When it comes to proper meals, eating with chopsticks also means taking smaller mouthfuls, which tend to get chewed better, slowing down the meal, and making it easier to digest. It’s not that it’s impossible, with practice, to pick up huge gobbits of food with chopsticks, just that it’s precarious and it just doesn’t feel right..
Eating with chopsticks slows you down, and so you eat less. Gobbling food makes us overeat because it takes our brain 20 minutes to register what our stomach contains.
Then there’s the matter of sauce. Delicious though they are, most sauces are the enemy of the waistline, loaded with butter and oil. Chicken in creamy béchamel isn’t on many diet plans, but at least if tackled with chopsticks much of the evil artery-clogger will stay on the plate.
Dining on a plateful of risotto with chopsticks feels like trying to relocate the Sahara with a pair of tweezers. The waiters at my local Italian think I’m mad, and my companion is tucking into pudding by the time I give up out of sheer boredom. Nonetheless I’ve negotiated the minefield of a meal out without noshing a week’s worth of calories, which is a result.
So, a chopsticks regime will make you slow down, think about your food more, and maybe even lose weight. None of which can be a bad thing. I shan’t be binning the knife and fork just yet.
Losing weight has long been never been such a hot topic. According to Dr David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum, around 10 million of us are clinically obese, 24 per cent of the population. If we continue to pile on the pounds at the same rate, by 2012 a third of the population will qualify as obese.