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Want to Practice Intuitive Eating?

If stress or boredom lead you to overeat, consider intuitive eating. It may help you gain perspective on your diet, and prevent unwanted weight gain. Learn more!

Do you tend to when stressed or bored? If so, you may be especially prone to putting on unwanted extra pounds. One way to minimize weight gain is through “intuitive eating.” This practice involves slowing down, paying careful attention to your body and its hunger signals (or lack of them) and adjusting your intake to your actual needs. This practices has been linked to weight loss (and, as a bonus, lowering cardiovascular disease risk). Intuitive eating doesn't limit what or how much you eat, but rather dictates that you eat only when really hungry and stop when you are satiated.

So next time you catch yourself eating simply because you are under pressure, under-stimulated or depressed, consider that you're doing the opposite of "intuitive eating" and consuming unneeded calories that can lead to weight gain. Resolve to bring mindfulness to your eating for the rest of the day, until doing so becomes a habit.

Chew Slower, Eat Less

Would you eat less if you chewed each bite of food more thoroughly? To find out, researchers at Iowa State University recruited 47 people: 16 of normal weight, 16 overweight, and 15 obese. At a preliminary session to establish baseline eating habits, prospective participants were asked to eat five portions of pizza rolls and count the number of times they chewed each bite. The researchers didn’t reveal the purpose of the session or the study to the participants. Once the study was initiated, all participants received 60 pizza roles each time they reported to the lab for three weekly sessions. Depending on the session, they were asked to chew each bite the same number of times as at their baseline visit, 50 percent more, or twice as many times. Results showed that the participants ate about 10 percent less, corresponding to 70 fewer calories, when they increased the number of chews per bite by 50 percent. When they doubled the number of chews per bite, they ate 15 percent less and took in 112 fewer calories. More research will be needed to determine if this is an effective and sustainable weight loss strategy. The study was published online on November 11, 2013 by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.