without any deviation. Another third was told to pause for 10 seconds between each swallowing of food and the final third told to chew for 30 seconds with each bite.

Two hours after the meal, they were given a plateful of sweets and were monitored on the amount they consumed. The results showed that those that ate the meal in their normal manner and those that paused between bites ate twice the amount of sweets on their plate as those that chewed their meals for 30 seconds.

However, further analysis showed that chewing foods for prolonged periods also came with a price. Those in the study that were instructed to chew their foods for 30 seconds also reported less enjoyment of the food as it felt more like a chore.

Nevertheless, chewing your foods for longer duration may be worth a try if you are trying to fit into a new dress of pair of jeans for 2013.

Study Suggests Hunger May be Tied to Memory More so Than Biological Factors

Hunger seems to be a straightforward logic. We eat whenever we are hungry and consume a portion amount in relation to the size of our appetite. This will normally stave off hunger until it is time for the next meal. However, a new research suggests that it may not always be our stomachs that dictate the level of our hunger.

Recent study shows that our perception of the amount of food on our dinner plate may have a huge influencing factor. Additional findings also suggest that other factors like eating while watching television or while browsing the Internet can cause one to eat more than usual.

The most recent research
shows that short-term memory may also determine appetite levels and that hunger can be predicted not by the amount of food consumed but by how much one believes he has eaten.

The experiment was conducted in the U.K. and consisted of 100 adult participants. Each volunteer was given either a 10-ounce or 17-ounce bowl of soup and told to consume the entire portion. However, unbeknownst to the participants, the bowls actually contained a concealed tube that would either refill or drain the amount of soup that was in the bowl. This meant that those who eaten from the 10-ounce bowl may have actually consumed more and those with the 17-ounce bowl may have eaten less.

As expected, those who consumed more soup reported feeling more full. However, when asked again three hours later, the level of fullness was only dictated by the amount of soup that was believed to be consumed. Regardless of how much soup they really had, those who ate from the 17-ounce bowl reported feeling more stuffed than those that ate from the 10-ounce bowl.

The conclusion definitely seems to suggest that hunger and volume of food consumption is something that is dictated more by our eyes and perception rather than what our stomach actually feels.