Have Sugar But Not Too Much

Introduction

A week or 2 ago we mentioned diabetes and ways we could help prevent it. The best and most effective way is to cut sugar out. The recommended amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis should be no more than 9 teaspoons. Just a can of soda has 8 already. So you see for the sweet tooth’s out there (including me) we should really watch out how much sugar we consume every day as it can be very easy to consume more than recommended. There is no doubt that sugar can definitely give us more energy instantly every day and make us feel happier but there are more serious side effects apart from diabetes when consuming too much sugar on a regular basis.

 

Sugar and the issue of weight gain

Sugar has been shown to lead to weight gain. This is because sugar is an empty calorie. Despite it having so many calories it is not high in nutritional value at all and is not very filling. A higher calorie intake equates to more weight gain. Another reason why sugar leads to weight gain is that it is the first source of fuel the body uses. As a result, they do not offset hunger for very long in the stomach. This leads to more regular eating thus increasing the calorie intake. Sugar also has the ability to affect biological pathways that regulate hunger. Our body produces a hormone to regulate hunger depending on energy output. This hormone is called Leptin. Studies have shown that excessive sugar intake disrupts the function of Leptin in our body by making our body more resistant to it. This means we end up consuming way more calories than we need in order to meet our body’s fulfillment.

 

Sugar and the issue of obesity and heart diseases

Consuming too much sugar on a regular basis increases the likelihood of some sort of heart disease. One reason as to why it increases the chances of heart disease is that excessive sugar causes obesity. Sugar leads to obesity due to the increased intake of calories. Obesity is one of the main causes of heart disease. Sugar also stops triglycerides from breaking down. This puts more pressure on the heart as there would be more blockages. This will cause the heart to pump harder leading to high blood pressure. Another reason why sugar leads to high blood pressure is that it increases LDL while decreasing HDL. LDL is known as bad cholesterol. This is because it sticks to your arteries leading to narrowing of the artery. While HDL is known as the good cholesterol and it removes all other bad fats such as triglycerides and LDL that’s floating in the bloodstream. As the artery is narrowed there will be less blood being able to flow through thus leading to increased blood pressure.

 

Sugar and the issue of oral and dental health

Finally, too much sugar leads to poor oral and dental health. As you’ve probably heard every mother says ‘stop eating sugar it’s bad for your teeth. There is plenty of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Some of the bacteria are good and protect your oral health but some are not. These bacteria thrive off sugar. They love it as much as you do. But as these bad bacteria grow out of control they release acids. These acids released can dissolve the enamel of your teeth leading to cavities. This acid also causes bad breath. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth and decrease the amount of sugar to stop these bacteria from taking over your mouth.

 

Conclusion

Sugar is great, it tastes great, makes you have more energy, and helps you out mentally. However, they have so many side effects if over consumed. Weight gain, heart disease, and poor oral health are just some of them. Make sure to cut out as much sweet food as you can and try to keep under the recommended daily amount!

 

Negative effects of sugar on kids

 

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Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Introduction

Who’s a big chocolate fan?? I know I am. And when I mean chocolate, I mean dark chocolate. Like at least 40% Cacao. Anything underneath that isn’t really classified as proper chocolate to me. Those usually contain a high amount of sugar and dairy and don’t really have the full health benefit that Cacao does. So today, let’s dive into the 4 benefits of consuming chocolate.

 

Benefits of eating chocolate

  • Cocao is super nutritious. Just as perspective 100 grams of dark chocolate contains 11grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for your digestive system. Allowing stools to pass through with ease. It also covers many other daily nutrients as well and a good portion of recommended daily intake such as 67% of iron, 58% of magnesium, 89% of copper, and a lot of other stuff. But please don’t eat 100g of dark chocolate as they are also very calorie-dense.
  • Cacao has the ability to improve blood flow. Inside our arteries, there is a lining called the endothelium. The function of the endothelium is to act as a filter and regulate blood flow by relaxing the arteries. This process is done by producing Nitric Oxide. Research has shown that cacao stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the arteries thus allowing a better flow of blood in the arteries.
  • Cacao can lower LDL while raising HDL. In a study, cocoa powder showed that it can reduce oxidated LDL. LDL itself is bad because it can clog the artery making it harder for blood to pass through. Oxidated LDL is even worse as once it reacts with oxygen it is capable of damaging surrounding tissue like arteries in your heart. HDL is the good cholesterol and helps maintain the levels of LDL. So eating dark chocolate in moderate amounts is good for heart health.
  • Finally, consuming moderate amounts of chocolate can improve brain function. This is because chocolate can improve blood flow. This includes blood flow into the brain. Thus the brain will get more nutrients and oxygen, allowing it to grow and function at its best. A study also showed that it can significantly improve cognitive function and verbal fluency, especially in the older population. This is due to the fact that cacao has a stimulant similar to coffee, resulting in short term improvement in brain function.

