Women eating lunch out regularly lose fewer pounds

Women who eat their midday meal out really do lose less weight as compared to those who stay at home, a scientific study has suggested.

The researchers found that simple ideas such as avoiding restaurant meals, keeping a ‘food diary’ and ensuring you don’t skip meals were more effective than fancy diets when it comes to successful slimming.

“When it comes to weight loss, evidence from randomised, controlled trials comparing different diets finds that restricting total calories is more important than diet composition such as low-fat versus low-carbohydrate,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Anne McTiernan, who led the study, as saying.

“Therefore, the specific aim of our study was to identify behaviours that supported the global goal of calorie reduction,” she said.

Her team found that those who kept food journals consistently lost six pounds more than their fellow slimmers, who did not and women who skipped meals lost eight pounds less than women who did not.

Ladies who lunched out at least once a week lost on average 5 pounds less than those who chose to eat at home.

Although all restaurant trips hampered the diet, lunch out was found to be biggest problem.

“For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals,” McTiernan said.

“It is difficult to make changes to your diet when you are not paying close attention to what you are eating,” she added.

The team’s top tips for keeping a food diary were to be honest and record everything, be accurate by measuring portions and reading labels, be complete by adding in all the details, and be consistent by making sure your diary is always to hand.

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The study has been published online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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