Forget dieting. The latest weight loss tool could be as simple as counting bites.
A new pilot study from Brigham Young University finds that that people who counted bites over a month's time lost roughly four pounds - just about what the CDC recommends for "healthy" weight loss.
Their experiment asked 61 participants to count the number of times they lifted food to their mouth and the number of gulps of liquids, other than water, each day. At the end of each day, the subjects texted or emailed their totals to researchers.
Those in the pilot test counted the number of bites they took each day and then committed to taking 20 to 30 percent fewer bites over the next four weeks. Participants who stuck with the task saw results despite changing nothing else about their eating and exercising routine.
The 41 test subjects who finished the experiment produced encouraging results, but there is more research needed to validate this strategy for long-term success, the researchers said.
Those who didn't finish had a hard time keeping up with counting bites, so the university has developed an algorithm that can do the counting for people and licensed it for use in smart watches and other wearable devices.
The study was published in Advances in Obesity, Weight Management & Control.
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