Day 153 – Counting BITES of Food – June 27, 2016 – I just discovered “Counting or Tracking” bites of food and as a result, I am so excited about writing this post. Last night when eating dinner, I said to my husband, Mark, “I wonder how many bites of food is enough food but not too much? I wonder how many bites, or cups of food, that my belly can hold? Maybe I should count my bites sometime to see how many it takes until I feel full.”
I said this, as I stared at the large serving of dinner sitting before me. I made for dinner Lemon Garlic Shrimp over Angel Hair Pasta with a side of 5-pieces of Shrimp Cocktail with sauce, a small bowl of tomato and mozzarella salad and two pieces of garlic toast.
I knew in a glance that it was way TOO MUCH food for one serving. As my belly became full, I skipped one piece of garlic toast and gave Mark the remains of my shrimp and pasta. Of course, before I had a chance to put my idea of counting bites into action, I had already consumed part of my dinner.
After dinner, I decided to search the internet using these words, “How many mouthfuls bites of food is enough per one meal.” To my utter amazement, I discovered that I am not alone in my quest to find answers to this question! In fact, this topic has been going on for a least a couple of years, if not longer.
There might even be a bite counting movement going on. Who knew?
Count Bites, NOT Calories
What I love right out of the gate about this bite counting idea, is that I DON’T have to count calories (or points). I know from past experience that I am horrible at counting calories and points. Not to mention, counting calories, whether dining out or eating in, is very hard to do.
Counting bites of food seems more manageable. Weird perhaps, but manageable.
Why Count Bites?
- A simpler way to monitor food intake without measuring
- An alternative to calorie counting (or counting Weight Watcher points)
- Counting portions and calories is remarkably inaccurate
- No measuring or portioning out food
- Personalized plan as everyone’s number of bites of food a day varies – absolutely no comparison between yourself and anyone else.
- Cost to track your bites? FREE
What is a bite?
A bite is any time you take a bite of food, NOT how many times you chew your food. Any time you are in the process of taking your hand to your mouth to bite into your food, whether biting into a hamburger or eating a spoonful or fork-full of food ~ this is considered taking a BITE of food.
A bite also includes any drink of a beverage, not including water.
How much food is in a bite?
Typically 2 teaspoons to 3 teaspoons (1 Tablespoon) or whatever portion is normal for you.
Establishing a BITE Baseline
The first goal when starting to count bites is to establish a baseline. What is a baseline? For the next 7 days, I will be tracking my number of bites of food. I already started today and as of this post, I am at 59 bites. I’ve had two snacks today at 5 bites each, breakfast was 16 bites and dinner was 33 bites. Of course, the day isn’t over yet and I’m bound to have one more snack this evening.
I decided to write this post tonight to let you in on what I am doing and I will update you each day this week. Come next Monday, I will have my average daily bites number to report.
The BITE tips experts say:
- Don’t change your bite size
- Don’t change the number of bites you eat
- Don’t change the type of foods you normally consume
Eating a balanced diet is important anyway. Keep track for each day and calculate an average daily bite total. This daily bite total is called your baseline.
Bite Tracking Made Easy
As I was reading up on tracking my bites, I came across a really cool i-tunes App for my phone. It’s called Count Bites by David Brodegard and you can read about it on this link, Count Bites. The download for your phone is FREE. Love that. You can also go to his website, CountBites.com to read all about The Story and How to Get Started.
I installed the app in my phone last night and entered my starting weight. Today, I started tracking my bites. I had my phone out and the app available and each time I took a bite to my mouth, I touched the center of the counter. Remember, water does not get counted but other drinks should be.
I admit, this is where I took a little detour. I take a lot of “little” sips of a drink so I knew my number of “sips” would be off the chart if I tracked every single one. Since, I drink water all day long and have an ice tea or an occasional diet coke, I decided to track my non-water drinks on a separate tracker. I have one of those old-fashioned, hand-held counters and I am using that to track my non-water drinks. I’m not advising this, I am just saying what I decided to do.
What is most important to me, isn’t reducing what I drink (since I mostly drink water) but reducing how many bites of food I eat.
Using the Baseline
After my 7-days is up, which will be this coming Sunday, I will have the information needed to establish the “average” of the seven days.
My goal after knowing my average, daily bites? To reduce the number of bites of food I eat per day. If I consume 80 bites per day for my “average”, my NEW goal will be to reduce my daily number of bites by 20 to 30%. In other words, reduce my daily bites by eating 16 to 24 less bites per day. So, instead of eating 80 bites per day, I would eat 56 to 64 bites per day (20 to 30% less).
Day 153 – Counting BITES of Food
So there you have it ~ this is what I am up to this week. I am counting my bites of food and will keep you posted along the way. Of course, today’s final tally will be reported tomorrow night.
I should mention that when I set-up the Count Bites app in my phone, in addition to entering my weight, I entered my height so that my starting BMI (body mass index) was calculated.
Counting bites takes a little discipline but is doable. The most important thing is to remember to record the bite immediately, if not simultaneously, as you bite into your food. There are wrist band trackers (they track the movement of your arm) available too but I did not research that very much.
I’ll keep you posted. Who knows ~ maybe tracking and then reducing my bites per day will help melt the fat away…
Facing MY FAT,