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What is the 5-Bite Diet and Does It Really Work for Weight Loss?

Food | Lifestyle

There are endless diets that promise to help you lose weight fast – just in time for your high school reunion or big meeting.  While this one isn’t that new, the diet that has recently gained momentum in the world of weight loss is Dr. Alwin Lewis’ 5-bite diet, as described in the book Why Weight Around?

Does the diet work? What are the pros and cons of following the 5-bite diet? Here, we give you all the answers. 

What is the 5-Bite Diet?

The 5-bite diet is built around a few simple rules:

  • skip breakfast
  • eat 5 bites at lunch
  • eat 5 bites at dinner
  • no limit to calorie-free foods.

The idea is that, after a few days, your stomach shrinks. While you may feel hunger at the beginning, after a while you become accustomed to eating less food.

Does the 5-Bite Diet Work?

Without a doubt, the 5-bite diet results in quick weight loss. The logic here is simple; you lose weight when the number of calories you consume is fewer than what your body expends or needs to maintain normal functions. As a result, your body starts breaking down your energy reserves in the form of fat.

With the 5-bite diet, you eat and take in fewer calories than your body needs, and thus lose weight. 


The 5-bite diet, in addition to promoting weight loss, can also teach you about portion control. The rule is simple to follow: once you eat five bites of any food, you stop. If you think about it, 5 bites, even if you make them really large bites, is still very little food. The results in weight loss, just like it promises to. 


The 5-bite diet is definitely not a long-term diet. It can help you achieve weight loss quickly, but because it is so restricted, and because the amount of food you eat is so limited, following the diet also makes you vulnerable to malnutrition and dietary imbalance if followed for too long.

Would You Try It?

If your goal is to lose weight quickly, the 5-bite diet will get you there. It is so low in calories that your body will need to use reserves (i.e. body fat) as fuel for all of its basic functions and your regular activities. It isn’t intended to be followed in the long term, precisely because it is so restrictive. It isn’t possible to meet all your nutrient needs with such a small amount of food.

While the principle of portion control is something that can and should be applied as part of a healthy lifestyle, strictly limiting yourself to five bites of anything and calling it a meal is not sustainable.

If you do decide to try it, once you achieve your target weight, you should focus on adopting a more balanced, realistic diet that can be maintained over longer periods of time.

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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