I do think that you could lose weight this way. Don't get me wrong. I just don't see it as a long-term solution to a life-long problem. I view it more as if you had the flu for a week and dropped 10 pounds. As soon as you weren't sick anymore your body would regain that weight (mostly). I don't see any reason to make yourself miserable just to lose weight a little faster. What happens to someone who theoretically would follow this diet plan through to their goal weight and then begin to eat at a normal healthy rate? I don't think they would maintain their loss.
__________________ April - 35yr 5'10" mom of two teen boys
'What happens to someone who theoretically would follow this diet plan through to their goal weight and then begin to eat at a normal healthy rate? I don't think they would maintain their loss.'
I think that's the key. If you achieve your goal by dieting, you don't (shouldn't) begin to 'eat at a normal healthy rate.' The definitions of 'normal' and 'healthy' may mean 'as you ate before, just less.' But eating less was never your strong suit, if you actually had an upward-trending weight over the years.
The counting-bites method never changes what you put in your mouth. There's a wide range of foods you accept as every-day foods and special foods and yummylicious foods, all of which can be put in your mouth. It's you who decides how to spend your x number of bites at a meal. No more than x number of bites at a meal and no snacking between meals. So, if when you reach your goal weight and you are at that point allowing yourself 14 bites of food (big ones, but they are bites), you can choose carrots, spinach, whatever shouts 'health' to you. But will you? That's when there's a shakedown moment: had those been your foods of choice to begin with, would you have gained all the weight?
The entire dieting sales pitch (any diet) seems to me to be saying, 'You can eat a lot - a LOT - 6,000 calories a day - and fit it into this small space that is your body's metabolism (figuratively speaking), and it will be so satisfying and you will lose weight so fast that you will never want to eat otherwise.'
Every diet message board, forum and website has people struggling with the plateau, even weight GAIN, and frustration at 'falling off the wagon' and failure to maintain. If you find the diet that accomplishes the 'eat all you want of everything you want and do that every day and never regain the weight,' then go for it!
The two diets described (the counting bites method is one, the weighing diet is the other) basically don't call certain foods bad. They don't say you can eat all you want and not gain weight. They don't say you can eat all you want and lose weight (the 'all' part of 'all you want' is important there). They say: here's a limit. You keep your eye on that limit. You obey the limit. You stick with it.
Sounds like dieting to me!
After achieving goal weight, then there's the vigilance of maintenance. And then, there's that 'eat normally and get the healthy food in' that - um, sounds like 'have your cake and eat it too'! The dieter would say, 'I'm not dieting any more, I'm eating just healthy food and I'm not denying myself things I like - the 'bad foods' - so I can live with this.
Mindful eating: the two diets describe watching what you put in your mouth and watching the scale. Sure, there are days when you retain water, or feel bloated or constipated. But the diets work over time, like any and every diet does.
I can't recommend either of these diets - I go to WW and keep my eye on the points. And for me, the going is slow, but it is going.
Mark me down as skeptical. I share the others trepidations about this approach. The idea would be fine if non-calorie foods like water didn't weigh anything either. The problem is you drink 8 ounces of water and you gain weight. Eventually you will excrete the water but it could take some time. The same goes for bodily waste. Unless you are willing to take a laxative on a regular basis or endure enemas the waste throws off your weight. I recently lost 5 pounds in a day. I am sure it was water and food waste as I know I didn't burn 17,500 kcal more that day than I consumed. Weight loss/gain happens long term. This method is just a modified fast. You may as well just eat 500 kcal per day and drink lots of water. Your results would probably be similar.
I know many of us here were looking for a lifestyle change that we could maintain for the rest of our lives so we could be healthier and fitter when we found Fitday. The fads and the Fasts and the purging are not sustainable. Changing what you eat and how much you indulge and especially your attitude about food will make for a sustainable healthier future.
Male, Age 53 Height 5'-11"
Start, Spring 2009....,.. 270.0 lbs
January 21, 2010. ....,...255.0 lbs (Joined Fitday)
September 10, 2010..,..223.8 lbs. (-46.2lbs)
Mini-Goal......................225 Achieved 9/21/2012
Mini-Goal......................220 Achieved 10/26/2012
Current.........................216.2 lbs. (-53.8 lbs)
I think it ends up being an 'intermittent fast,' which has had some popularity in recent years. That's the 'watch the scale' diet. The 'count bites' diet is not a fast. You eat three times a day.
The 'watch the scale' diet is pretty much how I spent money on groceries when I was first married. I did all the grocery shopping. I clipped coupons that I took to the supermarket once or twice a week. I bought what looked good and most importantly, what was the cheapest (per pound, for example, when it was meat or fish or cheese, etc.)
I put the food on an index card in a box that I also brought with me to the supermarket. If I needed to buy some protein that I would be including in the dinner meals, I had just one rule: it had to be as cheap or cheaper than what we had previously (as written on the index card). The prices had to follow a downward spiral, and if meat ended up not meeting that requirement (check the sales, and check the regular prices, too - chicken livers were always pretty cheap!), it would be rice and beans or tuna casserole if tuna could be bought cheaply - but then, tuna on sale always ended up in the pantry so I'd have several cans on hand anyway! This pushed my grocery bill down and down and down. I'd use coupons. I'd try some new protein (trout on sale, for example), I'd substitute. But I went by a low price bar and the idea was to keep setting that bar lower.
It worked great! It took a lot of work in the beginning. When prices started to go up on everything, I'd have to really hunt - but vegetarian chili is something I could make from canned goods, or maybe I'd find a sale item at a different store that made a trip worthwhile.
I thought it was my neat little system. One day, I read a post on an internet board in which a guy explained that THAT was how he bought groceries for his family.
Here's my eventual plan to not gain weight back. I really think I'll have to count Calories for the rest of my life if I don't want to gain it back (except when I thru-hike the Appalachian Trail).
I'm running for 40 minutes 5 days a week right now and I have so much more energy that I find myself being a lot more active even when I'm not running. When I ever make my goal (a long way away--I started at 300 and I am down to 233 and I want to be 150), I plan to increase calories slowly until I find an amount I can eat and not gain weight. I am currently doing three meals a day with each meal just under 600 Calories. I figure when I get to my goal I can try adding a few more Calories to each meal until I hit an amount that ticks my weight up for a week. Once I hit that I'll drop back to what I ate the week before and see if that will help me hold my weight. I feel like exercise is the big thing that will give me a chance to keep the weight off and I hope to be running much faster and farther by the time I get to my goal.
Started at 300 lbs., now at 221, going for 150.
Not to mention, who has times to weigh themselves multiple times throughout the day just to see if you can eat yet? Sounds like a miserable diet where you are chained to the scale and constantly starving.
If you're constantly starving, you're not going to stay on a diet! You make it work with food choices that minimize that possibility. More fiber, more protein as a percentage of daily calories, and less calories per day, of course!
A diet plan is effective if you prepare it in consultation with a dietician. Diet should be according to your weight and height. Dieting doesn’t mean that you should not eat anything the whole day; It only means to help you identify right food choices that are nutritious food and with regular eating time.