I usually do things quickly and, for some things, that works out great. But when it comes to eating, slower is better.
So, on Sunday night, I spent three hours with colleagues over a three course dinner at Cafe Claude in San Francisco. Normally I would have scarfed the food down in almost no time, but this was one of the most relaxed meals I’ve had in years. Whenever I failed to wait at least 10 seconds between bites, the HAPIFork I was eating with would vibrate to remind me to slow down.
By the time I was finished with the second course, I was almost full, so I slowed down even more. I wound up leaving food on my plate which — while perhaps wasteful — is nevertheless a good thing in my case. Better to go to waste, or into a “doggy bag,” than to my waist.
The first 2,500 people who pre-order this electronic fork on Kickstarter get it for $89. After that it will cost $99. The fork was designed by French entrepreneur and inventor Jacques Lépine whose idea, according to the company “was based on research which shows that by eating slower, people can improve the way they feel, improve their digestion and lose weight.” The product aims to modify eating behavior by “ slowing down how fast people eat and being more present with when and how long it takes to eat, leading to an overall healthier state of being and living,” according to the developers.
I’m not only a prime candidate for this device but a bit of an expert on dieting considering that I’ve lost hundreds of pounds over my lifetime. Of course, I’ve also gained a lot of them back partially because I do eat too fast. The theory behind this fork is that by forcing you to eat slowly, your brain and your stomach remain in sync so you are less likely to overeat.
When we eat there is a lag between the time we put something into our mouth and when the brain gets the message that you’re no longer hungry. If you eat too fast, you don’t get the message in time so you wind up stuffing yourself and by the time your brain tells you to stop, you’ve eaten far too much.
But even if you don’t have a weight problem, there is an advantage to slowing down — eating more slowly helps digestion and helps reduce stress.
The company hopes to raise $100,000 with its Kickstarter campaign. The fork comes in three colors (blue, green and pink) and will be released to Kickstarter funders before its made available to the general public.