For anyone who has tried to drop a dress size but the waistline just won’t budge, your metabolism may be holding you back.
And according to research, there’s a centuries-old secret that holds the key to a speedy metabolism – and you don’t have to go on any diets.
Sydney dietitian and nutritionist Lyndi Cohen (pictured) revealed the simple lifestyle tweak you can do that will make all the difference to your body
‘Chewing slowly and thoroughly helps relax the lower stomach muscles, allowing food to easily move into the small intestine,’ Ms Cohen told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This is important to healthy digestion and may help to boost your metabolism as food is digested more easily.’
A 2014 study found that eating your food at a slower pace can actually help you burn up to 10 extra calories per meal.
‘Chewing is the first stage of digestion,’ Ms Cohen said.
‘When you start chewing, your salivary glands produce something called salivary amylase which helps break down food.
‘Basically, chewing kicks off the digestion process and triggers the rest of digestion so it’s a really important process that’s often overlooked.
‘Chewing well helps your body produce saliva, which is important for your metabolism.
‘The act of chewing breaks down the food into smaller pieces, so the food has more surface area and is exposed to more saliva, making it easier for your body to digest the food.’
So how slow should people be chewing?
It’s said to take about 20 minutes to realise you are full after eating – however Ms Cohen noted that most people ‘can finish a meal in much less time, which can lead to over eating’ because the body hasn’t had a chance to begin properly digesting the food, before more is consumed.
Eating your food at a slower pace can actually help you burn up to 10 extra calories per meal (file photo used)
‘Eating slowly gives your stomach time to communicate with your brain to tell you you’ve had enough to eat.
‘In this way, chewing slowly and thoroughly can help prevent overeating which is key for weight loss.’
How to speed up yourmetabolism by eating differently
- Chew slowly throughout the meal
- Put down your cutlery in between bites to give you more time to properly chew your food
- Wait at least 20 minutes before having a second helping of food
- Avoid drinking alcohol while eating
Chewing your food slowly may seem like a breeze, but it’s much harder than you think. Ms Cohen explained how to eat slowly so you can feel fuller for longer.
‘If you’re eating in a group setting (at a dinner party, with colleagues or family), a handy litmus test is to be the last person to finish eating,’ Ms Cohen said.
‘Chew slowly, but also practice putting your cutlery down between mouth fulls to slow the process… If you can, allow at least 20 minutes to finish your meal.
‘If you finish before 20 minutes and feel like having a second helping, practice waiting those extra minutes. You may find after the 20-minute mark that you are no longer hungry.
‘You should chew well until food passed easily down your throat and into the oesophagus.’
And besides eating slowly, Ms Cohen suggested exercise and getting a peaceful night’s rest are also some of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism.
‘Getting exercise, reducing stress and ensuring you get quality sleep are some of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism as they greatly affect your hormones including hunger and fullness cues,’ she said.
‘Drinking alcohol while you eat slows your metabolism as your body priorities digestion of alcohol above other nutrients. You’re also more likely to overeat.
‘Chewing your food slowly and thoroughly also helps you become a more mindful eating, helping to reduce emotional eating and overeating and can increase the enjoyment you get from food.’