The Zen Eating Straw can help curb overeating if you use it right before eating. The Zen Eating Straw can help curb overeating if you use it right before eating. The Zen Eating Straw can help curb overeating if you use it right before eating. (Photo: Zen Eating)

Could these straws help you lose weight and stop snoring?

2 new devices, the Zen Eating Sipper and the Dream Sipper, claim to help people combat overeating and snoring by focusing on the way we swallow.

Trying to lose weight can often be an uphill battle. But what if something as simple as a straw could keep you from overeating?

A U.S. based startup called Zen Eating, with R&D labs in Israel, is trying to change the way we look at weight loss by focusing on the way we swallow. Its new product essentially trains the mouth to swallow in a healthier way, consuming less food per swallow, so that the stomach feels full faster than normal eating.

The idea was spawned straight from Zen Eating's founder, Scott Hirsch. "I would eat to fast and get stomach cramps," Hirsch said. "Then it turned into acid reflux. Then it turned into extra pounds that would never come off no matter how hard I worked out or how healthy I ate. Then it climaxed by leading to snoring and severe sleep apnea."

Hirsch initially set out to develop a device similar to a CPAP machine, but that's focused on keeping the tongue from interfering with breathing during sleep. That device ultimately never saw the light of day, and all the while, Hirsch continued to struggle with sleep apnea, snoring and extra weight.

"I found more and more clinical studies about proper swallowing and how effective it was for sleep breathing, better eating and better health," he recalled. "I was shocked at how important swallowing and oral posture are for health and how few people in the world even know about the issue."

From there, he took the most important movements of oral therapy and put them together into one device: the Zen Eating Sipper. It works by instantly re-activating the natural “brakes” in your mouth to reduce your swallow space and activate feelings of satisfaction from less food.

Kale, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas topped with a fried egg Sipping before a big meal can reduce the likelihood that you'll overeat. (Photo: Amelia Crook / Flickr)

The second device Hirsch developed, the Dream Sipper, works by strengthening the tongue and soft palate to reduce snoring and improve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Both straws, which are now available for purchase online, are just the latest developments to come out of Israel's food tech scene.

"I feel in control of my eating, it’s now one of the most relaxing parts of my day, and sleep is so much quieter and better," Hirsch said. "With more research coming out on how crucial it is to improve how you eat, we hope we can raise awareness and years of energetic life to everyone that we can."

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Could these straws help you lose weight and stop snoring?
2 new devices, the Zen Eating Sipper and the Dream Sipper, claim to help people combat overeating and snoring by focusing on the way we swallow.