For Everyone Who Hates Counting Calories: A Different Way to Count and Lose Weight
Fact: Counting calories isn’t most people’s definition of a good time. But is counting your bites any better? According to the New York Times, a new study suggests, for those who aren’t into meticulously keeping track of their calories, counting bites might be another (somewhat more tolerable) route to weight loss.
The study, done by researchers at Brigham Young University and published in Advances in Obesity, Weight Management & Control, first asked 61 overweight adult participants, all of whom reported a desire to lose weight, to count their bites — so every time they swallowed any food or drink aside from water — for one week. A good chunk of the volunteers (16, to be exact) quit within the first week. For those who stayed the course, the researchers figured out how many daily bites, on average, they each took and separated them into two groups: The first group was asked to reduce their daily bite count by 20 percent; the second group was challenged to reduce their daily bite count by 30 percent.
After a month, participants in both groups had lost an average of 3.5 pounds (Researchers say this suggests those in the 30-percent group opted for higher calorie foods to fill up.), and volunteers in both groups said bite counting was “do-able and tolerable.” So if you have never been able to describe calorie counting with such kind words, bite counting might be right up your alley. After all, it’s easier than counting calories in that you don’t have to actually figure out how many calories are in your food. Plus, if you are looking to lose weight without actually changing the food you eat (which, oddly enough, a lot of people are), it’s an easy way to make sure you simply eat less.
As the Times says, ” … the findings do suggest, Dr. West said, that bite counting is worth trying if someone wishes to lose weight and is intimidated by calorie counting.” But if you’re prone to cheating, a somewhat obvious, but maybe necessary, note of caution from the study’s lead author Dr. Josh West: “Fewer bites won’t help you lose weight if every one of those bites is dessert.” Same goes for fewer bites that are, you know, two to three times the size of your normal spoonful.
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