The 3 Bite Rule
The 3 Bite Rule is pretty simple if you can put it into practice. I didn’t invent it, but I am grateful for the eating behaviorist that did! Simply stated, The 3 Bite Rule is a strategy to enjoy your favorite “bad boyfriend” foods out of the house by taking three bites, and then stopping. Note: I find it works best if the portion is already small at the get-go, and if you have dining companions who are good sharers!
Back to the 3 Bite Rule. It is simply:
When faced with bad boyfriend foods outside the house, eat three bites and then stop. Not too hard, right?
Why does it work?
Three bites of ice cream or pizza or a bacon cheeseburger never made anyone fat. Three bites of cheesecake, three French fries or three M&M’s is not the cause of the obesity epidemic. Now entire portions of those foods on a regular basis would certainly have the scale moving in the wrong direction, since it is an overall calorie surplus that packs on the pounds. With the 3 Bite Rule you get 100% of the enjoyment, and 5% of the guilt (let’s face it, there’s a little). Studies show the first taste of a food is the most pleasurable. The second is still pretty awesome. But then the pleasure factor starts declining. And after the third bite, it’s really just eating.
The 3 Bite Rule in practice:
Imagine you are dining at a fine restaurant with friends and have enjoyed a reasonably low calorie meal of grilled salmon, steamed veggies and salad with dressing on the side. Suddenly some thin chick at the table decides to order dessert. You see chocolate lava cake on the menu and your heart sinks. No need to be depressed! Order that lava cake for the table!
The trick is to eat just three bites of chocolate, fudgy goodness and then stop. Either give the rest of your dessert to someone at the table. Pour salt on it. Or just ask the waiter to take it away before it damages your waistline, and you start the whole disheartening and demoralizing “why did I just eat ALL of that” routine that keeps you up at night.
The 3 Bite Rule also works well at buffets or potluck parties. There may be a large variety of dishes to try, which normally sends dieters like me into a panic. No worries! Just have three bites of each. Can this rule be taken to extremes and abused? Absolutely. We are adults here, so if you follow the letter of the law but break the spirit of the law you are only hurting yourself. In other words, three bites of 100 different foods could be a slight problem. Just use your good judgment.
Dine like you’re a food critic. Or a celebrity chef on the Today show. Eat slowly, and chew thoroughly. So, let’s repeat:
Eat your three bites.
Enjoy each one like crazy.
And then put down the fork and get that bad boy out of your sight and reach ASAP.
Remember, the first 3 bites taste the best. After that, it’s just eating.