This post discusses a powerful method for ‘how’ to eat, the rule of twos. In pieces it isn’t new but can bring about a profound change if implemented in entirety with discipline.
“You must chew 32 times!” I can vividly remember my grandma saying on the dinner table plenty of times. I am almost sure you have heard it too from the elders in your family. They made it amply clear that chewing is a virtue for good health.
Fast forward to last year; I learned about the rule of twos in detail when I was doing my health coaching certification at the Dr. Sears Institute. The rule of twos brought back the memories of ‘chewing 32 times’ back. However, this time, with much more scientific explanation and detail.
What is the Rule of Twos for Eating Healthy?
Dr. Sears Wellness Institute describes the rule of twos for eating as:
- Eat twice as often.
- Eat half as much.
- Chew twice as long.
Even as a layman, it sounds the right thing to do because the slower we eat, the more time our body gets to digest the food, and it must be good for our health. Yet, please let me explain the virtues I have experienced and recommend to my clients.
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The most significant benefit had to take the first place. A challenging thing for eating well is to know when to stop, right? A Japanese teaching called ‘Hara hachi bun me’ recommends eating until we are 80 percent full. [Ikigai, Héctor García, 2017]
The rule of twos is a little different, but the idea is similar – not filling ourselves to the brim! Once we stop at half of what we used to, there is room for the body to pause and know if we needed that other half. Now, if we did, we can come back to it a little while later and eat the rest, slowly chewing each morsel.
2. Helps maintain Blood Sugar Levels
This particular benefit I can vouch for and have experienced in the most practical sense of the word. When I had Gestational Diabetes, I’d measure my blood sugar level after each meal, and when I’d cut down the portion into half and instead have it more often, the blood sugar levels tended to remain steadier. Blood sugar spikes are related to many chronic ailments, from Diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease. So this is one significant benefit to reap by using the rule of twos. In addition, you’d feel more energetic and not have an energy slump after a meal.
Grazing gives you stable insulin levels – the three magic words of hormonal harmony. Think of insulin as the master conductor of your hormonal symphony. When your insulin is stable (“on key”), the rest of the inflammation players in your orchestra are in hormonal harmony and your body plays beautiful music. Your body is in the balance! [The rule of twos: Eating right for gut health, Dr. Sears Wellness Institute]
3. Helps avoid Bloating and Nausea
Eating half as much and twice as often can demonstrate its benefits during pregnancy when nausea is an annoying issue. Also, in general, if you face bloating, adding more fiber to the diet, drinking more water are things we know and probably have experienced. So the rule of twos can be another tool in our arsenal that can reduce bloating and nausea significantly.
In a nutshell, if you are trying to battle any chronic ailment or change your eating habits, ‘how you eat’ can be an essential step. And, to that change, the rule of twos can be a powerful tool to help you out. So, would you please try it and let me know your feedback?