How Your Teeth Can Help Your Waistline

As summer winds down and we head back into winter, a lot of us will head toward days filled with hearty foods and before we know it holiday eating and treats.

It’s an easy thing to look forward to, and even easier to fall back into bad eating habits after a summer of relatively light eating.

One of the things people struggle with most is portion control.

If that describes you, you might want to look to your teeth to help keep your portions in control.

What do we mean?  Eat slower.

Many people who struggle with portion control are eating quickly and not taking time to chew and enjoy their food. As a result, their bodies aren’t recognizing that

-they’re full and

-food tastes really good and we should take time to enjoy it. When you’re shoveling food into your mouth, you can quickly forget what it actually tastes like, and that triggers impulses in your brain to head back for more.

So here’s what you do next time you find yourself with an opportunity for high-calorie eating or snacking:

• Avoid distractions. Food is an experience for your sense of taste—don’t deprive it by distracting yourself through one of your other senses (like watching a football game on TV).

• Start with a smaller portion to begin with. Perhaps use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to serve yourself.

• Take small bites.

• Chew slowly and intently. We have teeth to crush our food and make it easier to digest. Do that, and while you do…

• Consciously enjoy your food. Really taste it. Do you like it? You may be surprised to find some foods you’ve been eating for years aren’t actually all that satisfying.

Enjoy winter, and all the great food it brings!