How To Chew Quietly Like A Ninja: 12 Tips That Works

There are a few things that truly annoy me. Besides scratching nails on chalkboard, one of my pet peeves is chewing loudly. 

Sure, some people don’t care, but I think it reflects a person’s self control and awareness for his environment. It’s unlike snoring which you can hardly control, and there’s really no need to piss everyone else around the dining table.

Quick answer to how you can chew quietly:

  • Learn basic table manners
  • Slow down while eating
  • Take smaller bites of your food
  • Swallow fully before eating again
  • Choose food that is non-crunchy
  • Concentrate on eating only
  • Don’t talk or take a drink
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid snacks
  • Ignore your surrounding noises
  • Keep mouth closed
  • Keep your eyes closed

It sounds like a lot to take in, but trying out even just one or two of the tips above is going to greatly reduce chewing noises while eating. 

Why should you chew softly?

It is not a crime to chew loudly, but so is being an a-hole. People just don’t like it, but most of us are too polite to voice it out. 

Short of becoming a nuisance, there’s good reason to learn how to chew quietly:

  • Being in a cinema
  • Having a meal in a fine dining restaurant
  • Behaving like a cultured person in front of your significant other
  • Trying to achieve peace in your life (meditation etc)
  • Learning to be a monk
  • Learning to be a ninja

I mean, I could probably go on and on, but you get the point. 

In the section that follows, you can read in more details how each tip works. 

Techniques to help you chew softly

1. Learn basic table manners

Table manners encompass a number of things you should or should not do. Kids should be taught them so that they do not grow up with the wrong habits. We adults should not forget them too.

Two of the most commonly taught rules are not to stuff your face with lots of food and to chew quietly. Making an effort to remember and practice them is a good place to start eating quietly.

2. Slow down while eating

Sometimes it is because we are really hungry, and sometimes it could be due to a bad habit. Eating quickly can lead to indigestion as we do not chew our food properly. It can also cause a lot of noises to people around you since you are rushing through your meal. 

Some might say that it is okay to do so when no one is looking, but that will simply breed the habit. Try to make a conscious effort not to do this even when you are alone. 

You will enjoy your food more, and you will also not overeat. By eating very quickly, the signal that you are full does not reach your brain in time, which leads to overeating.

3. Take smaller bites of your food

If you have watched any cooking program, you always hear the chef saying “cut them into bite sizes”. And because of that, you are able to keep the portion of food you put in your mouth manageable and thus keep your mouth closed. 

This has the added benefit of allowing your to slowly chew your food with your mouth closed and savor every bit of it. 

While doing this, you will naturally slow down too, avoiding overeating. Great for people watching their waistline. 

4. Swallow fully before eating again

Similar to the tips before this, you should always swallow your food before you eat again. If you attempt to stuff more food into your mouth before swallowing, you will run out of space quickly and not be able to chew with your mouth closed.

One way you can do so is to set down the cutlery while eating and only picking them up when your food is swallowed. You can also place your hands on your lap while slowing chewing your food.

5. Choose food that is non-crunchy

This is pretty much a no brainer if you are in a situation where you really do not want to disturb people. Avoid eating crunchy food like chips, carrots, celery, nuts, biscuits etc. 

If you really have to eat them, try to ensure they are cut down to tiny pieces so that the impact of the noise made is highly reduced. 

One trick you can try out when eating chips is to use your tongue to push the chip onto the roof of your mouth and crush it first. The noise will be muted and from here on, you can eat normally. 

Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid eating them, so use the tips above or try to limit the intake altogether.

6. Concentrate on eating only

This might seem anti social, but it is actually highly effective. Concentrating on your food and shutting everything else out works well to reduce noise made by eating. 

Keep the phone, newspaper, or book away while you are having your meal. Distractions will lead to your forgetting how to chew quietly. 

Keep all your senses focused on what’s in front of you instead.

7. Don't talk or drink

It should come as no surprise that talking or drinking while eating will naturally cause loud noises. When you talk, your mouth has to open and chew at the same time, resulting in a loud chomping noise that no one likes to hear. 

A similar thing happens when you take a gulp of water. 

If you have to say something or drink water, be sure to swallow first before doing so.

Not to mention, this is good table manners too. 

