How to Eat Dessert and Stay Skinny - The 3 Bite Rule

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3 bite rule

3 bite rule

The 3 Bite Rule is simply a little trick to taste your favorite foods without those decadent delights sabotaging your diet and health goals.  I'm not sure the origin of this rule, so rather than spending my afternoon doing a research project I will simply say it is not my original idea - but God bless the person whose idea it was!

Back to the 3 Bite Rule.  It is simply:

When faced with tempting or decadent foods, eat three bites and then stop.

Easy, huh?

Why does it work?

Three bites of ice cream or pizza or a Big Mac never made anyone fat.  Three bites of cheesecake, or buffalo wings or fried anything, is not the cause of the obesity epidemic.  Now entire portions of those foods on a regular basis would certainly having the scale moving in the wrong direction, since it is an overall calorie surplus that packs on the pounds. Not an innocent bite or two here or there.

With the 3 Bite Rule you get 100% of the enjoyment, and 0% of the guilt.  The first delectable taste of a food is the most pleasurable.  The second is often just as fantastic.  But then the pleasure factor starts declining.  I'll be the first to admit that many bites of ice cream taste good, but after a small portion it's not quite as amazing as it was to start.

The 3 Bite Rule in practice: 

Imagine you are dining at a fine restaurant with friends and have enjoyed a reasonably healthy meal of grilled chicken, veggies and salad.  Suddenly some upstart at the table decides to order dessert.  You see chocolate cheesecake on the menu and your heart sinks.  No need to be depressed!  Order that cheesecake!

3 bite rule

3 bite rule

The trick is to eat just three bites of tart, creamy goodness and then stop.  Either give the rest of your dessert to someone at the table, take it home or just leave it on your plate.  Yes, you might waste a little food if no one wants to share, but you are able to experience the treat and stop before it damages your waistline.

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. Eat slowly, and chew thoroughly. Try to discern the various flavors and textures of the foods you're enjoying. Is that a hint of basil?  Do I detect fresh cilantro in my Mexican meal?  Thoroughly enjoy each of those small three bites. Savor them and make them last.

So, in simple terms here's the deal:

Eat your three bites. 

Enjoy the heck out of each one. 

And then put down the fork.

Do you have any strategies for coping with decadent foods??  I'd love to hear from you!

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FoodJacquiDiet, Holidays