Seen At 11: ‘Eating Smart’ With High-Tech Utensils

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)  – We all know losing weight takes more than just a diet. But now, even your fork and plate are being engineered to help you slim down.

At lunchtime with Dan Correa, his talking scale calls the shots.

“Place your plate on the scale,” it directs. “Put food on the plate.”

The scale tells you how much food to eat over how much time, CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reports. If you eat too fast, it warns you, saying, “Please eat a little slower.”

“I’ve asked it to shut up a few times,” Correa joked.

The technology works as part of the theory that eating more slowly leads to weight loss.

“It’s about feeling full and by eating slower, you will feel full sooner,” nutritionist Deborah Cardile said.

The device, called the mandometer, is not the only high-tech device designed to help you shed the pounds.

The Bite Counter does just that—counts each bite during a meal. A computer allows the user to set the count and read the results on your wrist.

Psychologist Eric Muth developed the device after his own struggle with weight gain. If you eat more than a pre-programmed number of bites, an alarm goes off.

“We showed that if we tracked bites, you could indeed slow a person’s eating — and that did reduce intake,” Muth said.

It’s also the theory behind the HAPIfork, which vibrates and flashes a red light if you take bites less than 10 seconds apart. A mobile app helps to keep track.

(Credit: CBS 2)

(Credit: CBS 2)

CBS 2 had some local diners try it out—and most were surprised at what it revealed.

“It makes you stop and think,” one diner said.

“I was like, oh, was I eating too fast?” James Hokkanen said.

From eating slower to smaller portions and taking fewer bites, studies show these strategies can help you lose weight. But experts say the high-tech route comes with limits.

“It definitely can be of some value but it still does not help you decide what food choices to make or when to eat. Those two things are extremely important,” nutritionist Nicollette Pace said.

Correa said it worked for him and he’s lost nearly 30 pounds in just three months.

“It changes your behavior. It changes your relationship with food. It works,” he said.

Whether you use high-tech devices or not, experts say in the end, weight loss comes down to how much you eat and how much you exercise.

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