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Does Eating Faster And Chewing Less Affect How Full I Feel?

When you’re trying to manage weight, you’re given a lot of advice on what to eat. You know the drill – eat more fruit, veggies and wholegrains, eat less fat, sugar and processed foods.

But there’s another aspect to weight loss. It’s not just about what you eat, it’s also about how you eat it.

What you eat affects the calories you consume and the nutrition you receive. How you eat it affects how quickly you feel full (known as satiation). When you feel full, you usually stop eating, which helps you manage weight. When you still feel hungry, you often carry on munching, which means you may consume more calories than you need and gain weight.

Feeling full is the end result of a sequence of signals within your body. When you eat, your body releases a number of different hormones that affect how fast your body processes food, how quickly you feel full and how long that sense of satisfaction lasts before your appetite returns.

So, how can you get those hormones doing their job well so that you quickly experience a long-lasting sense of fullness after a meal? Here are 5 tips.

5 Eating Tips To Feel Full More Quickly

1. Eat filling foods

You’re more likely to feel full if you’re eating foods that are high in protein, fibre and volume but low in energy density.Eating a small packet of popcorn will give you a better sense of fullness than eating a small packet of chips. Popcorn is high in fibre and contains protein. Because it’s popped, it has an irregular shape and contains a lot of air, giving it low energy density. Potato chips, on the other hand, have higher energy density and more fat.

2. Eat Slowly

Modern life is busy. We rush from one appointment to another, we ‘grab a bite’ in between meetings, gobble lunch at our desks or rush through dinner so we can carry on with the evening’s commitments.

All that is counter productive to managing weight. Many studies have shown that, when we eat fast, we tend to consume more calories. Fast eating is a strong risk factor for obesity and many adults and children with obesity tend to eat faster than their slimmer peers.

So slow down your meals. Enjoy the taste and texture of the food, talk to your dining companions, put your fork down in between bites, take a sip of water. You get the idea.

3. Take smaller bites

Taking smaller bites is an excellent way to slow down your meal. Instead of ‘biting off more than you can chew’ cut your food into smaller pieces and eat them one at a time.

When you take a large bite, quickly swallow it, then take another huge mouthful, you don’t give your body time for proper oral processing.

Oral processing is the first step of digestion. It involves biting the food with your teeth, moving it around with your tongue, mixing it with saliva then swallowing it. A great deal of sensory perception and feedback is going on here

When you take large bites and swallow quickly, your body has less time for oral processing. It takes longer for you to feel full so you eat more than you really need.

So, make good use of your cutlery. Take time to cut your food into smaller pieces and take small bites.

4. Chew more

Many of us chew just enough to break our large mouthful down into something small enough to swallow.

Chewing helps break down food into smaller pieces that your stomach can more easily metabolise. But it does more than that. Chewing stimulates saliva, which contains enzymes that promote digestion when you eventually swallow. Well-chewed food moves more easily through your digestive tract.

5. Focus on the meal

It’s easy to eat without really being aware of it. People do that all the time at the cinema when they absent-mindedly eat a whole cup of lollies while watching the movie.

So, tune into your meal. Notice the colours, aromas and flavours. Enjoy the taste. Savour each (small) bite.

You don’t have to eliminate all distractions. Mealtimes often have a social aspect when you catch up with your family members at dinner time. And sometimes it’s nice to watch your favourite program while you eat.You can continue doing all that but just try to pay a bit more attention to your meal and to your body’s signals so that you’re aware of what you’re eating and notice when you start to feel full.

How Can Dr Lockie Help?

We know that it’s not easy to change your relationship with food or to lose weight for good. We’re here to cheer you on and provide practical evidence-based advice to help you achieve your goals and live a healthier life.

If you’d like to learn more about bariatric surgery, including our after-care, please contact us.


All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.


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