The Lap-Band® Blog

The Importance of Eating and Chewing Slowly


Have you ever been told that you should chew your food a specific number of times before swallowing, and you should set your utensil down after every bite as you chew carefully? Well, it turns out there could be some truth to it. In fact, it is very helpful not only for individuals trying to lose weight and be more mindful while they eat, but individuals who have had the LAP-BAND® Procedure.

The LAP-BAND works best when you are not in a hurry as you eat. You should take your time and chew very well. Take a small forkful, put it down, and chew thoroughly. Only pick your fork back up after you’ve finished chewing and swallowing. Your food needs to be mush in order to easily pass through the band. If you don’t chew well, you may feel a little sick.

Chewing slowly will help you feel full. The LAP-BAND sends the signal to your brain that you are full, so if you are eating too quickly, your band and brain don’t have enough time to process. You may eat too much and feel overly full once you are done. That is why you need to give your band a minute for it to process. You may even feel the food move through the band. The key is to pay attention to your food and your band to know when you’ve eaten enough to feel satisfied. Not only does eating slowly help with eating less, but you also enjoy your food more.

Some studies show that individuals who eat quickly may weigh more than individuals who eat slowly. They may also be prone to gaining weight over time. It may have something to do with hormones. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry, while leptin makes you feel satisfied. As you eat, hormones will be released to help you feel full and stop eating. The release of these hormones can take upwards of twenty minutes, which is why you need to slow down and give your brain time to receive these signals. If you eat slowly, there is often an increase in fullness hormones.

Eating slowly, in addition to helping you eat less and feel full, can lead to improved digestion and nutrient absorption.


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