You've probably seen hundreds of people vaping in an attempt to quit smoking cigarettes, but have you seen anyone sucking on flavoured air in an attempt to stop snacking?
Enter Slissie, the anti-snacking device. It's not actually a vape and there isn't any vapour released by it, but it does look like one and anyone around you would be forgiven for thinking that that's what the device is when you whip it out to use.
Instead the USB-charged Slissie, delivers a burst of appetite-surprising flavour when you suck on it like a straw.
This small device fits handily into your bag, pocket or sits on your desk ready for when a craving hits.
Cravings are something I struggle with quite a lot, right next to my battle with emotional eating. Often cravings arise from habits, for example, a habit of mine is wanting something sweet after dinner. Or I want to 'reward' myself with something sweet by mid-morning or mid-afternoon when I'm having a tough day or even when I've accomplished something.
The concept behind Slisse, as a "willpower enhancing" device, is that tasting the flavour of the food you crave, will provide a physical and psychological distraction from your cravings. Usually, I'd brush any item with the words 'diet' or 'dieting' written on the box, as a fad or gimmick, but with this device, I really understood the psychology behind it and believed there was something to it. So I put it to the test for 21 days (as it's said that it takes 21 days to break a habit).
So how do you use Slissie?
Before you get to taste anything, you need to charge it up using the included USB cable. I plugged it into my laptop to charge for about an hour. You'll know it's charged up when the red LED turns itself off. To this day, I still haven't had to re-charge it so it has a good battery life.
Once charged, you will then need to pick a refill tank. Make sure you remove both protective caps on the top and bottom of the tank and then simply screw it onto the device.
With the refills, you can choose from a huge variety of flavours, including chocolate mint, fruit, coffee, chocolate orange, Ginger, Mint and loads more and you can buy different combination packs from the Slissie website .
Once you've attached the tank, it's time to turn it on. To do this, you have to rapidly press the silver 'Slissie' button 5 times. The LED will flash blue and you'll also be able to tell whenever it's on by pressing this button as the blue LED will flash again. Once switched on, you press and hold the button in for about 4 seconds (don't put it to your mouth yet!). You'll hear the heating element crackle and pop. After this, leave it for about 2 seconds and then suck the top of the tank like a straw. You then repeat the process of press & hold for 4 seconds -->> release for 2 seconds -->> suck like a straw for 4-5 times to get the full flavour.
To switch the device off, you rapidly press the button again 5 times, after which the blue LED will go off and once the Slissie is switch off, the LED won't light up when you press the button.
You'll know it's time to change tanks when the flavour becomes weaker and tastes kinda burnt, for me this happened about two weeks in.
Is Slissie safe to use?
My main concern when I heard about Slissie, was whether this was safe. Here's a direct quote from the website: "Yes, it contains food extracts and a commonly used food preservative. There is no vapour or harmful chemicals." The food preservative used is E1520, also known as propylene glycol. Despite it's scary sounding name, it's used in beer, cake, and numerous pharmaceuticals and personal care products like shampoo. It's also used in Anti-freeze, which is what raises flags for many people. It's classed by the Food & Drug Association as 'generally recognised as safe' for use in food, which means it's not harmful when consumed.
Are there any side effects of using Slissie?
My next question was whether there were any side effects caused by using Slissie. On the site it says "You may feel thirsty, have a dry throat or a sore throat if you inhale it rather than suck the flavours. To stop this feeling, try to suck the flavours like a straw rather than inhale and drink more water to alleviate the symptoms." I experience this myself, but it's important to remember to use it like a straw rather than like a vape or e-cigarette. The also cautions: "I
f using frequently, on the rare occasion you may experience headaches. They will get better with consistent use, but if they are severe, stop using Slissie immediately."
I found that I did get weird 'lightheaded' type headaches when I first started using it around once per day. I should point out that I'm very sensitive to headaches and migraines anyway, even eating raw red onion gives me a headache for hours, so I'm probably not a representative sample of this side effect!
So does it work? Will I really stop snacking/comfort eating/ scoffing dessert?
My answer to this is: yes, if you can muster up the willpower to use the device in the first place.
For me, this requires the key element of being 'mindful''. Now I know that word gets thrown around a lot (I can see you rolling your eyes!). What I mean is, when a craving hits, or the urge to comfort eat kicks in, I have to mentally look at myself in that present moment and ask why I'm wanting the food in the first place.
Sometimes, it's just out of habit, a case of "dinner was delicious and filling but I still want something sweet for dessert!", in which case the Slissie is perfect for this, as it gives me precisely want I want at that moment in time: a sweet taste! It's also handy for my snack urges as it serves as a flavourful distraction and for this reason, I leave the Slissie on my desk so that I reach for it instead of heading to the kitchen for a snack.
When it comes to comfort eating or emotional eating however, I'm feel like it's too complex for a simple solution. I comfort eat for many different reasons, and I have a different solution to each of these individual emotions. Sometimes I stress eat, and I find gentle exercise like walking helps with that. Sometimes I eat out of boredom, and so I need to do something different, which often means getting up from my work and doing something else for awhile whether it's running some errands around town or playing with my son.
My most complex issue is "eating in rebellion". This is something I've done for years without recognising that I did it. By this, I mean I have a tendency to overeat whenever I witness my mother severely restricting her calories (she's suffered with an eating disorder for as long as I can remember). I'm getting better at recognising when I'm doing this, but it's taking a lot of inner work to address this and there's never going to be a simple fix for it (short of avoiding all eating situations with my mother!).
So do you recommend it?
Yes, if you're in need of a tasty substitute for snacking or dessert, this could be what you need to break the habit once and for all. Once you break the habit, you may find that your body simply stops craving sweet things at random times of the day, or immediately after a meal. You really do need to be aware that that's what you're doing for this to work though so that you can pull yourself out of the situation to use the device.
When it comes to emotional eating, I personally feel that this requires a lot more inner work, perhaps even professional support with particularly complex issues (shh.. I have an upcoming online course to address this issue, but I haven't finalised it yet so sign up to the newsletter below to find out more!).
Where can I buy it from and how much?
You can order them online through the Slissie store . Pricing ranges depending on your chosen pack size. The one I'm testing out (pictured above) is the ultimate pack, which is a three-month supply of refills and a few accessories for £64.99. There's also a 21-day starter kit for £39.99 and a basic kit with just one mint refill for £24.99.
Disclosure: This product was sent to me for review purposes, but as always my opinions are honest and impartial.