M. Saito from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Medicine at Ohu University in Fukushima, Japan has conducted research on the effects of chewing on the regulation of food intake. The study shows that chewing food stimulates the release of two intestinal peptides, which decrease ones appetite and all food intake in obese individuals. Results indicate the chewing, also known as mastication, stimulates a postprandial increase of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and peptide YY (PYY), secreted by intestinal L cells. GPL-1 reduces food consumption and stimulates glucose-department insulin secretion. Both GPL-1 and peptide YY (PYY) are involved in the control of plasma glucose, body weight, and triglyceride levels.
The data supports what mothers typically teach their kids: “eat slowly and chew a lot.” The more chewing one does the more calories are burned and the less food consumed in the overall meal. In Japan, where the study was conducted, it is recommended by the government that food be chewed 30 times in order to prevent obesity. Chewing food is a natural appetite suppressant
A slower eating time burns more calories, allows the body to feel fuller, and allows a person to enjoy their meal. Chewing your food leads to a healthier weight, higher metabolism and an overall natural weight loss method . If you eat slower and chew slower, the rate of absorption is slower. It is important to have a longer meal to prevent over eating. This ultimately leads to changes in how our hormones are secreted. In society, the need to manage one’s time is important in order to get through all the time constraining demands of the day. Therefore, people are forced to make easy meals, which do not provide them with the necessary nutrients for the day. These meals are finished in a hurry, leading to less chewing. Before the modern era of fast food and busy lifestyle, families sat down and had a conversation as they enjoyed their meals. Unfortunately, this is very rare in our North American society. Perhaps part of chewing your food and slow eating to control weight is enjoying food and company.
Worldwide, there are over 1.5 billion overweight adults, including 400 who are obese. In the US, it is estimated that around 75% of the population is considered overweight; in Australia, the frequency is around 50-60%; in Canada, the frequency is around 60%. People in the West, on average, struggle with overconsumption. That fact is undeniable, but what is commonly disputed is the reason as to how and why this epidemic has reached the point that it has.
For instance, take dieting; it seems pretty straightforward: you restrict your caloric intake for a period of time to burn off fat. This straightforward process, however, comes with certain complications for the majority of obese dieters. It is estimated that around 80% of the diets of obese people fail to maintain their reduced weight.
What is the cause for this? Is it just a lack of self-control, or does the problem run a bit deeper?
A recent study done by Professor Joseph Proietto and associates from the University of Melbourne seems to indicate otherwise. The study involved 50 overweight or obese adults, with a BMI of between 27 and 40, and an average weight of 96kg, who enrolled in a 10-week weight loss program using a very low-energy diet. The levels of appetite-regulating hormones were measured at baseline, at the end of the program, and one year after the initial weight loss.
The results showed that following the initial weight loss of about 13kgs, the levels of hormones that influence hunger changed in a way that would be consistent with an increased appetite; these changes sustained for an entire year. In other words, once these individuals had lost the weight, their hormones shifted to induce a craving for food. Consequently, an average weight (re)gain of 5kg was experienced by the test group.
This study reveals the nature in which obese people exhibit relapses: the event seems to be much more rooted in biology than the psychology, or simply due to a lack of willpower, or reassuming old habits.
Dr Proietto wants people to realize that although health promotion campaigns recommend obese people adopt lifestyle changes, this approach is unlikely to be the spearhead against obesity alone. Instead, the hormonal hunger experienced post-diet by individuals who has been overweight for a period of time should be addressed.
“This may be possible with long-term pharmacotherapy or hormone manipulation but these options need to be investigated,” Proietto expressed.
So if you find yourself struggling with your weight and decide to try going on a diet, keep in mind that your body may fight you to retain prior modes of operation long after you have lost the weight. Stay strong!