Tick MarksWelcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.


Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet.
A couple of months ago some research came out about the 100 bite diet for weight loss. Since the previous week we were counting chews I figured it would be an easy transition to go from counting chews to counting bites. Boy, was I wrong. I started with counting bites and then I went to counting chews since that was the habit I was establishing from the previous week. Well, I got so mixed up with counting I didn’t know where I was. This was the only challenge that we have done that I can claim a disaster for me and I didn’t finish out the week. Bill persisted and was more successful.
Our Lifestyle Challenges started when I read about the HapiFork which sends signals if you eat too fast. Rather than spend $100 on the HapiFork I decided to eat everything with a fork. Now there is a new tech gadget coming out next year ($195) that will count the number of bites you take. The Bite Monitor, which looks like a watch, measures wrist motions to detect bites with 90% accuracy. It’s been developed by Clemson University researchers who tracked 77 people over two weeks. They calculated that men average 17 calories per bite and women average 11 calories per bite which roughly equals 1,700 calories for men and 1,100 calories for women. These calorie levels should promote weight loss.
Bill was immediately skeptical. What if you use the big forks and spoons and shovel it in? What if your 100 bites is all junk food? True. We agreed to continue with the small spoons and forks from challenge #15 and eat the foods we would normally eat. The researchers recommended counting down from 100. Bill could keep the tally in his head but I had to count by meal or snack and keep a running tally. One night we had soup for dinner and I had to get out paper and pencil and make tick marks to track it (42 bites). Bill commented this was taking the joy out eating. Agreed. This was work. Between previous challenges of “if there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand”, using the small utensils, trying to count chews, and now counting bites the enjoyment of food was gone.

Vicki’s Observations:
• The least distraction threw off my counting. If someone started talking to me I forgot where I was. If I did anything other than eat and count I got lost with my counting.
• Part way through the week I finally figured out that if I ate the same thing and counted it once, I wouldn’t have to count it again. That helped somewhat but didn’t solve my problem.
• If I forgot to count a meal or snack, I estimated. I never did stay at 100 bites for the day, probably because I was using the cocktail-size utensils. The best I figured for the 4 days I was mostly able to complete the challenge, I averaged 120 bites per day.
• What about beverages? Is a swallow the same as a bite?
• The 100 bite diet is not for me.

Bill’s Observations:
• This challenge was not as hard for me as it was for Vicki, but it did take some work. I believe I was successful every day.
• I work from home and pretty much eat the same breakfast and snacks each day so I got the count down on these two meals which made it easy to do each day.
• I counted each swallow of protein shake as bite. I averaged just under 100 bites per day using the small utensils.
• With my reflux problem, I dont’ really enjoy eating, and all this counting has taken the pleasure out of eating.

Who would have thought that our eating too fast has become a business? The research shows that eating more slowly, chewing more, and now counting bites can reduce caloric intake. Available now is a HapiFork to slow down your eating. In another year you can purchase the Bite Monitor. And coming soon to the US from Sweden is a talking plate ($250) that shows how fast you are eating as well as keeping track of the weight of the food you are eating to tell you when you’ve had enough. For about $545 you can have technology slow down your eating, or you can make a conscious effort (for free) to pay attention to how you are eating.
After making myself crazy this week with counting, we decided to shift our focus into another realm of self-care for next week. And this one does not involve food or counting.
Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

P.S. We had our official preholiday weigh-in on Saturday. Our official post holiday weigh-in will be on January 3. Stay tuned for weekly progress reports and more about holiday weight gain (or not).

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under construction. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/
Challenge #7 Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-7/
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-8/
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-nine/
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-10/
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-11/
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-12/
Challenge # 13 Switch it up. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2576
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2583
Challenge # 15 Little bites. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-15/
Challenge # 16 Drink your water. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 17 Count your chews. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/


Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, "Health and Lifestyle Program."
Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.”