 

Conclusion

Chocolate is a super delicious and affordable treat. A couple of benefits are nutritional values, improve blood flow, cholesterol maintenance, and improvement in brain function. It’s a lovely treat for your body but remember to have it in moderation. Too much chocolate will result in diabetes and other health issues due to too much sugar consumption.

 

Dark chocolate has many health benefits such as brain health and immunity!!!

 

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Fruits – should we eat them? And why not?

Introduction

Fruits come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Some are sour, some are sweet and some just smell terribly bad. Now they are full of sugar in the form of fructose but they also contain plenty of other nutrients in them. So today we’ll run through some of the benefits of consuming fruit on a regular basis and whether it should or should not be a part of your regular diet.

 

Fruits – nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and other benefits

So fruits contain so many nutrients. Fibre, antioxidants, and minerals are just some of the benefits found in fruit. Of course, each fruit differs from each other but you can find these generally in all of them. Fibers are only in whole fruits. Whole fruits are fruits that have not gone through processing. So canned fruit and preserved fruit are unlikely to contain much if any fiber at all. Fiber is used to help us process food in the colon. It softens stools making it easier to pass through. But in order for it to work adequately, there must be enough water intake otherwise the effects will reverse. Antioxidants are another word for vitamins. There are 13 different types of vitamins out there and depending on the fruit, it’ll contain different vitamins. Vitamins are essential nutrients that cannot be naturally made in the human body. As a result, the only way to get them is through food. Vitamins assist the proper function of the body from the nervous system to the immune system. Depending on the vitamin it can help with different aspects of the body. Often vitamins are the stimulants that the body needs to create a certain chemical in the body like hormones and white blood cells. Fruits also contain plenty of minerals. Minerals are chemical elements that support proper functioning. Just like vitamins, they help the body grow and function properly. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc can help with bone growth, nervous system, and immune system respectively. Again the types of mineral present are totally dependent on the fruit.

 

Fruits – for everyone?

Even though fruit is super nutritious, it may not be for everyone. They are very high in sugar and carbohydrates. It is this sugar that makes it extremely delicious and sweet. However, if you are on a ketogenic diet it may not be for you. This is because this diet requires the body to use its energy reserve for the body to lose weight. Carbohydrates are the first source of fuel and once piece of fruit can contain up to 20 grams of carbohydrates. If the body is full of sugars, it will not use the reserve energy first. Secondly, if you are diabetic fruits may not be the best option for you too. Although fruit contains less sugar than soft drinks, lollies, and other sugary sweets, it still contains a decent amount. To get diabetes under control, the best is to have less or completely cut out sugars.

 

Conclusion

Fruits are the perfect snacks! They are relatively low in calories, delicious (well most of them), and extremely nutritious. They are full of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals which are crucial for the body to maintain function. However, if you are diabetic or on a ketogenic diet, I would recommend you to stay away or minimize their consumption.

 

Fruits and their benefits

 

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Whole Foods

 

This era has unlimited food on the supermarket shelves. We’ve got plenty of meats, vegetables, grains, oats, dairy products etc. However, not everything on the shelves is safe to eat in the long run. But there will always be one part of the supermarket that’s always going to be reliable and delicious; that’s whole foods.

 

So what are whole foods? Whole foods are a group of foods that has not been processed or went through minimum processing before being put on the shelves. Previously fresh meat and oils were also considered in the category. However, now that some meat contain antibiotics and hormones while we now know that even some oils are heavily processed before distributed. So nowadays, whole food are mostly fruits and vegetables that have not been processed or refined. Oats, legumes, beans are some of them.

 

cont.

 

So why are whole foods recommended so much? Firstly, they are not processed. This means, there are no additives in there. This means that everything is natural. The human body is made for digesting natural foods. Due to these additives and extra processing, it causes gut inflammation. Since out gut is inflamed, it’ll slow down any other healing process and make it look like there is a belly. Secondly, it decreases the chance of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and other health problems.

