What problem am I trying to solve?
I've always had a problem with diets.
I'm not obese by any means but I'm a fairly hefty individual and I do suffer the mental anguish that comes from looking into the mirror and remembering the good ol' days when I had a presentable body.
The problem I have with diets, and I'm absolutely certain I'm not alone, is that I love food too much. I can't do low carb because if I see a plate of nachos, I cave in. I can't count calories, because when I drive by any McDonald's I have to stop for a caramel frappe. The taste of my favorite foods will ultimately cause a failure in any diet.
However, there's one diet that is not a lost cause. It's one that is detailed in the book "Why Weight Around?" by Dr. Alwin C Lewis. It's essentially based on the idea that what you eat doesn't matter as much as how much you eat. It's a diet based on gastric bypass patient meals after surgery.
Dr Lewis' diet (called The Five Bite Diet) allows you to eat five bites of anything you want for lunch and five bites of anything you want for dinner. Don't drink any calories. That's it. You're done for the day. On the bright side, I can eat five bites of ice cream and pizza and not feel guilty, but here are the problems I have with this diet:
That really lengthy time between your 5-bite dinner and the next day's lunch is pretty difficult to pull off.
The Five Bite Diet doesn't really recommend any sort of work out regimen. For a guy like me, who plays sports several times a week, have only two 5-bite meals puts a real damper on my energy levels and performance.
This diet can be unhealthy, obviously, if you choose to eat five bites of big mac every meal. Since that's "technically" still following the diet, it's fine, but Dr. Lewis recommends having a multi-vitamin every day to help alleviate any nutrition gaps.
In order to make this "eat whatever you want" portion diet idea more manageable, I decided on a work around. The Three Bite diet allows you to have 3-bite meals more frequently throughout the day. When can you have them? It doesn't matter, as long as it's been at least two hours since your last set of bites.
Three Bite vs Five Bite
Why three bites, you might ask? I didn't just pull this number out of my head, it is based on the 3-Bite Rule, explained here by shape.com's Beth Blair.
Also, doing exercise should actually subtract from your bite count for the day so that you can over-eat by a few bites to gain the extra energy needed to perform well in sports. This also gives you a method to work around accidental cheating, in turn, encouraging you to hit the gym a bit more.
Now that this new diet is defined, the real issue is how to track it? Unlike the rule of eating five bites for lunch and five bites for dinner, this diet requires you to remember precisely what time you ate so that you can figure out when two hours passes and you can eat again. Also, if you over-ate a little at lunch, how do you keep track of your bites to know that your exercise is making the appropriate adjustments? How do you make sure you don't forget to take a multi-vitamin?
That's where the app comes in.
How does my app solve this problem?
I created the Three Bite app specifically for the diet described above. The main features are that it allows you to enter your bites at a given time and then it displays a timer, letting you know when you're allowed to eat again.
It also lets you add exercise to the mix, which adjusts up to 3 bites of over-eating that may have occurred that day.
You can adjust any over-feeding down by exercising
Lastly, it gives you a way to ensure you're taking your multi-vitamin every day (see bottom left corner next to exercise toggle).
While the app only lets you review the last week's worth of bites, you can see an overview of your entire progress to see how many meals you've cheated on and how often you're doing well.
Tweak the sliders to come up with your own eating system
As an additional feature, you can adjust the settings in the app to track a different number of bites and set your own wait times and exercise features, if you have a particular portion control diet you want to try instead. Many users actually use this app to track their Five Bite dieting.
The Three Bite Diet isn't perfect. I have to admit that it's biggest flaw is the fact that, since you eat so often throughout the day, it gives you many more chances to cheat at each meal, compared to Five Bite. For people who are weaker willed (such as me) this is a bit of a crux, but I'm powering through it.
My app, Three Bite, is available on the App Store for free. There is no monetary benefit for me putting this out there, it's just an app that I try to use regularly and am happy to share it.
If you have any issues or comments, feel free to send me an email from my About page.