I came across the interesting concept of chewing a smoothie in my online travels, and I feel it’s a concept well worth sharing!
In my weight management counselling, one thing I will often mention to my patients is not to drink calories (with the exception of skim milk). There are a number of reasons for this:
1. It takes about 15 minutes for our fullness hormones to kick in. The consequence is that if we eat quickly, we may reach for more food before these hormones have a chance to tell us we are full. Liquid meals are usually consumed very quickly (as drinking a meal bypasses the time it takes to cut, chew etc), so it leaves us vulnerable to drinking more than we would otherwise feel we need, and also leaves us vulnerable to perhaps eat something additional on top of the quickly consumed liquid meal.
2. Solid meals fill more. There are stretch receptors in our stomachs that contribute to telling our brains that we feel full. Having a solid meal is literally better to fill our bellies than a liquid.
3. Chewing is part of the enjoyment of a meal. Throwing a liquid smoothie back really causes us to miss out on much of the flavour of food, which is enjoyed by having it chewed and broken down inside the mouth. Taking the time to cut and chew our meal also causes us to focus more on the enjoyment of eating, which helps in release of the endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ that give us satisfaction when we eat. Having a liquid meal may not provide that same endorphin release, giving us cause to reach for something else to give that sense of satisfaction.
I get that many people like the idea of smoothies to get the nutritional value of all those healthy greens, fruits etc down the hatch. My suggestion is to rock out all those awesome foods – but skip the blender step!