How would you feel if your plate began commenting on the way you eat? Perhaps it could give gentle, Victorian aunt comments: "My dear, perhaps you'd enjoy that dish a tad more with a little more time." Or brusque trainer: "Sport! Slow down, there!"
Well, there actually is a plate that talks to you - and it helps people lose weight. But first, before I share this marvel with you, a little housekeeping:
WHEE (Weight, Health, Eating and Exercise) is a community support diary for Kossacks who are currently or planning to start losing, gaining or maintaining their weight through diet and exercise or fitness. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are working on your weight or fitness, please -- join us! You can also click the WHEE tag to view all diary posts.
Join me over the fold for the talking plate and to share ideas on eating at the right speed ---
The device is Swedish and called a Mandometer:
Dieters are used to measuring and even weighing their portions, but a new portable, computer-linked, electronic plate scale takes food intake monitoring to a whole new level. The scale, called a Mandometer, was developed by Swedish scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and actually speaks to diners, alerting them when they are eating their food too quickly.
The Mandometer consists of an electronic scale designed to fit under a plate and a small screen. The scale weighs the food as the meal is being consumed and the screen depicts a graph that indicates the rate at which the food is disappearing from the plate. This "ideal graph for food consumption" was programmed by a food therapist. As soon as a diner deviates too much from the ideal graph, he or she is subjected to a spoken request from the computer to slow down.
The idea behind the Mandometer is to train overweight people to eat more slowly so that they will feel satiated sooner and eat less, thereby losing weight. An 18 month study conducted by researchers at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children in Britain has indicated that the Mandometer is an effective tool to combat obesity in children and teens. The team tested 106 clinically obese patients ranging in age from nine to 17 years old. Some of the patients had to use the Mandometer while the others received standard anti-obesity treatment. All of them were urged to practice some form of physical exercise for 60 minutes a day and to follow a healthy diet.
The Mandometer had its origins in a different but related problem. Its inventor believed that anorexia and bulimia were in part disorders of eating in the literal sense - people eating at a pace or rhythm that made it difficult to have a wholesome and informative sense of how much had been eaten.
I wonder if they will begin to release this for use by people who are not visiting the clinics? They sound like they could be handy for some folks.
I'm sure many here have independently made the discovery that how we eat can affect how much we eat. Over time, I've developed a variety of skills and tricks that have helped me eat more slowly:
- Put the utensil down between bites
- Take a sip of water (or whatever) between bites
- Chew each bite thoroughly to taste it fully
- Use a smaller plate or bowl
- Eat at the table, not anywhere else
- Don't read while eating
What have you found that helps you to eat more slowly, and enjoy food more fully?
And of course, if you'd like to volunteer to write a diary, just say so below the tip jar!
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