Wednesday, April 29, 2009

'Restrained Eating', Not Dieting, Contributes to Successful Weight Management

I've heard this so many times from individuals who have actually adopted both approaches to weight loss, and wouldn't you know, they agree.

In this study, published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, the researchers sought to identify the difference, if there is one, between 'restrained eating' and 'trying to lose weight', or dieting, as it relates to weight loss.

The researchers found that individuals trying to lose weight, who were on diets, were more likely to over eat, fall off the diet wagon, and have higher BMI's than non-dieters. Those who practiced restrained eating, meaning that their eating habits were long-term and lifelong, rather than with the intention to lose weight in the short term, had BMI's lower than non-dieters, and their tendencies to overeat were the same as non-dieters.

It's not rocket science, guys. If you think about it, being "on a diet" tends to mean that eventually, you're going to have to come off it. Most diets, especially fad ones, are not sustainable, and while you do tend to lose weight on them, as soon as you start 'eating normally' again, the pounds come right back on. And boy do they come quickly - if you've been depriving your body of what it needs, it thinks you're actually in 'starvation mode' and it just jumps at the opportunity to pack a bit of extra fat on your frame as soon as you start eating real food again. Not to mention all of the other effects that come along with crazy diets, including muscle wasting, fatigue and potential health complications.

I feel like all the best research these days is pointing to the fact that maintaining a lifelong healthy weight and optimal over all health boils down to simply this - eating real, natural food in controlled, not super size portions. And remember that it's also about balance - we all overeat at times (can you say restaurants, parties, holidays...) but it's completely normal and we just have to move on from it and continue to eat healthy afterwards.

Weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight should never about deprivation, because, as the research shows, it backfires and simply doesn't work in the long haul.


weight loss pills said...

nice article about weight loss. i mostly don't prefer dieting for weight loss. the best way to loss weight is, keeping out of fat and doing exercise.