This comes back to it being unprocessed again. When processing food plenty of chemicals, MSGs, fats and oils are added to a product. This chemical mixture is like a time bomb that is going to explode in your body. A build-up of these may causes unhealthy reactions in your body leading to cancers. Finally, they overflow with healthy nutrients. These food were literally designed for the human race to keep us going! They are filled with everything we need. Don’t get me wrong, supplements are extremely useful when used correctly. But most of our daily nutrition is already lie in whole foods!

 

So next time you pick up something from the supermarket, think bigger picture than is it yum? Whole food can be just as tasty if prepped right! So make sure you read the label carefully and choose what’s best for you body!

 

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Diabetes – Intro

BRIEFING:

 

Food is now in abundance for many of us. In fact, we have so much food that many of the unnecessary products are becoming staples. I’m sure there is one person that you know of replaces water with soda, fruits with sugary sweets, whole foods with processed foods and fresh meat with processed meat. These foods will surely lead to health complications later on in life. One of them would highly likely be diabetes.

What is diabetes? Diabetes is when there is too much sugar in your blood. This can be due to two reasons; congenital and lifestyle. Type 1 diabetes is due to congenital issues. This is an autoimmune issue that occurs when your insulin-producing cells are attacked by your immune system. Insulin is an important hormone that regulates blood sugar and without it our blood sugar levels will rise. So if there is a lack of insulin to begin with, there will be nothing that keeps it under control. Type 2 is due to consuming food with too much sugar. This causes one of two problems. Firstly, it may cause the body to not produce enough insulin. This is because the demand is too high and the body cannot make enough supplies. Secondly, it can cause the insulin to become more resistant. This just means that your body isn’t able to process the sugar as well as it should. Insulin is used to the amount of sugar and is feeling lazy so it will no longer be as sensitive as it once was.

cont.

 

So let’s talk about some early signs and symptoms of diabetes. Some early signs of diabetes can include frequent urination, increased thirst, and an increase in appetite. However, sometimes there may be no symptoms at all! So we must constantly monitor our blood to check for sugar levels and other problems. In severe cases of diabetes, slow healing of cuts and wounds, loss of sensation, blurry vision, and patchy skin. The one that I would definitely be careful of would be the slow healing of wounds. This is because it increases the likelihood of infection occurring.

 

So now we know what diabetes is, what is the reasoning behind it, and what the symptoms are, next time we’ll discuss some risk factors (hint: most likely from diet). Also, we’ll tell you some ways to prevent yourself from getting diabetes too!

 

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Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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Don’t Get Sick This Winter

It’s coming into winter, often called flu season, and if you don’t want to get sick then follow this advice…

Okay, so there isn’t really a cure for getting the common cold but there a few things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick and to improve your recovery time if you do fall ill. Improving your body’s ability to fight sickness is how we look at things at Revolution, not just medicating symptoms.

Keep your nutrition high

This is important year-round but keeping your diet full of vitamins and minerals will help your body put up the good fight. Stay topped up with fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal.

Vitamin C heavily associates with immunity so up your intake to 5000-10000 milligrams a day. CAUTION: increase to this amount over a few days as high vitamin C doses can increase the frequency that you’ll need to sit on the porcelain throne if you catch my drift. Start with 1000-2000 milligrams and up it from there.

Vitamin D is another key player for your immune system and since we tend to spend a lot less time out in the sun in winter it’s harder for our body to make enough of it so you should look into supplementing it. The Vitamin D council recommends 5,000-10,000 IU per day.  Check out their website for more great information on vitamin D.

Avoid sugar: Sugar has been shown to reduce the ability of your neutrophils to attack invading pathogens. Neutrophils are white blood cells that essentially chase down and eat invading bacteria and other bad guys that can make you sick. We know sugar has many other negative effects on your health to so it’s definitely best to avoid. Yes, fruit has sugar but fruit also has vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body requires whereas a can of fizzy drink or a piece of cake has nothing to offer you except momentary pleasure.

Rest

The immune system takes a lot of energy to run which is why you get tired when you are sick, your body is slowing you down so it can put maximum resources into fighting off invaders.  Last winter I had a sore throat coming on and I knew I should take it easy but I went to the gym instead. I ended up very sick for the next few days.  I spent my energy lifting heavy barbells and I didn’t have enough in reserve.

