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How many licks does it take?

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Don’t read while you eat.

Do read while you eat.

Coffee is bad for you.

Coffee wards off Alzheimer’s.

Did anyone else notice that some of the health advice you’ve heard completely contradicts the advice others have heard? Recently I came across a really funny one:

“When you eat a food—for example, an almond—chew each one 25-30 times.”


So I tried it… not because I actually care, but simply because I was curious.

Who ever heard of counting how many times he/she chewed something! Weird, right? The whole time, I was thinking of that owl commercial with the Tootsie Pops.

how many licks does it take

How many licks does it take? Did you ever try counting how many licks it took to finish a Tootsie Pop? I definitely did!

But back to this ridiculous notion of counting almond chews. Let me tell you, there is no way you can chew an almond 30 times! Unless maybe it is the king kong of almonds… Or perhaps I just have super-fast chewing capabilities???

While I understand the reasoning behind it—to make people slow down when they eat—the whole idea of counting chews sounds like a way to guarantee one thing, and one thing only: that you will take all the enjoyment out of the act of eating.

tootsie pops

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. arekestall says:


    I stumbled across your post as it was one of the newly posted ones, and it’s always annoying to see someone has visited your blog and not commented.

    I totally get you on the food advice thing.

    I like the one about putting your knife and fork down between each mouthful. Seriously?!

    Talk about bad hygiene.

    PS what is that picture up there, looks like chips with icing…

  2. I love the Tootsie Roll owl — soooo cute!! I never tried to count my links though (at least, not beyond “one, a-two, a-threeeeeeeee!”)

  3. I meant to say licks, lol

  4. Jenny says:

    Chew an almond 30 times!!!! impossible- a lot of us share your chewing capabilities:)

  5. I ALWAYS used to try to count my licks! Then I’d lose count halfway through. 😉

  6. Jenny:
    Darn! I thought I was special 😉

  7. Jessica:
    Haha yeah I did too. I don’t think I ever made it to the tootsie pop center without forgetting!

  8. arekestall:
    Thanks for finding me!!
    If you click on the link “coconut math” it’ll take you to that post! 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    thank you so much for posting this. i can’t believe someone wrote on your formspring saying your thinspiration to anorexics, because the opposite is true. i am trying so hard to recover, and your blog above all others has helped me the most. i’m even gaining weight since i found your blog. not that its all because of you, but really you’ve helped me so much to see how ridiculous some of my habits are.
    for example, i actually DO count my chewing, and after reading this now i am motivated to stop because you’ve called me on it and i can see how ridiculous it is for a normal person so if i ever want to get my life back and be a normal person i have to stop doing such things. you inspire me everyday. thank you!

  10. Mary says:

    I definitely tried that! The only problem was I didn’t like lolipops so I wouldn’t want to eat the whole thing!

  11. eatandrun says:

    I hate math, but coconut math sounds like sometyhing I could get on board with ;).

  12. eatandrun says:

    Oops I meant “something”

  13. Sarahishealthy says:

    My friends and I would have contests to see who could get to the center in the fewest licks!

  14. Inspired says:

    I’d never heard that one. How have I gotten along in life without counting how many times I chew an almond lol?

  15. Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

    I think the purpose of chewing 20-25 times is actually to aid your body in digestion and the breakdown of the food to glucose and such. ‘

    But goodness, I don’t chew that much even if I “should”! I have a toddler to run after so I consider it a luxury if I get to chew at all! 😉

  16. Haha chew an almond 30 times! I practically inhale my food so counting to 30 chews would be torture!

  17. Marina says:

    Stupid food rules are so stupid 😀
    I tried chewing my food more, and eating slower, but I’m not very good at it.
    I just try and enjoy every single bite, even if it’s a huge one 😀

  18. I read somewhere that there is a movement for people to chew their food up to 100 times. Who has time for that?!?!

  19. vegangal says:

    hi katie! i agree with anonymous. i don’t count chewing times but i do think that your bblog has been one of the main ones to help me in my recovery. i use it as a “distraction” which is something healthy your supposed to do instead of thinking of reasons to restrict. i love seeing how you show that you can be healthy and happy and eat a ton without getting fat! don’t ever change. i love you! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  20. jcd says:

    Debunking “healthy food advice” is an excellent idea. I see some truth behind them, but nothing that ever agrees with my body.

    Oh, and the Vega/Thrive prize arrived from Sequel on Friday! They included a reusable shopping bag too. I haven’t read the book yet but it looks interesting. I wonder what I will lean from it. (The book I got looks different from the book in your post, probably because it’s a Canadian version.) Thank you so much, Katie!

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