This section is from the book "Fletcherism. What It Is, Or How I Became Young At Sixty", by Horace Fletcher. Also available from Amazon: Fletcherism, What It Is, Or How I Became Young At Sixty.
Here are some statements easy to prove or disprove by anyone, with real compensation in the way of new revelations relative to the possibilities of gustatory enjoyment.
Starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes, etc., require from thirty to seventy masticatory movements to assist saliva to turn the starch into "grape sugar," which is the form in which it can be used as nourishment.*
You will at once think, no doubt, that a range of numbers extending from thirty to seventy is pretty wide. So it is; but conditions regarding the qualities of not only breads, but potatoes, and also conditions relative to the strength or supply of saliva, differ greatly. When the appetite is keen, the mouth watering, as they are at the beginning of a meal, bread or potatoes may be negotiated into nutriment ready for the stomach in much less time than later on. Appetite "peters," as miners say, gradually, and does not stop with a bang and shut off like an electric light when connection is broken. It checks up, slows down, and tapers off gradually, and that is where the canny intelligence of a faithful Fletcherizer stands himself in good usefulness. When Appetite gently says: "Now, really, you are still rather good to my assistant Taste, and he would not object to a few bites more; but if you stop now and change off to something else which I have in mind, and for which I have a use in our organism, I will not object."In plain words: "I have enough for the present; switch off on to------"
* Although I have been a close student of the sub-ject for more than fifteen years in the best physiological-chemical laboratories for long periods of time - and always emulating the man from Missouri in demanding of the wise ones in the science of the laboratories to "Show me!"- I make the statements relative to what happens below the guillotine line in Mother Nature's exclusive territory of responsibility on the authority of the laboratory territory experts; but only, mind you, when my personal observations and business logic approve the conclusion. Therefore, when I tell you that starch turned into dextrose, or "grape sugar," is assimilable as nourishment, and that starch which is not thus chemically transformed by saliva is not capable of becoming nourishment, I am not "speaking by the book," which Mother Nature has opened for me to read - unless biological-chemists can be considered to be extra-enlightened forms of nature.
The difference between putting on fat in the case of the person who is disposed or permitted to put on more fat than is comfortable, and losing some of the surplus carried on the abdomen or elsewhere, is the discrimination exercised in regard to the final satisfaction of appetite. Those last two, three, or a few mouthfuls after Appetite has said gently "Enough," and before the same Appetite says, loudly, "Stop!"are the difference between obesity and decency of form.
The Author feeling Himself to be the most Fortunate Person Alive..
I really believe, from the results of my experiences for the past fifteen years in getting tips from Mother Nature, and trying to induce mankind in general and my friends in particular to accept them as "straight" from Mother Nature, that persons who have enough respect for themselves to be interested in physical culture must come to the rescue of the pseudo-scientists who are dulled by their own dope, and who are suffering from the malaria which collects in the dark ruts they are following in the tortuous complications of the alimentary canal. The physical culturists must build models of normality for the scientists to study.
When giving information as to what happens in the mouth, and as to what happens as a result of proper head digestion, I feel as if I am sitting on the upper lip of Mother Nature herself, and entrusting her messages to the current of her own sweet breath for distribution among her human children.