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Will Counting Your Bites Help You Lose Weight?

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Seems like every other day some new idea for weight loss is born. The latest, and I'm not sure the greatest, is the Bite Counter. Food journaling and weighing your food might appear ancient compared to strapping on a high tech (though ugly) watch that counts your daily bites.

According to the developers of this device, who are from Clemson University, bite counting could serve as a substitute for calorie counting, enabling individuals to better monitor their intake. Through their research, they determined that 100 bites is the magic number for men and women to lose weight, roughly 1,700 calories for men and 1,100 calories for women.

Supposedly the counter will recognize the pattern of a bite: When you munch, typically your wrist rolls; your fingers aim downward to pick something up or and sideways to place food into your mouth. Regardless of the type of food or utensil, it will detect how many bites you are taking. The device could then tell you to slow down or to stop eating after a target intake of bites had been reached.

What I do not understand clearly is how the watch knows what you are eating. For example, what if I take very big bites of a cheeseburger or a brownie? Could I actually eat two of them and my watch wouldn’t know? That wouldn’t be ideal for weight loss. Or forget what I am eating with a fork, what about what I am drinking in a glass? I could be a soda drinker for all it knows, wasting sips on sugary beverages with no nutritional benefit.

RELATED: 15 Simply Brilliant Healthy Eating Tips

However I do agree with Michael Jensen, an endocrinologist and obesity expert at the Mayo Clinic, who told The Wall Street Journal, "If you're eating too fast, you're probably not chewing and enjoying your food very well and you're probably going to be more likely to eat too much.” I tell my patients to slow down when they eat, but what really matters is what is on the plate to begin with. And if 100 bites is really equivalent to 1,100 calories for woman, then I suggest they turn the watch off at some point during the day. Consuming less than 1,200 calories daily is not recommended for anyone.  

A commercial product could be ready in about a year and is expected to cost about $195. Personally for that money I rather buy a really nice Swatch watch—and that’s even if they made the Bite Counter cooler looking.

What do you think? Comment below or tweet @kerigans @Shape_Magazine!


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