Here are the weight control and diet studies of 2011 that you can use as a guide to help you lose weight effectively even before the holidays, and to continue until 2012.
Why people eat even when not hungry, or the food doesn’t taste good
A study explaining why unhealthy eating habits persist even we are not hungry or the foods doesn’t taste good was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. They found out that people will eat and finish popcorn, either fresh or stale, when inside a movie house.
The lead author, David Neal, explained that our brain usually associates the food with our environment, and we keep eating as long the environmental cues are present.
We can relate the experiment to eating habits when you watch your late night television and still look for your favorite snacks, even if you are already full from your dinner or you do not really like the taste of the available snacks.
You should always be aware of how your environment affects your eating behavior. Break this habit and association by making an effort to eliminate or modify unnecessary eating habits—you can change your position or location while watching television at night, eat fruits or drink milk instead of junk food, or better yet, sleep early.
Some people eat too much because they feel powerless.
A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that people who feel powerless choose larger sizes of food products like coffee and bagels in an attempt to gain status. A study also confirmed that powerless people chose larger smoothies when in a social event than when they were alone.
This study implies that people should not equate one’s status with the portion sizes of food, especially in a social situation. This will eventually lead to weight gain, especially if you frequently attend social gatherings or dine with friends on a daily or regular basis.
If one has lower self-esteem, then he or she should not overcompensate by spending more or eating more, and should deal first with personal issues.
Stick to your budget and/or calorie allowance wherever you are and whoever you are with. People around you might even get more inspired with your planning skills and self-control over food and expenses.
Confirmed: Eating too fast can make you fat.
According to a nationwide study of middle-aged women in New Zealand published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, the speed of eating is related to one’s Body Mass Index (BMI), and faster eating is associated with higher BMI.
This study confirms how controlled and slow eating will help you manage your weight. If you eat a meal in less than 10 minutes, there is a greater chance of eating more than a regular serving by having extra helpings or looking for additional desserts that you do not really need if you allow yourself to eat in a span of 20 minutes or more. According to experts, it takes 20 minutes before satiety signals or fullness reach the brain.
Chew your food well and drink water during meals to pace your eating. Start meals with a vegetable salad and/or fruits. Do not skip meals and eat snacks when needed so you will not eat faster and overeat during your meals or snacks.
Planning and visualization will help you improve better health and lifestyle habits.
According to a study published in Psychology and Health, people who usually make a concrete plan, who write it down, and who visualizes how to carry out an action can increase an intended health behavior twice as much as those who do not really plan and visualize their desired behaviors.
If you want to increase your vegetable consumption, for example, then you should be able to plan and visualize when, where, how to buy, prepare, and eat the vegetables and incorporate it to your meals. This will work more than just telling yourself that you will eat more vegetables.
This also confirms how keeping your own lifestyle journal can help you achieve your goals faster.
Why most obese dieters fail to maintain their weight losses after dieting
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that obese people regain weight after dieting due to hormonal changes. The appetite-regulating hormones of these obese dieters were affected after losing 13 kilograms, so their appetite increased and they regained 5 kilograms during the one-year study period.
There have been numerous popular restrictive diets that are available online and in print. Overweight, obese people and even people with normal weight follow these weight loss plans even without a doctor’s supervision. What people do not realize is the physiological effects of dramatic weight losses, like the effect on hormones, aside from the psychological effects of deprivation.
According to the study, it is better to focus on prevention of obesity and on behavioral changes like getting more active, eating right, and developing a long-lasting healthy lifestyle rather than focusing on numbers. Drastic measures will certainly have an effect on your hormones, your appetite, and your mind.