Any basic physiology textbook will tell you that saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that begins the breakdown and digestion of starches in your mouth. This saliva salvo helps your body get the jump on carbohydrate digestion and can actually help you stay leaner, longer!
Chewing your food as part of the cephalic phase also leads to a preemptive release of insulin by your body. On the surface, this may sound negative. We generally want to control insulin, especially for fat loss.
The number of times you need to chew your food to reap maximum
benefits from this effect is not yet known. However, it is known that
insulin released at the start of your meal peaks at 4 minutes into the
meal, then returns to baseline levels after 8-10 minutes.
What does this mean to you? Eat slower and savor your food! Taking
at least 10 minutes to finish your meal maximizes pre-release insulin
levels so they can elicit a "calming effect" on your blood sugar.
By harnessing and maximizing the cephalic phase of digestion, you'll
be stacking the nutritional deck in your favor. So your food will be
used for lean-tissue building and not fat-cell padding.