The 5-Bite Diet

In 2007, Dr. Alwin C. Lewis published "Why Weight Around?," a book that encourages readers to follow the five-bite diet for weight-loss. Like many fad diets, this plan promises fast weight loss results, but the program has its share of flaws. Learning both the advantages and disadvantages of this plan can help you decide whether it's worth your time and money.


The five-bite program advises dieters to skip breakfast, take five bites of any food at lunch and take five bites of anything for dinner. You can drink an unlimited amount of calorie-free beverages, and you should take a daily multivitamin and include some protein in your diet. According to Dr. Lewis, you'll stop feeling hungry after three days on the diet because your body will learn to feel full on this smaller amount of food.


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At its core, the five-bite diet is about exercising portion control to limit your calorie intake. This is a tried-and-true strategy for losing weight and is the basic principle behind many successful diet plans. The program also lets you choose to eat any food you want, which can help prevent the feelings of deprivation that so often lead people to quit their diets.


One of the biggest flaws of the five-bite diet is that it's not a diet you can follow long term, nor is it designed to be; once you've reached your weight goal, you're advised to resume your normal eating habits. As with other crash diets, you'll gain back any weight lost when you stop following the program, reports the University of Colorado at Boulder. With just 10 bites of food per day, you'll also be hard-pressed to take in the many nutrients your body needs. In fact, very-low-calorie diets like this one can eventually cause nutritional deficiencies that lead to anemia, bone loss, decreased cognitive function, low energy and other serious conditions, according to Columbia University. While the diet prescribes a daily multivitamin, vitamin supplements should be used to fill in occasional nutritional gaps, not make up for a diet that's devoid of essential nutrients.


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If you're serious about losing weight, a fad diet like the five-bite diet is unlikely to give you the long-term results you're looking for. Even if you manage to follow the plan long enough to lose weight, you'll gain it back once you return to your old eating habits. Instead, borrow the program's portion-control strategy by allowing yourself small amounts of your favorite foods while relying on fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains for the majority of your calories. Finding a reduced-calorie diet that you can maintain long term is key for successful weight loss.