Just change this one habit and your food will digest more easily, you will feel better, you will eat less, and the science and reports all indicate that you will also LOSE weight. Up to 99.9 per cent of people who are overweight eat too quickly and don’t chew their food enough. We are surrounded by fast food, fast lives and stress, yet if we can slowwwwww down the habit of eating too quickly and not chewing our food enough, our bodies will automatically eat less, and our taste buds will encourage us to eat healthier foods.
This simple lifestyle change and it’s effects have been described by local author, therapist, Life Coach and NLP Trainer Diarmuid Lavelle in his book, The Sensual Slimmer, which shows people how to adopt three powerful habits which will contribute not only to successful weight loss but also to their happiness.
Weight, size and our diets are mentioned in the media constantly these days, and with good reason as our food products, our eating habits and our sedentary habits are all contributing (most importantly) to potential poor health, which includes being overweight. There is a new diet out almost every week and articles on how to get the ‘perfect body’ are a constant feature in magazines, in newspapers and on the TV. Yet despite our obsession with weight and weigh loss we are actually gaining weight due to;
- increased processed foods in our diet,
- lack of exercise,
- and for some people, trying (and eventually failing) all of the trendy diets that emerge in the media on a daily basis.
The increase in processed foods/lack of exercise is especially worrying for the children of our times.
Diets, such as the fasting diet (which is all the rage at the moment), can work for some people – some of the time. Unless you change your life habits, including your attitude towards your quality of life, you will ultimately go back to your bad eating habits.
There are 3 main factors in weight loss, according to Diarmuid, and they are enjoying and tasting food (how we eat), a positive attitude towards ourselves and our bodies (attitude), and body movement for good feelings (exercise). “The slimming process is actually hard wired into the human body if we give it a chance.”
“The biggest problems in weight loss centres around how we eat. We all know by now what is healthy to eat and what is not healthy to eat. But we are surrounded by processed foods, fast foods and stress. How we eat, and what we eat are two important processes that have been all but lost in our modern society. Diarmuid explains that how we eat will improve what we eat.
There are about 9,000 taste buds on the tongue. “These act as monitors which count the amount of fats, sugars, salts, proteins and starches that we ingest. When we eat too fast (and do not chew our food enough) the tastebuds cannot count the amount of fats, sugar, salts etc., so we eat too much because we are unaware. The body knows how much it needs if we allow it to do its job.
We have turned into carnivores, wolfing our food down with the very minimum of natural processing. The average amount of chews people give their food is around 10 per mouthful. Most people who are overweight chew much less than this. We should be chewing at least 20 times a mouthful, 30 if possible. If food is not chewed properly our bodies become unaware of how much we have ingested. It is important to note that the digestive process begins in the mouth, where enzymes are excreted to help digest the food before it even gets to the stomach. When we don’t chew our food properly these enzymes don’t get released and our stomach has to produce much more acid than necessary to break down these big chunks of food (that weren’t initially broken down in our mouths from chewing). This can lead to acid indigestion and a whole host of other health problems, including bad breath.
“Exercising only to slim becomes a form of punishment and loses its purpose. In general, people are either too severe on themselves and fail to exercise because they think they can’t do it properly or they avoid it because it’s too painful. The focus of exercise needs to be on joy, intelligence and cleansing the body; important by products of exercise. It is a mistake to exercise solely to slim because it can create negative connotations which have negative results.”
“If we eat too fast we will choose foods with a higher salt, fat and sugar content because these are the foods we have time to taste. The problem of obesity and being overweight will change if we learn how to eat. If we chew our food well we taste it, we enjoy it and then we will not eat too much of it. Almost everyone knows the difference between healthy food and unhealthy food. We need to focus on how to eat, not what to eat. We know what to eat. When people chew and enjoy their food they automatically go for healthier foods as the tastes of unhealthy foods become overpowering.”
- “Food and eating are sacred. You are a sacred being so treat yourself like one. Focus on increasing the quality of your life and the life of those around you. Eating food by chewing it thoroughly and enjoying the tastes and textures is elegance in itself.”
- The mechanical breakdown of food in the mouth is the most important part of the digestive process. If we chew our food well we eat more slowly.
- Attitude is important – a positive, rational one brings success. “What we think about comes about. If we think about ourselves being fat then so be it. If we think about ourselves as slim and enjoying life, so be it. The conscious mind makes the target and the unconscious mind follows it.”
- “Change is a human being’s most scary word. We work hard at making life into a habit so that we can live comfortably and don’t have to think too much. Some people die in their thirties and are buried in their seventies! They make life too predictable and too safe. Happiness has a little to do with challenge and effort. We can be very comfortable and very miserable if action and challenge are not part of our lives.”
SENSUAL SLIMMER, Diarmuid Lavelle
Galway Advertiser, October 02, 2008