While away in Hawaii I was introduced to chopsticks, by a friend. I had fumbled with them over the years when eating sushi, but never really ever thought about them, as an everyday eating utensil. One thing that I have really become aware of, this year, is how fast we eat our food. I have always been the last person at the table but still felt I was eating to quickly.
The brain must receive a series of signals from digestive hormones secreted by the gastrointestinal tract, in order for you to feel satisfied after a meal. That signal doesn’t happen until until that food gets into the stomach. This is when it starts to release satiety hormones which feed back to the brain. You have likely heard it takes 20 minutes for your brain to know it’s full. Well, apparently that’s true. Eating is a complicated experience, it is not the same for everyone, but the science does indicate that if you slow down and let your digestive system and your brain talk to each other, you are less likely to overeat.
Chopsticks have slowed down my eating. They allows me to be more mindful with each grain of food on my plate. Picking up that last grain of rice or couscous between the tips of your chopsticks gives that last grain your complete attention. And it gives your tummy time to start sending signals back to your brain, telling it that you don’t really want a second helping.
Try it and let me know what you think. I went through 3 different pairs of chopsticks before I found the ones that worked the best for me; so don’t give up if at first you can’t get a handle on them. I like mine to be a bit long and light weight, and I prefer wood to plastic.