Making these simple behavioral changes can dramatically increase your ability to maintain your weight loss, which psychologically reinforces stabilization.
Eat Slowly and Chew Your Food Thoroughly
A British study showed that a group of women of normal weight chewed for twice as long as the group of obese women, which meant that they felt satisfied sooner and had less need to fill up on starchy foods and sugars in the hours following their meal.
There are two ways of feeling satisfied from food: the mechanical satisfaction that you get from filling your stomach; and the real satiety that comes after the food has been digested and gets into your bloodstream and then to your brain. People who eat very quickly have to rely on filling their stomachs to calm their appetite. This may require enormous quantities of food, which explains why they feel sleepy and bloated after meals.
On the other hand, a person who eats slowly and chews carefully is allowing time to feel satisfied. Such a person starts to feel full halfway through a meal and often turns down dessert.
I realize that it is difficult to totally change this type of firmly rooted behavior. I also know how exasperating it can be if you are a hare to have to eat alongside a tortoise.
Accept the idea that a measure as simple as this can make a real difference. Be aware too that deliberately slowing down the speed at which you swallow is much easier than it seems. The effort involved in deliberately making sure you chew every mouthful slowly only lasts a few days before it becomes automatic and eventually a habit.
Drink a Lot at Mealtimes
No one knows exactly where this idea started, but people seem to have the notion that if you want to lose weight, you should not drink when you eat. This is completely absurd. Drinking at mealtimes is good for three sound reasons:
1. Water is filling, and when mixed with food it expands the stomach, producing a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. A wet sponge takes up more space than a dry one.
2. Drinking with meals enables the absorption of solid food to be momentarily interrupted. This pause, as the taste buds are rinsed, slows the meal down, allowing the chemicals that rinsed, slows the meal down, allowing the chemicals that send out messages of satisfaction more time to pass through the blood and reach the brain so that you stop feeling hungry.
3. Finally, cold, or even slightly cooled water, lowers the overall temperature of the food in the stomach, which then needs to be warmed up before entering the bloodstream, which takes time and burns up extra calories.
In practice, to take full advantage of all these reasons for drinking water with meals, it is best to drink it cold. Drink a large glass before your meal, another during the meal, and one last glass before you leave the table.
Never Take Second Helpings of the Same Dish
During the second stage—the transition between the weight loss period and the third stage—the diet opens the door to a number of additional food choices and two celebration meals along with the commonsense recommendation "Never take seconds.”
Anyone who wants to lose weight is well advised to follow this one rule, which most naturally thin people do spontaneously. Serve yourself a large portion at the start of the meal, knowing that there will be no seconds. You will eat with a better appetite. and you can take your time. As soon as you feel tempted to ask for more, you are on dangerous ground. Put your plate down and think about the next course.
What could be easier? Drink when you eat, chew properly so that you can concentrate on all the flavors in your mouth, and never take a second helping of the same dish. These rules are simple, and effective when applied at the table, the very spot where your highrisk eating habits, which are in part responsible for your extra pounds in the first place, hold sway.
These instructions, which you can depend on, act like beacons on the road to stabilization. They continually confirm the significance, the scope, and the permanence of this huge challenge, which is to live comfortably and to eat for the rest of your life, 6 days out of 7, just like everybody else.