Lesson learned, take it easy if you feel something coming on, dose up on vitamins and vegetables, stay hydrated and you might lessen the impact of the storm.

Sanchez, A. Et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 1973, Pages 1180–1184, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/26.11.1180

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

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This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & Priorityfitness

 

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Meal Prep 101

Life happens. And one of the best ways to make it through successfully is to make sure you’re prepared.

Meal prepping saves you time, energy and serves as your friend on the days when you get home late and every fibre of your being is against you making food. In turn, you end up spending less on eating out and having more energy by eating home-cooked, delicious meals.

Whether you’re keto, paleo, low-carb, or standard NZ diet, this simple guide will serve you well to have a fridge full of healthy meals for the week.

 

Prep steps:

 

  1. PLAN: Meal prepping starts on the weekend. Look at the week ahead of you and figure out the busy days for which you’ll need meal-prepped meals. Even if you don’t want to meal prep for the entire week, make sure that you schedule some time the day before to prepare a meal.
  2. THINK: Open notes or find a pad and pen to write some healthy meal ideas. Nothing fancy, keep it simple. For example, you could have some one-pot recipes on hand that can make huge batches like chilli, grilled chicken, roast veggies, and stir fry.
  3. SHOP: From that simple menu, create an ingredient list and go out to buy your meal prep ingredients. If you don’t have the memory of an elephant, be sure to bring a note pad with you or have your list on your phone notes to tick off as you go.
  4. COOK: Schedule one or however many days out of the week to cook. This could be every Sunday that you plug your headphones in with a good podcast and go hard at your meal prep for an hour and a half. Be sure to cook all the things that take lots of time to cook like your chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Prepping in bulk is best because it saves you heaps of time. Slicing a few carrots is as fast as slicing one, so make sure to prep everything you can in that set time.
  5. STORE: Finally, store your meal-prepped food in containers and make them accessible in the fridge. Be sure to also put the appropriate items in the freezer if you know you won’t be eating it before it goes bad.

And most IMPORTANTLY, don’t forget to make meal prepping fun and a regularly weekly ritual of yours. Throw on some music, watch a show or just chat if it’s a team effort.

Apply these meal prep principles and your future self will thank you immensely.

This blog is sponsored by Priorityfitness.

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Eating During Pregnancy

What you eat during your 9 months of pregnancy matters. The food you consume affects you and your baby, so always mind that you’re eating for two! Pregnancy means that you’re building life, so make sure that you supply all the necessary building blocks.

 

How much should you eat?

Since you’re eating for two, you’ll need extra calories and nutrients as your body builds your baby’s bones, tissues and organs. And just because your waist disappears, it doesn’t give you the all clear to load up on ice cream and sweet treats! Eating 3 regular meals a day? Then add 2 healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts or veggies to meet your higher caloric needs.

  • If you exercise regularly: add 500 calories.
  • If you don’t: add 300 calories.

How much weight should you gain?

You need to gain the appropriate amount of weight so that your baby can too.  If you come up short, then so will your baby. You’re in this together.

  • If you’re underweight: your goal should be to gain 15-20 kg.
  • Normal weight: aim to gain 10-15 kg.
  • Overweight: aim to gain 6-12 kg.
  • If your height is 157 cm or shorter: aim to gain 6-12 kg.

What should you eat?

Protein

  • Eat 2.2 g of protein per kg of your body weight (ex. if you weigh 70 kg aim to consume 154 g of protein).

Omega-3

  • You can get this from walnuts, chia seeds, linseed (flaxseed), hemp seed, seaweed, algae or fish oil supplement or avocado.

Vitamin D

  • Get 20-30 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 days a week.

Zinc

  • This can be from legumes (such as beans and lentils) or dark and leafy veggies.

Calcium

  • Many things can provide calcium such as dark and leafy veggies, legumes, bokchoy, tofu, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B-12

  • You can get this from a high quality Vitamin B-12 supplement or fortified foods such as tofu, soy milk etc.

Iron

  • Get this from seeds, whole grains, nuts, dried fruits or dark and leafy veggies.

 

What should you minimize?

Caffeine

  • Aim for less than 300 mg per day.

Cured lunch meats

  • This can include ham, hot-dogs and the like.

Artificial sweeteners

  • These should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy.

High sugar intake

  • Do NOT use cravings to justify poor choices.

 

What should you avoid completely?

The Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand has a list of types of fish that should be avoided by women who are pregnant due to higher mercury levels.

