Every Bite Counts

- POSTED ON: Mar 14, 2011

    As part of my dieting hobby, I visit many different online forums, and I sometimes receive inspiration from posts written by other forum members who are dealing with the same issues that I deal with.

While Blogging here, I will sometimes quote some or all of a post by another. In doing this, my intention is to give appropriate credit to the authors of copyrighted articles, while protecting the anonymity of other sources quoted.

I agree with this thoughtful post from a fellow forum member and think that it deserves special attention here.


Every Bite Counts.
I had a huge light bulb moment last night as I was reading about "cheat days," which is what some people call it when you plan a day to go off your eating plan and eat whatever you want.

The theory is that if you PLAN a day like that every so often, it makes it easier to stay on plan the rest of the time. Whenever you are craving something, you just tell yourself that you can have it on your cheat day, but you have to wait until then to have it.

The problem is that for some people (like me), a cheat day turns into a cheat week or a cheat month and it's really hard to get back on track. Or if you have problems with bingeing, it isn't any hardship to ingest upwards of 4 or 5 thousand calories on a cheat day (yes I have done that), and it really messes up all your hard work you did eating right all week.

Anyway, it hit me.
Every bite counts.

Now, maybe this sounds obvious, but how many times have I gotten up, started a healthy eating day, and then at lunch "slipped up" and had pizza? Then I would tell myself, "oh well, I ruined my day, so I may as well have candy bars and burgers and fries for dinner and start over fresh tomorrow." Isn't that something a LOT of people are in the habit of doing?

We look at our eating aka "diet" in terms of a UNIT.

One good day  (eating the right number of points or calories or whatever your plan is) is a Unit of Success,

and a Bad Day (eating over your limit, not counting calories, eating junk) is a Unit of Failure.

Sometimes we even try to string days together, as in "I will start on Monday" or the first of the month
or after Christmas or whatever, which is an excuse to eat badly and not count anything until we "start again" on that special date.

WHO came up with this idea???
Why is a "DAY" the unit of success or failure??

Who decided that if you eat badly for lunch, you can just eat whatever you want for the rest of the day and start over in the morning? It's as if we think that "one bad day" is a single unit of failure, whether we ate 2000 or 5000 calories, that it's the same because it is just ONE bad day. It makes no sense!!

EVERY BITE COUNTS, whether you eat a Hershey bar on a "bad" day because you are bingeing or eat it on a "good" day and add it into your calorie count, it is STILL 210 calories going into your body. You HAVE to stop looking at it as good and bad days.
It is your LIFE.

What I mean is this. Say you are aiming to eat 1500 calories per day to lose weight (substitute WW points or whatever other unit or plan you are using). Now, say your week looks like this:

Monday: 1500
Tuesday: 1470
Wednesday: 1460
Thursday: 1520
Friday: 1460
Saturday: 3200
Sunday: 2900

You slipped up on Saturday and told yourself you would start over on Monday. You had only 2 bad days. But now you have eaten 13,510 calories for the week which averages out to 1910 per day... way over your limit. And you wonder why you haven't lost weight.

Because every bite counts, and the unit is not a day, or even a week.
It is a lifetime.

When you eat something you shouldn't have, it's over. Stop, and eat right from that very moment on. Have a healthy dinner. Keep going. A bad meal is way better than a whole bad weekend.

You want a cheat day?
Every bite you take counts, because it still goes into your body, counted or not. Every bite either helps you get closer to your goal or slows you down from reaching it.

So the question becomes, how badly do you want it? Do you want to lose weight more than you want that cookie? Then put it down.

Every time you eat something unhealthy or go over your calorie limit, you are effectively putting a speed bump... or even a roadblock... in between you and your goal.  Every bite you take determines whether you will reach your goal weight in 6 months, 12 months, 3 years, or never.
What do you REALLY want?

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Mar 14, 2011 kimberchick wrote:
Very insightful post it's got me thinking about my plan to "start my new diet Wednesday" ;) I certainly agree that a cheat day every week is dangerous for a person prone to binge (like me)! I know I will have "cheat" days - days when I go over my calorie budget but I am thinking that I should at least make an effort to offset that by following a "cheat" day w/a couple of lower calorie/higher exercise days :) In an ideal world lol

On Mar 14, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks, Kimber. Good luck with your new food plan. Keep me informed.

On Mar 14, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I think the that anyone can chose to become thin. It is undoubtably harder for some more than others but still possible. This post points to a fundemental point, acknowledging what makes one fat in the first place- the food that goes in ones mouth. All of what, regardless if it is an S day, fits on one plate, and contains no sweetness.

On Mar 14, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, Of course you are correct. If the food that goes into one's mouth is more calories than one's body burns, it will make one fat....even if that person is following a diet perfectly.

On Mar 15, 2011 TexArk wrote:
I absolutely love this post and need to read it often. Here is my favorite quote:....... "Because every bite counts, and the unit is not a day, or even a week. It is a lifetime." .......This is SO important since I tend to have an all or nothing, perfectionist attitude. So many times I have started over with a new plan. I declared last October 15 from that point forward there was no "starting over."....This is my life, not a rehearsal. And I have added "Every bite counts" to my signature as a reminder......Result: 38 lbs. lost!!!

On Mar 15, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk, I thought of you as I posted the quote of this fellow forum member, since you originally pointed it out to me. I love it too, because it so clearly presents this important principle. Congratulations again on your current success.

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