‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

One Easy Thing You Can Do to Prevent Weight Gain

In the battle of the bulge, there is one easy thing dietitians tell their clients that they CAN do, rather than focus on all the things not to do and not to eat. Though, personally I like to make the liberating statement "don't 'diet', restrict, or count calories", these behaviours are totally counter-productive to health and enjoying life (truly, research says so.)

You're dying to know the secret, right? Well, the secret is: It's not a secret, it's not a gimmick, it's not hard, it doesn't cost anything, and YOU already control it. Ready?

Chew more and eat slower!

Too simple? But not really. A recent study of more than 59 thousand people compared "fast", "normal", and "slow" eaters. The findings are fascinating, worth sinking your teeth into (slowly - get it?)
  • Stats of the slow-eating group:
    • Significantly higher number of women
    • Lower average BMI (22.3kg/m2)
    • Lower number of obese people (21.5%)
    • Smaller average waist circumference (80.1cm)
    • Consumed less alcohol, and less frequently
    • Lower number of habitual smokers
  • Facts from the fast-eating group:
    • Significantly less women
    • Significantly higher average BMI (25.0 kg/m2)
    • More obese people (44.8%)
    • Larger average waist circumference (86.8cm)
Proposed reasons for this association are that eating slowly and chewing helps increase feelings of fullness and satiety before an excess amount of food/calories are consumed. There's a whole complex system of hormones and gut bacteria at play here.

The study found that decreasing eating speed can lead to reductions in BMI, waist circumference, and obesity.

Two more things the study found to help curb weight gain:
  1. Not eating after dinner
  2. Not eating within two hours of sleeping
Avoiding these help reduce excess body weight. Studies have found people who snack after dinner and within two hours of sleeping have a higher likelihood for metabolic syndrome.

A few points to tie this all together:
  • Dieting, restriction, and rules around food cause more problems than they solve: Often leading to a preoccupation with food, an increased likelihood of binge eating, weight regain, psychological problems, yoyo dieting, and development of disordered eating patterns. Further reading here, here, here
  • Lack of sleep wrecks havoc with hormones that are related to food consumption like hunger, fullness, and metabolism
  • Mindfulness or "intuitive eating" are terms that crop up in the above articles. Basically, savouring and enjoying your food includes eating more slowly and being "present". This kills two birds with one stone: Eating slower and taking the time to really enjoy your meal/treat without depriving yourself
Food and eating are enjoyable parts of the human experience. Memories with friends and family usually stem from social time involving food. Taking a straw and sucking the fun out of food... sucks...

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