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I was eating dinner tonight and had a thought: what if we could lose fat by eating with chop sticks?
The literature shows that if we eat slowly, we tend to eat less. By pacing our meal, our stomach has a chance tell the brain that we’re satiated before we can shovel too much food in. And we already know that when we eat less, we’re more successful at losing weight.
Although fat loss and being lean are the result of many biological, habitual, and social factors, perhaps those of the Far-East have an advantage that the typical Westerners do not: they eat with chop sticks.
[A lean and beautiful young lady eats with chopsticks. Photo of Nicole, borrowed from the NicoleKiss blog]
Not A New Idea (as always)
So I googled “weight loss” and “chopsticks,” and evidently I wasn’t the first to be poked in the eye by the chopstick idea. The ideas are all the same — you lose weight if you use chopsticks.
While the concept sounds reasonable, most of the information seems to oversimplify the concept. I think we can still eat a lot even with chopsticks. We still have to actively slow down, and chopsticks give us that advantage.
Eat Less, but Taste Your Food
The beauty of eating is that we get to taste the food. By eating with forks and spoons, however, we tend to shovel too much food into the mouth at once and thus miss the opportunity to truly taste individual components of our food, like the interplay of spices on the meat or the herbs infused into the sauteed vegetables. The mouth merely mashes everything into an amalgamation of mush. And we call this eating.
With chopsticks, we tend to pick up one or, at most, two items on the plate at a time. This allows us to taste just one or two things at a time, in small quantity with each bite.
No overwhelming of the taste bud, no gluttony.
Make a Point to Taste Your Food
In addition to putting less into each bite, we must make it a point to taste it. Because even with the use of chopsticks, we can still shovel pieces after pieces of food into our mouth without really tasting any one item. And we’re back to where we were with the spoon and fork.
Use Chopsticks, Enjoy Your Food
So, use chopsticks. If you don’t know how to use them (my wife learned only recently), learn to use them. Then make a habit of tasting your food. Don’t rush. Enjoy.
This way we tend to not overstuff our stomach before the signal of satiation reaches the brain. It’s one of the ways to get lean.
But another cool thing about chopsticks is that they can be an instrument of art, or they’re just straight-up a hip and urban thing. Everyone should own a pair — for home or for on-the-go.