Slow eating — along with regulated portions — has long been hailed as key to both weight loss and weight maintenance. Plus, keeping a steady pace between each bite and taking your time chewing your food has also been proven to aid digestion and keep us fuller for longer.
But while the idea of counting every single mouthful is enough to drive us all a little mad, we've uncovered a handy tooly to ensure you're hitting your ideal bite rate every time.
Following on from last year's HAPIfork, the utensil that reminds you to slow down by vibrating while you eat, The Bite Monitor is almost like a Fitbit for your mouth. Developed by researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina, the device is designed to track the number of bites you take a day and help you keep track of how much you're actually eating.
The researchers found that the average calorie per bite was 17 (71kj) for men and 11 (46kj) for women, regardless of their size. Therefore, the ideal amount of bites would be 100, which equates to a low calorie diet of 1,700 calories (7113kj) for men and 1,100 (4602kj) for women: no calorie counting, no macro counting, no food diaries necessary.
In an obvious outcome, researchers found that counting bites (apparently counting back from 100 worked better than starting at zero) was more effective in helping people lose weight than not counting.
In our opinion, this 100-bite-thing should not be taken as gospel (and isn't all that practical if you have a love of soft foods that don't require biting), but of course, if it works for you, by all means, count away.
But there are cheaper (and more stylish) ways, such as free apps and food diaries, to train yourself to eat mindfully. With all these findings, mindful and slow eating is still the common denominator.
This story first appeared on ELLE.com.au.