I’m going to keep it 100% real with you.
This product gives me the “you kids don’t know how good you have it” feelings. Because honestly?
There was no such thing as bariatric flatware when I was a new post-op. None. Zip. Zilch. There may have been a generic set of plastic utensils in bariatric focused food containers, but there was no flatware that looked like it went with the rest of my flatware that was designed to help me eat appropriately after weight loss surgery.
So if you’ve had surgery within the last year or so (or are planning to have surgery) you need to thank your lucky stars. Those of us who came before you paved the way!
Livliga “Viva” Just Right Set® bariatric flatware: What the hell is it?
Before we get into all that can I just fan-girl a tiny bit? I promise, I’ll be brief.
Livliga is a company I’m really proud to know. I first came in contact with them about 6 or 7 years ago when they were selling mainstream sized dishes that were aimed toward the general public for the purposes of making portion control both easy and elegant. Back then they sent us a set of dishes to review (and our very own Shannon did a very thorough job!) and her only real criticism about the dish set she received was the size.
Then, Livliga began showing up in a big way in the bariatric community. It wasn’t at all unusual to see them exhibiting at the Obesity Action Coalition “Your Weight Matters” Convention or at ASMBS Obesity Week. They spent a lot of time talking to bariatric folks but also a lot of time listening.
And all that listening culminated in their Just Right Set® bariatric dish set, which, spoiler alert, I love, love, love! (Click that link to get to my full review.) As they continued to listen to the bariatric consumer, though, they realized many of us were turning to kiddie utensil sets, plastic utensils and the like to help us eat the proper amounts.
Now…for some of us that’s fine. But realizing that some folks would like a nice set of flatware that doesn’t stand out to dinner guests (or on the occasional romantic, at-home dinner date), they developed this flatware set just for us.
Let me reiterate that. IT IS JUST FOR US. Like…I’m sure other populations of people can use it. But it was developed with our needs in mind. Outside of bariatric specific companies, how many times can we really say that, Foodies?
So let’s take a deeper dive into this product.
Ok, another moment of truth. I am 11 years post-op and, since there were no pretty bariatric utensils when I was a new post-op, I’ve always eaten with regular utensils. I knew of some post-ops who used cutlery sets made for children (which tended to be plastic and come in neon colors), but I was cheap, so I just opted to take little bites from big forks!
All that is to say that I’m pretty accustomed to regular cutlery and so this review is a bit of a departure for me. But it’s totally one I was willing to take for you! So let’s dive in.
The Appearance and Size
According to Livliga, the Just Right® flatware set has the following product specifications:
- The knife is 5-3/4-inches
- The form is 5-1/4-inches
- The spoon is 5-inches
I point this out to you to explain my very first, “fresh out of the box” reaction to the set. I’m thinking because a) I am 11 years post-op and b) I’ve always used traditional cutlery, the pieces seemed small to me. Not in a bad way. Just in a “this is different from what I’m used to” kind of way.
The set came in a cute, transparent carrying case and, when I removed them, I could feel a little weight to the pieces. They felt sturdy and like they were made out of good, quality material.
The handles of all three pieces were textured, which I thought was pretty, and they looked like they had a decent grip, although I was a bit concerned about how short the pieces seemed to me. I’ll get to that in a second. The only other comment I have about the look and size of the set is that the fork has three tines, whereas traditional dinner forks have four. It was something I noticed but I wasn’t put off by it.
First impression: pretty stylish, Livliga! But knowing them, I expected nothing less.
Using the Set
Ok so I’ll cut right to the chase. Here’s the interesting thing about this product. I noticed a difference in how I eat immediately after using it. Now understand I gave it a good long test. I ate with the set almost exclusively (except for when I was at work or out to eat) for about two weeks.
Here’s how it seemed to change how I approached my meals:
- Of course, I was taking smaller bites. It was physically impossible to tear off a big hunk of food with these things.
- I took more time between bites. That surprised me because I thought I’d be doing double-time to get more food into my mouth. Not so! I actually did slow down.
- I got full faster. Well…not really. But here’s what I think happened. Because I was taking smaller bites, and more time between bites, I was giving my tummy and brain enough time to communicate that I’d had enough food.
Now, keep in mind I used this flatware set in conjunction with my Just Right Set® bariatric dish. So I was eating an appropriate amount of food, and yet I was leaving food on my plate. That, like, never happens. But it did with this set.
And, in fact, it sort of spilled over to my use of regular flatware. I find that’s true, though. If I can manage to consistently eat the appropriate amount a few meals in a row, I’ll continue to be satisfied on less until such time I take a flying leap off the wagon once again.
Initially I was concerned about the size of the pieces. They are visibly smaller than your average cutlery. And I’m not going to lie. The first few times I used the set it felt different in my hands. But guess what? I got over it! Especially after I saw how it seemed to be influencing my food intake.
There are just a few more things I wanted to mention very quickly:
- The set is dishwasher safe.
- I found with this set, as in all the Livliga pieces I own, that it holds up excellently to washes. The set is just as shiny and pretty as when I first received it and, judging from how well my LivSpoons held up, it will continue to be that way for a long time to come.
- I personally have yet to use the carrying case, although I think it would be perfect for travel. But so far I’m pretty guarded about my Livliga stuff so it stays at my house…where it’s safe!
The set comes with a fork, a spoon, and a knife, in a colorful carrying case for a regular price of $20.99 but it is currently selling for $15.99.
Now wait. Before you balk. Let me point out one thing.
To make this point I need to harken back to last year’s review of the Livliga LivSpoons. They actually sent me a set, which I sent to Shannon because I already had a set and had, in fact, had it for quite some time…and it was as good as new.
I kid you not! Livliga stuff is quality stuff, made out of quality materials. Everything I have from Livliga still looks as good as the day I got it. The plate has gone in the microwave, in the dishwasher, it has been manhandled by my kids and my man…and it still looks like new when I wash it, as does my bowl. My LivSpoons are easy to clean and look like new coming out of the dishwasher.
So I’m not mad at the cost at all. This isn’t cheaply made. It’s not going to turn a weird color. It’s not going to melt in the dishwasher. I would be willing to bet a paycheck that if you invest in this flatware set, I can ask you three years from now how that set is and you’ll still be satisfied with it.
Except wait…there is one danger. Utensil trolls. Livliga flatware is not safe from utensil trolls. You know…those trolls that live in your dishwasher and steal your utensils until you’re down to one butter knife and a shrimp fork? Yeah. Those.
(First off…check me out reflecting in the spoon!)
My best advice: guard your set closely! I would even recommend washing them by hand and keeping them in the carrying case. Because utensil trolls are generally too lazy to unzip things to steal them.
Be sure to check out this product, and many other great products, on the Livliga website!