What does eighty in 80Bites stand for?

It’s a guideline for the total quantity of food in a day that won’t stretch the stomach container.

How do you know that 80 bites is the correct quantity?

We took the dietary guidelines for “ideal” portions of various foods—which are generally measured in ounces or cups—and translated them into bites. The maximum number of bites turned out to be 80 per day, spread over two meals and two “mini” meals (such as two meals of 25 bites each and two mini meals of 15 bites each).  Of course, some people eat fewer bites a day. But if you eat more—particularly at one meal, which is easy, since a typical restaurant entrée is 55 bites—the result is a stretched stomach.  Or at the very least a de-sensitized one.

What’s wrong with a stretched stomach?

Overeating and, in turn, stretching your stomach has a direct effect on two of the most important gut hormones: leptin, which makes you feel full, and ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. When they go haywire, they stop working. Translation: You’re always hungry.

How can I count every bite all the time?

You can’t—and you shouldn’t, either. The 80Bites app should be used for just a few days in the beginning, just so you get a baseline. For example, if you find that you can easily eat 50 bites at one sitting—without feeling too full—then you’ll know your stomach sensors are malfunctioning.

Why is counting bites better than counting calories?

When you cut calories and lose weight, you can’t sustain the weight loss. When you drop calories, your body will adjust. The worst thing you can do is to go from high calorie to low calorie—you frequently go to high quantity. The result? Your hormones become unbalanced, and then if you gain weight, your insulin level is thrown off-kilter and finally your pancreas suffers (i.e., you get diabetes). It’s a vicious cycle. With 80Bites, we don’t reduce calories, we reduce bites.

Your bite size has to affect your calorie intake, right?

Yes, which is why men on the 80Bites Plan will take in more calories than women; after all, their bite size is naturally bigger. But you’ll soon learn that hormones, such as insulin, cortisol, leptin and ghrelin, are the real issue when it comes to weight loss or gain.

I’m hungry all the time. How will I last on this program?

The program is designed to be a gradual process—you’ll slowly condition your body to eat less, less often. You’ll also be given tools to lower cortisol levels, which is key for managing hunger and losing weight.

Why are high cortisol levels or cortisol overload a problem?

Elevated cortisol levels – aka CORTISOL OVERLOAD – results in and hunger and particularly cravings for carbohydrate rich foods. So cortisol overload makes you hungry, so you overeat—like an entire  bag of potato chips. This results in more hunger, weight gain, chronic fatigue, and leads to diabetes and the cardio-metabolic syndrome. Cortisol traps fat in your body and there are four times the number of cortisol receptors in your abdomen than anywhere else in your body. Cortisol also makes your body produce more insulin, which affects hunger signals and makes losing weight harder. 

Why is fasting the new trend and what is “Insulin Resistance”?

Because insulin is responsible for weight loss or gain—not calories. And not eating means there is no call on insulin, which leads to weight loss. Insulin resistance may occur due to overeating and eating too frequently.   A persistently high level of insulin over an extended period causes a decrease in the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which results in insulin resistance. When cells are not able to absorb glucose, their primary source of energy, it causes an increased risk of many health problems.

But I’ve tried fasting and it didn’t work. Why?

If you fast and then return to your “normal” consumption, what happens is the hormones in your body work against you. That’s why fasting can lead to a binge. With fasting you’re going one step forward and then two steps backward.

Will the 80Bites Plan work for me?

Everyone will experience some change. Simply reducing the stress of calorie and carb counting, and freeing up the real estate in your brain devoted to all the food issues, will make you feel better. Although the age-old model of “calories in, calories out” seemed good—we got to eat huge portions, after all—if you’re perusing this website you’ve probably already figured out that doesn’t work. In fact, it’s a major oversimplification that’s only led to confusion. It’s time to shift our focus, e.g., what are the simple things we can do to restart the machine? Until we learn more, for the time being, all we can do is to de-stress and to eat less, and then see how much this will self-correct.