Taking smaller bites seems like something so simple but is an impactful practice. Smaller bites of food are beneficial in more ways than just being able to enjoy your food for longer. Smaller bites can help improve digestion, reduce chewing problems, and help you reduce intake.
Chewing food is the first part of the digestion process, mechanical digestion. When you take smaller bites of your food, it takes less to chew, meaning your food will be broken up more than a larger bite of food. The smaller particles of your food will be easier to swallow, travel through your esophagus easier and will help the stomach do its job of digesting. While you are chewing a smaller bite of food you also allow the enzymes in your saliva to break down your food before it enters the stomach. Smaller bites may also mean less food overall, which your body can have an easier time digesting.
Reduce Chewing Problems
There are many mouth and jaw issues that can result in chewing problems. One problem is TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, which is a pain at the joint of the jaw. TMJ can be exacerbated by taking large bites of food because you may have to open your mouth further than is comfortable repeatedly. Taking smaller bites can help reduce the amount of movement in the joint. Many foods can exacerbate chewing problems. Cutting foods such as raw fruits and vegetables can make them easier to eat.
Taking small bites can help you feel more satisfied with less food. Taking smaller bites can help you to eat around 30% less food than bigger bites. There are many reasons why this can be the case. Smaller bites will take you more time to eat the same amount of food. Your body takes time to signal its fullness, so eating slower may help you feel when you are satisfied instead of over-full. Taking smaller bites can also help your perception of how much you are eating. You may feel you are eating more which can help you feel more satisfied with your meals through these cognitive factors.
Culturally, taking small bites is not the norm. However, it is shown to be beneficial for your health. It can help with your jaw, digestion, and healthy intake and will allow you to eat slower and enjoy your food.
Check out this article on how to reduce your digestive issues by changing your diet!