8. Avoid alcohol

The reason behind this is that when you imbibe alcohol, you start to loosen up and relax. In such cases, you tend to forget about certain actions and that leads you to eating loudly. 

I always love a glass of beer to go with my meal, but I hardly finish it during meal time. I prefer to enjoy it and drink more after the meal. 

If you are at a social gathering or event, or you simply must have alcohol during your meal, try to sip it slowly, leaving it for after the meal instead.

9. Avoid snacks

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to stop eating snacks. What I mean is to avoid eating them in situations where you need to keep the noise levels down. 

Chips, nuts, fries, you name it. Once people start eating these kind of food, they tend not to think too much and start gobbling them down. It’s almost like natural instinct. 

If you can avoid having them or switching to other less “noisy” food, that will help you out greatly. If you can’t avoid, try to slow down and have a piece at a time rather than stuffing your whole face with it. 

I think it helps with your image too.

10. Ignore your surrounding noises

When you are dining at a loud place or generally in public, you tend to “blend in” and forget about your own behavior, That’s pretty normal, but that also means that you will start eating loudly. 

To avoid this, you should try to block out the noises around you, focusing instead on just your food.

I find that what helps is using a pair of noise blocking headphones. They put you in a sort of cocoon where it is just you and your food. 

This is a good exercise to practice if you are into meditation too.

11. Keep your mouth closed

With all that’s been said above, I think you get the point that keeping your mouth closed when chewing is the best way to reduce noise. 

Besides that, it also encourages a good habit. Remember we used to be taught as kids to chew our food for at least 20 times before swallowing? It helps with better digestion which can lead to many other health problems we want to avoid in our lives. 

12. Keep your eyes closed

And lastly, keeping your eyes closed while chewing on your food. Does it sound strange?

The reason behind this is that when you block out one sense, the other senses will heighten, in this case your taste buds. You will also hear your own chewing as you eat, which makes you more aware of the noises you make. 

This mind trick is going to help you focus your attention on your food and enjoy it a lot more. 

You do not want to eat loudly here

Frequently Asked Questions About Chewing

Is chewing loudly genetic?

Chewing loudly is definitely not genetic. It is more a matter of bad habits which can be corrected easily given the right guidance and time. 

Misophonia, or the hatred for sound, could possibly be genetic, but there is not enough evidence now to state it as a fact. 

Why do people eat so loud?

Unfortunately, this is related more to general upbringing and their sensitivity towards people around them. Some people simply do not understand concepts like personal space, or maybe not even caring about how they are perceived by others.

This lack of knowledge can also explain why some people have to make loud smacking noises or suck on the fingers loudly to remove food, when they could have used a napkin instead.

How to chew chips quietly?

The only successful way I found was to press the chip against the roof of my mouth and crush it gently. When it breaks into pieces, you can eat normally without it creating much noise.

Another method you can try it to put the chip into your mouth but not chew on it at once. Let it sit for a while where your saliva will soften it. Mushy chips is served. 

Disclaimer: I never like this method. 

Why does the sound of chewing drive me crazy?

There is a likelihood you have a disorder known as misophonia. It is when a sound can drive you crazy and make you very angry, such as chewing, loud breathing, or even a motion like legs shaking.

In milder cases, people will feel anxiety and uncomfortable, and in more extreme cases, it can brew rage and hatred. 

If you feel that you are exhibiting signs like that, you might want to consult an expert. Living with misophonia can be a terrible experience but there are groups out there that can help you cope.

How to deal with a loud chewer?

Chewing loudly is a bad behavior that gets on the nerves of many people, and they sometimes might not know how to deal with it. How to deal with it depends very much on the situation and how you are feeling. 

If it is somewhat bearable, consider chewing gum. It actually helps mute out noises pretty well. Or invest in a quality pair of noise cancelling headphones

On the other hand, if you feel that you need to say something, it helps to make up a story about how much you hated loud chewers and how they affected people, and ask them for advice on what to do. 

There is no one size fits all approach, so make full use of your sensitivity to handle this problem.

What foods can you eat without much chewing?

Well if you need to snack and don’t want to create a ruckus in the office or at home, consider the following foods: Mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, soft breads, baked beans, pureed food, ice cream.