Where do I start?
1.Read about counting bites....A good place to start is by reading information about bite counting as a way to lose wieght and keep the weight off,
the original article about Dr. Black's bite counting system, is really the best place to start...
You can find and read that here
Other good links and books to read are in these links here
80 bites has a website, also there is the 5 bite diet Facebook Group, which is supportive of Dr. Alwin lewis 5 bites twice a day. There are a few on there that do modify it to include more bites (including me) =)
2.Decide and obtain what you want to use to count bites with. Read this blog post here about all the different things you can use to count bites with.
Read this blog post here about different options to count your bites
I use the Eating Slower Pro app, which works quite well. Other options can be free, one lady even used a piece of paper and pencil. This wouldnt be very convienent., and you want to make sure whatever you choose to use is something that is easy to do, something that you are more likely to be able to stick with, something that will be easily available whenever you eat. A simple free tally counter app for your phone is a good cheap way to start out!
There is another app that counts bites that is Free for iphone called Next Bite. Next bite has a smaller counter at the top of the screen and you can set how many seconds between bites. (eating slower is another blog post you can read about later)
When I first started dabbling with Bite counting, I didnt have an iphone, so I bought a golf tally counter off of amazon, and it worked well!
3. Establish a Baseline and start counting your bites.
You can do one of two things when you first start counting bites.
1.You can establish your Baseline by counting how many you are consuming now over a 1 week period, and then decrease gradually each week or month, ect as needed to keep losing
This app here establishes a baseline number of bites specifically for you,
2. You can just pick a goal number of bites and start counting . Some choose 80 bites to start with and some choose 30-50 or less to start with. I recomend starting HIGHER closer to 80 or more and decreasing a little every week. I started with 80 and decreased to 70, then 60, then 50 and so on and so on!
Every bite you put into your mouth, push your tally counter ect.... I find it easier to just use the Eat Slower Pro app, it counts for me, I just take a bite everytime it vibrates OR says bite, and it makes me eat slower too!
4. Document your weight I like to do this daily on Happy Scale
and Trend Weight
Both of them are free, and they help you not get discouraged. You can choose to only wiegh once a week, but keep in mind that clinical studies show that poeple who weigh daily lose more wieght and keep it off better...
Its important that you be able to somehow keep tabs on your wieght to so you can re-evluate your wieght vs. your bite count once a week.
The happy Scale and trend wieght both keep a running average of your weight and a trend line. There are other free websites that do this also, just google Weight Hacker's Diet trend wieght and/or Running Average!
5. Document your bites...
Journal your bites, how many you ate for each meal/day. This is important,so you can review it later in several days....
Jot down your bites in a journal/tablet/piece of paper with a pen or pencil. OR keep track of it on your phone. I use the Daily Tracker app on my iphone, and it keeps track of 2 years of information how many bites per day I ate, ect, I can also keep track of each meal if I wish to.
The Eat SLower Pro app keeps track of your bites per meal and Per day for 90 days, so this is nice, its already built in!
This only takes 30-60 seconeds a day!
6. Once a Week, Evaluate your Wieght and Bite count over the past week and adjust...
At the end of Each week, look over your bite count on your phone/journal/paper and your wieght that you jotted down
ask yourself these questions...
Am I losing wieght, gaining, or maintaining my wieght?
Then Adjust your bite count/goals for the next week:
If you are gaining, decrease your bites.
If you want to lose faster, decrease your bites.
If you are losing at the pace you are happy with, keep your bites the same
If you are losing faster than you want to, increase your bites just a bit
Some poeple are happy with 1/4-1 lb loss a week, each person is different. What matters is that you reach YOUR personal wieght loss goals, and that YOU lose wieght at the rate YOU want! You can personalize the number of bites just for your situation!
7.(Optional) Make a Commitment:
This is optional, you dont have to make a commitment to lose wieght, but it really helps one to stick to the plan even when a few days into your bite plan, you have a temptation to go off track!!!
This has been one of the sole reasons I have been able to stick with it. I started out making commitments on http://www.stickk.com/ I put 18 dollars on almost every commitment per week, and I dont pay a penny unless I dont keep my commitment. It has made me stick through it day in and day out. I have done around 60-70 commitments scince 4 months or so ago and only lost 5 or less of them. It really works! Other websites that you can make commitments on include https://www.beeminder.com/
http://habitforge.com/ and others!!
Just for an example when I made a commitment around the time I started losing wieght on this journey October 14,2013 I made a commitment for 4 weeks, because I knew that would get me past the point of where i would start seeing results ect...and it worked!!! I lost close to 24 lbs in the first 4 weeks, and I KNOW that if I would not have made a commitment, I probably would not have stuck with it! I would have given into temptation once again and probably not be at my goal wieght today!!
Here is what my commitment looked like for the first 4 weeks of my journey....just as an example word for word....
Eat certain amount of bites"
I commit to:
Week one: 80 bites or less daily
Week two: 70 bites or less daily
Week three: 60 bites or less daily
Week Four:50 bites or less daily
Sundays are always 80 bites or less
I may make 2 mistakes per week of up to 5 bites per mistake.
It was a custom commitment on Stickk.com for 4 weeks
8. (Optional) Limit your eating occasions/meals to 3-4 times a day
I didnt do this right away, but within a week or two I started limiting my eating occasions to about 4 times a day, then worked my way to 3 times a day. This really helps to not be snacking constantly. It is one of the main principles of the NO S diet, and I think eating 3 times a day and not snacking all the time, really helps wieght loss, it helps one not to be so obssesed about food. I know I can eat when my next scheduled meal is and I CAN wait until then!
The No S book is here if you are interested in learning more about the 3 meal a day strategy
The No S website and Forum is here
80bites founders (another bite counting program) also recomends that you only eat 4 times a day!
It is hepful to have a BITE GOAL for each "meal"
For example my bite goals right now (30 bites total per day)
are MEAL 1: 7 bites
MEAL 2: 5 bites
MEAL 3: 18 bites
I saved more bites so I could eat a nice home cooked meal with my family!
9. (Optional)Allow yourself more bites for Weekends or Special Occasions This also helped me to stay on track. I alot of times allowed myself 1 1/2 times to double the amount of total bites for a day on Saturday and Sunday! At least I allowed more bites usually. Now if you do this too often, you wont lose, but I started out allowing myself 80 bites for Sundays and then gradually went to a moderately increased amount of bites for both Saturday and Sundays. When we went out to eat, sometimes (once a week or less) I would also allow myself up to 18-25 bites just for that meal. That would help me not to feel deprived even though I was still just eating a small amount on regular days. This basic priniciple helps to keep you from binging.
If you say, I am only going to eat 20 bites even on Christmas, thats not even reasonable! Alot better to say I will eat 80 bites (or more) on Christmas, and stick to your plan, instead of end of binging and eating way more than that!
Read this blog post here for more details
The Principle of having more on Weekends also comes from No S diet. Reinhard Engels called these days "S DAYS" and that helps keep you on track during the week!
10. (Optional) Eat Slower This has been a major helper in helping me feel satisfied with a small amount of food.. One minute between each bite going into your mouth You can read about it here
You can just start with Number one on this list and work your way down the line Gradually, OR you can do all at once. I recomend doing it somewhat Gradually, adding in a new concept every week or two OR month OR when YOU feel comfortable doing so. The optional things listed above are not Mandatory to lose weight counting bites, but you will find them to make it much easier if you consider adopting some or all of them!