Cut Calories! A Fun and Easy Way

With obesity such a looming threat hovering over so many parents today, here is news related to cutting calories. It has the two most important qualities related to almost any successful child intervention:

* Fun to do

* Easy to carry out

Here is the best part… There is nothing to buy and no additional time commitment!

According to the November 19th article in The Wall Street Journal called Burning Question: What is the optimal way to chew your food?, the method is to chew more before swallowing. The body wants to make the best use of every calorie and does it by having the food as digested as possible before it enters the esophagus. If lumps are sent down to the stomach area, those calories are lost, only to get rancid; and the body is left seeking more food.

The original researcher “in the late 19th century was a diet-guru and cereal pioneer John Harvey Kellogg, and he argued that 35 chews per bite were ideal. His contemporary, Horace Fletcher, came to a similar conclusion with 32 times, one per tooth.” Today Sr. Bielefeldt says “the optimal chew-per-typical-bite” is around “10 chews.”

According to Dr. Bielefeldt “chewing more slows down the eating process, giving our brain time to register that it is full. That is why the big gulper is at risk for obesity. Satiety kicks in long before the brain knows, so he keeps eating.”

Here are some of Dr. Bielefeld’s suggestions:

  1. Put down the fork between bites.
  2. Take a smaller plateful of food.
  3. Avoid going back for seconds until the last person is done.
  4. Take breaks between courses.

After taking all of the above information into consideration, here is what you can do at home that is what I promised above–fun and easy. Figure out your own answer to the number of chews needed to completely break down different kinds of food that you serve. Your children are likely to love the challenge, and you will be teaching the optimal way to chew food. Once you go through this process a few times at a few different kinds of meals, you will be raising awareness about chewing properly both for optimal calorie utilization and to eat more slowly. Your children will eat less and enjoy it more.

November! The Month of Giving Thanks

At almost every table across the country this Thanksgiving, families will be giving thanks for delicious and festive foods.

Here’s an interesting addition. The better you chew the more delicious the food will taste.

From the same article above…

“Chewing slower and longer gives diners the most pleasure because it allows a person to properly taste the sweetness in the starch as it breaks down in the mouth and to smell the delicious fragrances of each bite. If you are a big gulper, much of the flavor is lost. If you just put food into your mouth then into the esophagus, you get no joy”

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  1. Thanks DR Sally one of my favorite topics in addition to teaching emotional intelligence to babies and toddlers which then of course prevents overeating as an adults:)
    It’s a great tip to chew more slowly and be mindful of what you’re eating.
    Putting the fork down between bites is Great also. It also takes the brain about 20 min to realize it’s full, so it’s always good to wait 20min if you can before seconds.
    Start out with five minutes:)
    Drinking a cup of water or hot tea before a party or meal also helps to curb overeating! I I enjoy Walking before and after a meal!

    On another note Most of us overeat because of feelings we are unaware of and because most of us have made a food~mood connection long before we were adults !
    I always suggest writing down what feelings you think will come up that are hard to manage when you’re going out and socializing.
    Write down ways to handle those feelings without over eating or as I like to say without medicating those feelings.
    Try to think about and start sorting out what’s the meaning of food cravings for you and what feelings are hiding underneath he overeating!
    Ask yourself what hurt feelings are you trying to medicate and sooth.
    Even if as far as you get at first is just asking the question “what am I feeling that’s making me overeat” that’s a good start.
    For More info on the topic try my book and song “my feelings are hungry” on my website or Amazon! And my new book coming soon “behavior detective” hungry feelings not hungry tummy!

  2. Ohhh Ava, thank you so very much for your thoughtful comment. Your advice is the exact right complement to this “fun and easy” intervention. You take our awareness to the deeper part of this complex issue, and that is such an important factor related to this whole issue.

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