When you eat slowly, you inhale more deeply, drawing more aromatic molecules into the olfactory receptors in the upper portion of your nose. They in turn send more stimulation to pleasure centers in your brain. You're also more likely to stop when you're full, lose weight and avoid becoming part of one of America's leading epidemics: obesity.
To help you learn to eat at a more leisurely pace, health experts recommend:
- eating with chopsticks
- eating with your non-dominant hand
- chewing 30 to 50 times per bite
- turning off the TV or computer at mealtime
- making the meal last 20 minutes
- sitting down while you eat (Really? You stand up while you eat?)
You can start with something as simple as eating a slice of apple. As you put the slice in your mouth, close your eyes and focus on its texture, tanginess and temperature. If your mind wanders (as it will) bring your concentration back to your mouth and what you sense as you chew. Move the apple back and forth over your tongue before moving it to the back of your throat. As you swallow, notice any sensations or lingering flavor.
For extra credit, invite a friend over and do it together, chewing in silence and then discussing your experience when you're done.