The Pleasure of Food


Do you savor every mouthful of food you eat? Enjoying the taste of every bite is very helpful in limiting the quantity of food you consume. Eat slowly and be sure to chew each bite and swallow before you take the next bite.

What have you brought with you to the meal? Set aside your concerns of the day when you sit down to eat. Believe us, they will be right where you left them when the meal is over. You can set guidelines for conversations at dinner. If someone insists on discussing things you don't want to hear about, you can put your fork down and wait until the person stops. You never need to eat even one mouthful of food in an environment or situation you don't like. Should your children act up, as children often do, put your fork down until the ruckus abates. There's no reason to ruin good food by eating it in chaos.

You have the opportunity for three or more pleasurable eating interludes every day. Don't let them get messed up with less-than-pleasurable surroundings and activities. As best you can, eat beautifully at every meal. Yes, we know you can't always do this. But whenever you can and as often as you can, make your meals beautiful.

Slow Down and Lose Weight

By eating slowly, you give your stomach the best chance for good digestion. For several reasons, a meal should take at least 15 minutes. Twenty minutes or longer is better yet.

It takes about 15 minutes from the time when you begin eating for your stomach to signal the brain that it has had enough food and that it is satisfied and comfortable. Your mouth can consume food faster than your stomach can register that you have eaten it.

If you eat quickly, you are more likely to overeat, easily reaching 6 or higher on the 0-10 scale. It is difficult to eat beautifully and sensuously in less than 15 minutes.

Chew Sanely

We are often asked how many times a person should chew before swallowing. Rather than answer this question directly--we don't want you to ruin your meal by counting chews--we prefer to think of it this way. Finish swallowing what is already in your mouth before you take the next bite. Before you swallow, chew thoroughly and slowly. Eating is not a race you win if you eat the fastest. Make every mouthful a delight.

Chewing is the first step in the digestive process. Saliva starts to break down the food and prepare it for the stomach. If you bypass chewing, your digestive efficiency is impaired.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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