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How to Lose Weight By Eating With Chopsticks

By Jody Braverman

Using two skinny sticks doesn't seem like the most efficacious way to get food into your mouth, but if you're trying to lose weight, the ancient Asian utensils just might be your secret weapon. Controlling your caloric intake is the foundation of successful weight loss. When you eat more slowly, you give your brain enough time to register that your stomach is full, which can help you eat less. While certain foods -- like sandwiches -- can't be eaten with chopsticks, using chopsticks to eat other foods will help train you to eat more slowly and consciously.

Use chopsticks to eat salads, stews, whole-wheat pasta dishes, stir-fries, nuts, cut-up fruit and veggies, popcorn, sliced meats and fish and anything else that you can manage to pick up with them. It will take practice to become proficient at eating with chopsticks, but part of the method's effectiveness is that, because they're hard to use, you won't be able to get food to your mouth as quickly.

Pick up small bites of food, or one piece of food at a time. Put it in your mouth, chew it completely and swallow it before reaching for the next bite.

Put your chopsticks down in between bites, which will slow down your food intake even more. As soon as you put the food in your mouth, lay the chopsticks across the side of your bowl or plate, or on the table or a chopstick holder beside your plate, and focus on chewing and tasting your food. When you have swallowed your bite, pick up your chopsticks and take another bite.

Experiment with the kinds of foods that can and can't be eaten with chopsticks. A wrap stuffed with grilled chicken, for example, isn't going to be easy to eat with chopsticks. If you want, you can take the wrap apart and eat the filling with your chopsticks.

Use the same techniques for mindful eating when you're not eating with chopsticks. If you're at a friend's house for dinner and you're using a fork because you don't want to appear out of place, continue to eat slowly and mindfully, taking small bites of food, chewing thoroughly and laying down your fork in between bites.

Tips

Training yourself to eat mindfully over time with chopsticks will eventually allow you to ditch them in favor of Western utensils.

If you encounter a dish with sauce, your chopsticks have an important message: Most sauces are calorie-laden fat bombs that should be avoided. Think bechamel, Alfredo, rich gravies. Eat only the sauce that coats the piece of food you are able to pick up with your chopsticks and leave the rest on the plate.

Buy yourself a beautiful pair of chopsticks you'll enjoy eating with. This will make your meals special and inviting.

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