Now for an installment of Weird Old Timey Fitness Fads. Today we’ll take a gander at the practice of Fletcherizing.
Fletcherizing was a health fad of the early 20th century that consisted of chewing your food… big time. Like as in 32 chews per bite. Now I can’t find any compelling verified scientific benefit to doing this, but common sense tells us you’ll probably have an easier time digesting food you chew well than food you inhale. Furthermore, it also seems to be a simple way to decrease your overall caloric intake. Since eating becomes more time consuming, you’re less likely to consume as much food.
Horace Fletcher was a rapper, yo:
“Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate.”
I can think of some funny rhymes to this verse.
And so can you.
Horace Fletcher, Fletcherizing’s pioneer and the driving force behind it’s popularity, subscribed to a number of interesting theories about health. In addition to marathon chewing, he was an advocate of a low-protein diet (BOOOO). Fletcher was also a big fan of looking at poop to determine what’s going on with someone’s nutrition. While this may seem kind of wacky at first, there does seem to be some validity here. I’ll spare you the messy details, but suffice it say you can in fact get a feel for what’s going on with your body by seeing what’s going on with your feces. Other “look at your poop” advocates include fitness guru/ astral projector Paul Chek and Oprah’s pal Dr. Mehmet Oz.
So is fletcherizing going to impart any magical health benefits? Probably not. Could it make your digestion easier and provide an easy way to lower your food intake a bit? Very possibly.