Day 155 – Counting Bites vs Counting Calories

Day 155 – Counting Bites vs Counting Calories – Wednesday – June 29, 2016 – Today is Day Three of my Counting BITES of food challenge and I’d like to address “bites” vs. “calories.” Mind you, counting bites is in place of counting calories but it’s still nice to know the comparison between the two.

In case you missed it, you may want to read the past two days posts before proceeding:

Day 155 - Counting Bites vs Counting Calories
Bites vs. Calories

While there are different schools of thought as to how many calories are in the “average” bite, the number I found that was used most frequently is:

1 Bite of Food = 25 calories on average

Using this number as a guide, if a person eats 100 bites food a day that would equate to 2500 calories (100 bites x 25 calories).

Knowing this might make it easier to NOT:

  • Eat those last few pieces of a bun, bread, biscuit, roll, breadstick, cracker or tortilla
  • Snitch a piece of candy from a co-worker’s desk or eat the leftover holiday candy that never seems to go away
  • Eat that last bit of cake or cookie batter that remains on the mixer beaters, the spatula or in the bowl
  • Sample the “free” foods at Sam’s club or the grocery store
  • Partake of the “free” food that sometimes comes with Happy Hour
  • Eat the last bit of remaining food when cleaning up the dinner table
  • Eat the last piece of pizza (because it’s never going to be as good as it tastes right then)


My Bite Update

One thing I like about the App that I am using to track my bites is the first thing in the morning when I look at my phone, I am greeted with a message of “New Day.” I am not sure if I am seeing this because I am in my first week and I am trying to establish my baseline or if I will always see this. Either way, I like it.

The Count Bites App shows my daily progress:

  • Day 1 Monday, I had 77 bites
  • Day 2 Tuesday, 79 bites
  • Today, so far I am at 74 bites but I plan (as usual) to have a snack tonight.

To refer back to the average calorie count of 25 per bite, 77 bites on Monday puts me at 1,925 calories and 79 bites on Tuesday at 1,975 calories. Both of these numbers strike me as pretty high but considering how many bites it takes me to eat my food, and how small my bites are, I’m not really surprised.

watermelon bite

Make Our Bites Count

After counting bites for seven days, we will know our baseline of “average” bites per day. At this point, I think it is fair to say, “Make Our Bites Count.”

Of course, the number of 25 average calories per bite is NOT an absolute. Think of it as a rule of thumb and something to keep in the back of our mind. Knowing this number can help determine whether the bite we are about to take is actually worth it, or not.

Here is something I came across that I think is a really cool idea and apparently it’s been in use for a long time:

The 3-Bite Rule – when you really want to indulge, limit yourself to three bites. Why?
  1. The first bite is as good as you think it’s going to be, flavorful and delicious.
  2. The second bite confirms the first, also good but not as good as the first bite.
  3. By the third bite, your palate has had its fill and the food isn’t going to taste any better, so you might as well stop.

Some people use this trick just for dessert, but it can be used for any food. I can easily see myself applying the 3-Bite Rule when it comes to holiday dinners and special occasions.

In fact, I somewhat applied the rule this evening. It wasn’t for three bites but for three pieces of pizza (homemade tortilla style pizza). I ate three of the thin pieces and was about to eat the fourth piece when I thought of this rule. I realized that I was satisfied with what I had already eaten and so I put the fourth (and fifth) piece in the fridge for another day. I was so proud of myself for stopping!

The 3-Bite Rule can also be applied at a buffet, neighborhood cookout or potluck parties. Apply it virtually anyplace where you know there will be a wide variety of food and no doubt, TOO MUCH food to choose from.

pay attention

Pay Attention Please

Counting bites will help to make mindless eating a thing of the past. The most important thing to keep in mind when counting bites is to count your bites immediately ~ simultaneously ~ when eating.

When I sit down to eat I am already surprised how the slightest distraction can start to throw me off ~ even if I have my phone out and the App ready. Perhaps it’s someone speaking to you, perhaps it’s something you are watching on TV or reading on your phone or i-pad. Counting bites takes some focus.

If I know how many bites something is going to be, like my 10 cubes of watermelon in front of me, I might go ahead and enter all 10 by tapping my phone App counter 10 times; otherwise, I tap my phone as I take each individual bite. If you are unable to download the App, purchase a clicker to make it easy (see photo below).

counting bites tracker

Day 155 – Counting Bites vs Counting Calories

Tomorrow might be a challenge when I have lunch out with a friend. I might be out of cell tower range and I am wondering if my phone App will work. If not, I will use my hand-held clicker or record my bites in my phone’s notepad.

On Saturday, I will face my first big challenge in counting my bites in a party setting. It’s my niece’s graduation party. I’m sure there will be a variety of food and several desserts. My plan is to peruse the entire offering and determine what is most desirable AND important to me.

grad cupcake

Although I am still in my first 7-days where I am supposed to eat normal in order to establish my baseline, for the party I am planning to allow for at least 30 bites (30 bites x 25 calories average = 750 calories).

In addition, I plan to implement the 3-Bite Rule and select food that allows me to either eat it completely in three bites or select three small pieces of it.

One thought is to divide my 30 bites into eating 6 different items, 5 bites of each. Who knows? The combination of options could be endless.

I just love this whole idea of counting bites! I feel empowered in a way that counting calories (or points) never made me feel.

To be continued….

Facing MY FAT,


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