Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review of The Mouthful Diet

One evening I just happened to punch in Mouthful or a similar word in google or google books search and I found a research study or two that  was about poeple counting bite and also found a book that told about the diet.  It was in the early 1970's, so I think that is probably where the Counting Bite Concept probably originated from.

Dr. Black Family Circle Article was from a little later, 1977-1978. (See first post on this blog for that article)

The book is Behavioral Approaches to Weight Control  by Edward E. Abramson . The book has about 10 pages or so dedicated to a chapter on The Mouthful Diet. The chapter is written by S. Fowler, who conducted the research study in the early 1970's.

You can find some interesting links here about the research study(s)  ect...

 Quote from

The mouthful diet: A behavioral approach to overeating.

By Fowler, Roy S.; Fordyce, Wilbert E.; Boyd, Vicki D.; Masock, Alexander J.

Rehabilitation Psychology, Vol 19(3), 1972, 98-106.

Tested an eating system based on learning theory principles requiring little professional supervision. Ss count mouthfuls as they are taken and establish individual daily limits of food intake according to weekly weight change patterns. 3 groups of female Ss (N = 72) were used: active, control, and dropout. Of the 58 Ss instructed in the system, 43 reported a change in eating habits with gradual sustained weight loss over 8 mo

 The study above the Participants had a gradual Sustained Weight Loss over an 8 month Period with counting bites.


They actually designed a Bite Counter type Computer gadget and tried to patent it.... It is VERY similar to the  Eat Slower Pro App that I use 3 times a day almost every single day (and have for the last 6 1/2 months). Amazing how the App is so similar to the orginal invention! They came up with some pretty  neat inventions back in the olden days too ;)

IF you can sort down through some of the pages, there is some interesting information in this link about hte studies and how they had the poeple count their bites...


In Reviewing the book I mentioned above, the information about the Mouthful Diet contained in it, matched pretty close the original Family Circle Article found in the first post on this blog.

S. Fowler  recomends establishing a baseline to see how many bites you are eating, without changing your eating habits.

He says poeple start to cut down in his experience [even though they are not required to in the first week or two]

Then he recomends  getting the number of the  average bites per day, and subtracting 2 bites per day each day, to get a new "Upper Limit of Mouthfuls" for each day next week.  

In another place (the Pdf link above about the invention) said in the study they had Participantes Subtract 1 bite per meal, total 3 bites per day from the Average Bite Count Per Day  When they wanted to lose weight that "next week".

So in recap, they do very similar to what I am doing now in Maintenance. They recomend wieghing once a week and comparing your wieght this week to last weeks weight. (I recomend weighing daily and charting on a moving average chart like Trendwieght.com which is free)

 If the weight is the same, they Recomend taking away 2-3 bites per day so you start losing again.

If you lost too much wieght, they recomend adding 2-3 bites per day to balance it out.

...and so on....once a week re-evaluating your bite count for the next week, based on your wieght loss/gain/maintain  results VS. your bite count...

The chapter on the Mouthful Diet  went on to talk about Habits, How that we Reinforce our Behavior, and the more we do good behavior, the more it becomes automatic and Reinforeced,ect...

One Quote from the book in the Mouthful Diet Chapter... page 95

Learning to stop eating is the most difficult part of dieting.  When you practice stopping frequently enough, it becomes easier to continue this pattern.  At first, stopping at bite 150 is as difficult if not more difficult as stopping at bite 75 or less later on.  This is especially true when you stop and dont see weight loss. Dont give up. Keep cutting down and keep stopping.  You are rehearsing  the behavior which is going to make the difference later.  You are controlling your own eating behavior.  You are stopping when you dont want to stop.

So practice STOPPING!  This really seems to be alot of Dieting/Maintaining in one paragraph.  When we STOP eating when our alloted  Bite Count is eaten and accept it, and make a habit of it, that is when the results come...the results that follow Behavior!

He also says that some poeple have to cut down their bites  as much as 2/3 as what they were originally eating. For me, this is true.  When I was close to 218 pounds, I was eating around 160-200 bites a day. Now around 145 pounds, I am eating 45 bites a day or so to Maintain my wieght. That is  1/4 to 1/3 of What I used to eat.  And I know Reduced Obese poeple that have lose weight, have to eat less to maintain anyway ;)

He says you can follow any diet or Special Diet with the Mouthful eating plan. He says it doesnt matter what you eat, its how much.

He says if you "squander your bites" on high calorie food,   you will have to eat less bites to continue to lose.  He talks of the Salad Loving Neighbor eating 200 bites a day.  So in recap, you can eat Low or High Calorie,  Just lots more bites with Low Calorie!

And it totally makes sense that you can follow any diet while  doing the Counting Bites Program. Low Glycemic Index, Low Carb,  South Beach,  anything. Just dont worry about the calories or serving sizes.

 All you have to do is

1.count your bites and record them,

2. Wiegh regularly and record 

3. evaluate your wieght vs. bites  once a week and change accordingly,
                          A. whether you want to gain, lose, or maintain your wieght
                          B. then you increase, decrease, or keep your bites the same based on A.

So I didnt learn alot of new stuff in the book, but just more proof that it is a legit way of eating. For some reason that made all the difference to me in the beginning when I first got inspiration to Count bites, knowing and reading about how a doctor had  it work for 200 poeple and recomended it as a Lifelong change ect... helped me to want to do it...

Although we probably will NOT be having more children, I think this Counting Bites could also work for pregnancy.  Eating a healthy balanced diet and gaining the perfect amount of weight recomended would be fairly easy with Bite Counting without the hassle of Calorie Counting. In the past, I have gained to the  Obese Range while pregnany, and acted like Pregnancy was a Free-for-all-binge. When in acutality, I was eating far far too much food and I acutally had high blood pressure in the 5th pregnancy in 2013.


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