Every now and then, we like to review a diet that has been featured in mass media and seems too crazy to work, but still deserves attention because of its popularity. Today, we have that in the form of the Five Biet Diet. When a diet tells you that you can lose 15 pounds in just one week, it automatically grabs your attention. Most of these diets don’t work (at least not in the long term), but a lot of people are still willing to try them if they are desperate to lose weight.
Judging by the title of the Five Bite Diet, you might think that it means that you get to eat five bites of your favorite foods on top of a healthy diet. Well, strap in tight, because that’s not actually what the plan is, and what it is might be surprising to you. Let’s dive deep (but only at least five steps deep) into the Five Bite Diet to see what it’s all about. Will it help you lose the weight you’ve been trying hard to shed? Let’s find out.
Behind the Five Bite Diet
A decade ago, Dr. Alwin Lewis of The Slimming Station came out with a book called “Why Weight Around?’ to help people lose stubborn weight. The biochemistry graduate from Tulane University came up with a radical plan that takes a lot of discipline. Lewis says that the key to losing weight is not eating breakfast at all, instead replacing it with a multivitamin. That sentence alone just made any dietician or doctor reading pull their hair out.
So now that we’ve already put one diet taboo to work, what’s next? Well, this is where the Five Bite Diet lives up to its name because you are only allowed to eat five bites of food for lunch, and then repeat that process for dinner. The kicker is that you can eat anything you want for those meals, even if it isn’t your typical diet food.
According to Lewis’s plan, that should add up to around 800 calories per day, but you must be eating some very high calorie foods and taking massive bites to get that many. It’s suggested that you get at least 1,200 per day, even if you are trying to lose weight, so this will certainly keep you deprived. Depravity is actually addressed, though, as Lewis says being able to eat five bites of whatever you want will allow you to not feel deprived.
The biggest problem with that is, what’s stopping you from just eating the entire meal that’s in front of you? If you get a large value meal from a fast food restaurant, there are going to be plenty of leftovers and you’ll have a huge test of willpower to not polish it off. The other huge problem is, most people aren’t going to be picking healthy foods if they are only getting 10 bites per day, so your nutrition will really be lacking even with the help of a multivitamin.
What to Know About the Five Bite Diet
Lewis says that you should be starting out with three days on the diet before you start to incorporate a more traditional diet. Think of it as a cleanse where you can eat whatever you want, just not much of it. Lewis’s plan got a lot of publicity when it was revealed on “Dr. Oz” back in 2014, and people have been looking to the plan for weight loss guidance ever since, with varying success.
The diet is actually similar to one that a person that has undergone gastric bypass surgery would eat, but not a lot of you reading this have more than 100 pounds to lose. One difference between the Five Bite Diet and one from a gastric bypass surgery patient is how much you can drink. If you’re a diet soda fan, you might have an easier time getting through the Five Bite Diet as you can drink whatever you want, and how much you want, as long as the drinks don’t have any calories. This will leave a lot of people trying to fill up on diet soda, black coffee and water, but that won’t help for more than a few minutes.
Some people are incredibly desperate to lose weight, and adhering to the Five Bite Diet can be downright dangerous if that’s the case. Some people will take five bites out of a fruit or vegetable twice per day, which certainly won’t give you enough calories to get by. In fact, you can expect to have a huge crash if that’s the case with your body not getting enough calories, especially if you are also adding exercise.
Speaking of exercise, that’s another thing that Lewis’s diet does not address, which is another thing that will make a dietician freak out. Incorporating exercise is a big part of an all-around healthy diet, as well as eating enough calories in a day. The Five Bite Diet…unfortunately does not hit either of those marks.
We’ve seen many different forms of fasting or cleansing, but at least something like a green smoothie cleanse is still hitting most of your nutritional needs in terms of protein and vitamins. Taking five bites out of a donut and then another five out of a fried chicken breast isn’t quite doing that for you. You will likely feel very hungry during this plan, though you can at least still chew sugar free gum to satisfy your oral fixation.
What’s on the Menu?
This is usually tell you what type of foods you can expect to be eating over the course of a couple of days, but that doesn’t quite apply here. Since you can eat whatever you want, the options for your menu are unlimited, though you have to avoid eating anything during breakfast time to keep your body in fasting mode until midday. Here’s what most people would probably pick for their three day Five Bite Diet plan:
Day One – Hamburger, French Fries
Day Two – Fried Chicken, Taco
Day Three – Pizza, Pasta
Surprisingly, that is one of the healthier ways you can go about the Five Bite Diet while still being satisfied. Hamburgers and tacos aren’t all that bad for you, while foods like pizza and pasta can still be made healthy while also being filling. As for the fried chicken and french fries, you are at least getting carbs and protein in that department that might make you feel full for a short amount of time.
Summing it Up
So what happens once you have miraculously made it through the three days (at minimum) of the Five Bite Diet? Absolutely nothing. There is no set plan that Lewis has provided for those that have gone through the program. Instead, Lewis says that your stomach should have shrunk after three days of practically starving yourself. This should allow you to not feel as hungry after the plan.
That’s not a healthy way of going about weight loss. You haven’t really taught yourself anything in terms of eating, and depending on your stomach being a little bit smaller isn’t going to last forever. Once you get back to taking more than five bites of the junk food you had been eating before, your stomach will quickly expand again. This will cause you to regain any of the weight that you had lost before.
If you had followed the plan for an entire week like a majority of the people on the diet do, you can expect to lose a maximum of 15 pounds, which is not anywhere close to a suggested pace. Also assuming that you didn’t eat healthy foods, the chances that your portions will be smaller magically afterward are slim. It’s almost a guarantee that you will regain the weight that you had lost on the plan, with many ending up heavier than they were before because of the increase in your body’s food intake.
Even if you were to follow this plan for more than a week, it would still be absolutely panned by critics everywhere. At that point, it becomes an eating disorder on the other end of the spectrum like anorexia, and that’s another dangerous game. There is a good lesson to be learned from the Five Bite Diet, and that’s about limiting yourself when it comes to the unhealthy foods that have caused any weight gain for you in the best.
Other than that, there aren’t really any positives to take out of the Five Bite Diet. It’s a crash diet plan that promises huge weight loss numbers in a short amount of time, but sets you up for failure in the long term. You need a balanced diet and to make sure that you’re getting nutrition and to make sure you’re at a healthy calorie deficit to lose weight. Both of those are thrown out the window for the Five Bite Diet, which is why you should probably look in other directions.