Look around the next time you go out to lunch. Everyone is in such a hurry to finish their meal and get back to their busy lives. It's one reason we're getting fatter as a country, and it's not just because we're eating fast foods. It's also because we're eating foods too fast.
Ever since I was a resident in medicine I've had to eat on the run. I snarf down my food faster than my dog eats a bone. If only I could learn to eat slowly... but I can't. If I did... I'd be significantly reducing calories. You see, most of us chew our food about 15 times. If we slowed down and chewed 40 times our calorie intake would be reduced by 12 percent. Over the course of the day, that's significant.
It is hard to break a habit of a lifetime, but by chewing longer we reduce the concentration of hormones in the blood that stimulate hunger and increase the ones that tell us we're full.
One way to help is by being choosey about what you chew. Eat foods that require some work before you swallow. Nuts are a great example. They are high in calories, but people who eat an ounce a day tend to lose weight because they take longer to chew.
So slow down and weigh less. Remember if you keep sprinting through lunch you'll get 12 percent more calories. Now that's hard to swallow.