How doing literally nothing for 20 minutes can help you lose a LOT of weight

Written by Angela Atkinson

As I’ve mentioned before, the way that I achieved my 100-pound weight loss was to make one small change at a time. The first thing I did was to simply start drinking enough water.

100 pounds lost before and after 5 feet tall

And, even though I started out on Weight Watchers and following the points system, there were times (still are, actually) when I felt like I wanted to eat a second helping of something awesome–and if I had the points in my daily budget, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

Want to learn how I lost 100 pounds? See my story, right here.

So in the process of losing weight, I was always looking for ways to refine my process and make it go more smoothly and BLISSFULLY (which is why the book is called Project Blissful!). 

That’s what led me to do the research on the whole eating seconds thing – and since I’m no scientist, I’ll just let the ones from Harvard Medical School tell you the science behind it. 

“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine. One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness. Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.” ~Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health (See the full scientific explanation at the Harvard Medical School website.)

no fail 20 minute weight loss hack

The 20-Minute Rule That Changed My Life

Anyhoo, since it takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to inform your body that you’ve had enough, I would sometimes end up eating more than I wanted.

So, I made a new rule, and it hasn’t failed me yet.

I allow myself to eat literally WHATEVER I WANT, but I only take one serving at a time AND I wait 20 minutes between servings. I also try to eat slowly, for the same reason. (According to Harvard researchers, there’s a good reason for doing so.) For me, that usually means I don’t eat a second serving, because I really do feel satiated by the single serving in most cases.

Your Fit Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

Starting today, make the same rule for yourself. If you still feel hungry after eating a single serving or plate of food, give yourself a 20-minute break before loading up that plate again or taking a second helping. It’s so simple, but this single change can offer you a serious advantage on your weight-loss journey.

Will you give it a shot? What are your best weight-loss tips? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

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