BITES vs Calories: Team BITES

by May 10, 2021App, Coach Stefanie, Health, Lifestyle, Resources, User Guide6 comments

Hi friends! Coach Stefanie here!

For the last few days, I have been giving Calorie Command a try and it has been really eye opening. Yesterday I spoke to my husband about this experience and he raised the very interesting question of why, exactly, counting BITES is different than counting calories. This brought me to thinking about why we use BITES instead of just calories and I wanted to share this reasoning. Furthermore, why I personally, still think BITES are the way to go! 

During dinner last night I had one of those realization moments as I prepared my two slices of 45 calorie bread and paired it with a tomato. As I went to the app to track everything, my bread came out to 45 calories per slice and my tomato to 32 calories for a 4oz tomato. So instead of eating the healthy tomato, I could have also chosen to eat another slice of bread for the same amount of calories. Similarly, this morning I grabbed a banana which clocked in at 105 calories, close to the same as an ounce of pretzel twists! On Better Balance, those pretzels would have clocked in at 3 BITES and the banana at 0.

You can probably already see here that I am noticing that it is much easier on calorie command to make less healthy food choices. Especially for someone who is used to consuming pretzels instead of bananas or toast instead of tomatoes. But I think we can all agree that, from a health aspect, choosing the fruit and vegetables is the better choice. And in the end, we want to learn better habits for the long term so being encouraged to make better choices is always a good thing in my book. It hasn’t bothered me a lot because I have been on this journey long enough that I love fruits and vegetables and will still make them a big part of my meal. But for someone just starting out, this might not be the case.

You can certainly lose weight doing either plan but, I have found BITE counting to be much easier. It just takes a lot of factors into consideration, for me! Something it takes into consideration is the fact that protein will keep you full longer. So generally, the BITES encourage you to consume more high protein foods (hello 0 BITE food list on Better Balance!) 

Being full for longer will also help you make better choices and feel more satisfied with your diet. I experienced the same thing this week. On Monday I ate all of my calories and in the macros could tell that I was over in carbs but low on protein. Most of the day I felt like I could eat something. Yesterday on the other hand, I was high in protein and low in carbs and I came in about 150 calories under my goal because I felt full and didn’t feel like eating just to eat.

There is a lot of research and thought that went into the design of the BITES. And on the newer plans like Sugar Smart and Better Balance, the BITES don’t necessarily translate 1 to 1 to calories but that is ok. If you feel lost on the weight loss plans, completely; read THIS POST. Our coaches break down which plans they think are “best”! The plan works and encourages you to make better food choices for your body which is something we should all strive for. I’m curious to know, are you team BITES or calories?? And why? Comment below! 

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  1. Rochelle Rechnic

    Hello, great article but for those of us in Australia, counting bites is easier for a different reason. We do not have many food items in Australia that list the calories on the nutritional panel. Ours are usually in kj (kilojules) or the amount of Energy per serving or 100g. Therefore, it is hard enough already, when entering a new food item to have to convert the kj to cal let alone having to count in calories also.

    Could someone on the iTrackBites team please suggest to the software team that an update is required where the user gets to choose kj or cal as part of their personal settings just like we can currently choose kg or pound, etc.

    Thank you.

  2. Jon

    I absolutely agree with you Stefanie. Not only do I believe that BITES takes more into account than just calories, but the encouragement to eat right helps set behavior patterns for the future. Plus, as someone who likes to eat a lot, having a plan that has 0 BITE foods gives me the opportunity to pig out, even if it IS on nonfat yogurt and zucchini! I no longer closely track BITES, having lost about 40 lbs and at goal, but I use the guidelines from the program in making my daily diet decisions. The plan works.

  3. Rose

    Both. I track bites but have my secondary thing set as calories and I pay attention to those too. In the end you have to burn more calories than you consume so if low point and zero point food is leading my calories to be too high then I know I need to make changes.

  4. J

    I personally love using bites to track what I am actually eating! I also love that I can use calories to see where I am for the day as well as macros to see if I need to pump up my protein for the day or slow down on carbs or fats.. I’ve switched from WW which I started in Jan 21 to BB and have not only lost 40 lbs but also feel like I have more knowledge about what I am putting into my body. I love that BB has so many healthy foods to choose that I’m not hungry and when I do have a treat I can work it in my points and calories and macros and not stress that I’m going to be derailed from my plan for the day. Food is very enjoyable fuel but but remember it is your fuel. So if your fueling your body with junk you will feel and see it;, but if you fuel yourself with healthy unprocessed foods you will not only see how much better and healthier you feel each day with clean energy, you will see it!! Your overall health will improve from the inside out!! I love ITB, I hope soon they allow you view both calories and macros at the same time with BB so there’s not so much toggling 😉

  5. Carla L Buchanan

    I’m a bites adherent primarily because my main focus is getting healthier, with weight loss a biproduct of that goal.

    Better Balance is perfect for my lifestyle as a retiree living in Central Mexico. Fast food here is mostly tacos and rotisserie chicken, and while our area is home to countless restaurants, I find cooking with the many fresh foods available to us the better option.

  6. Debbie

    I use bites and secondary metric of calories. I don’t eat a lot of eggs, chicken or other higher calorie 0 bite foods. I can under eat calories, although I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.


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