  • Cardinalfish
  • Dogfish (excluding rig)
  • Lake Rotomahana trout
  • Lake trout from geothermal regions
  • School shark (greyboy, tope)
  • Marlin (striped)
  • Southern bluefin tuna
  • Swordfish

Tobacco

  • It increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) so it’s best to .steer clear.

Soft cheeses

  • This includes mold-ripened, blue veined, and unpasteurized cheeses.

Raw or undercooked animal foods

  • This includes meat, seafood (ex. SUSHI), and eggs.

 

What supplements should I take?

Your GP may prescribe prenatal vitamins and if not, it’s a good idea for you to seek some out yourself. Make sure the following is included:

  • Vitamin B-12 (3 ug/day)
  • Folic acid (400 ug/day)
  • Vitamin D (1000 IU/day) especially if you lack sun exposure

 

By following these guidelines, eating right and monitoring your weight, you’ll know that you’ve done everything in your control to lead up to a successful pregnancy.

 

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Eat Slowly

Here you are in the midst of modern society. No time. Rushed. Distracted. And eating… really, really fast. It seems like half the time you’re not even chewing our food properly! It’s time to discover eating slowly and what it can do for your health and well-being.

Learning to eat slowly is one of the simplest yet most impactful things you can do to improve your health. But it’s not always easy, so let’s explore why it’s so beneficial and worthwhile.

 

Hunger satisfaction

 

Eating slowly gives your body time to realize that it’s full. It takes 20 minutes from the start of your meal before your brain sends signals that it’s satisfied with the amount of food and nutrients you consumed. Imagine the extra calories you’ve been eating simply because you haven’t given enough time for your body to realize it longer needs food!

Eating until satisfied is different from eating until you’re full. Satisfied can be around 80% full, which is what you should aim for. When you take the time to slow down and take in each bite mindfully, paying attention to the tastes and textures of the food, you end up feeling way better about what you eat… even if it’s just a sandwich.

 

Improved Digestion

 

Before you even put the food in your mouth, your body’s digestive processes are already at work. As soon as we see, smell or think about food we begin to produce saliva which contains enzymes to break down the food and moisten the mouth to aid in swallowing. Your stomach then starts to secrete more acid and your small intestines start to prepare for movement and food transport.

When we eat fast, we tend to take larger bites and chew less before swallowing. Food that isn’t properly broken down can lead to indigestion and other potential GI problems. Anyone who’s experienced either can tell you it’s not pleasant.

 

Smaller portions

 

A study served lunch in two different ways to 30 average weight women. The meal consisted of a huge plate of classic pasta and a glass of water. All women were instructed to eat to the point of comfortable fullness. During one visit they them to eat as quickly as possible. On the other visit, they were asked to eat slowly and down their utensils between each bite.

Here’s what they found when they compared the difference:

  • Fast eaters: 646 calories in 9 minutes
  • Slow eaters: 579 calories in 29 minutes

That’s 67 less calories in 20 more minutes… which may not seem like much until you add up the three meals a day… 7 days a week. Do some simple maths and you’ll quickly realize that that adds up to 1407 extra calories a week!

On top of that, they found that when the women ate quickly they reported more hunger an hour earlier than when they eat slowly. This means that slow eating leads to less food consumption and more long-lasting satisfaction – which is both good for the wallet and the waistline!

What’s interesting is that they took the same study and compared the amount of water that the participants drank to find that the fast eaters drank an average of 289 mL and the slow eaters drank 409 mL! So they conducted a similar study, only this time they controlled water levels, and found that ate the same amount of food, but an hour after the meal the slow eaters reported less hunger and desire to eat.

So they concluded that drinking more water helps reduce portion sizes, while eating slowly seems to decrease hunger levels for longer. On top of that you get the other incredible benefits of drinking more water such as balancing body fluids, energizing muscles, helping your kidneys and bowels work better and improve skin appearance!

At the end of the day, if you’re eating slowly and drinking more water, you’ll consume less food and feel more satisfied.

Of course, eating slowly is not the end all be all for weight loss and health, but it will definitely help you with portion control and hunger satisfaction.

Here are 5 pro tips to eating slowly:

  1. Put down your utensils between bites
  2. Set aside time to eat
  3. Eat high-fiber foods (fruits and veggies)
  4. Set a minimum number of chews per bite
  5. Eat from smaller plates or containers

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