Eating out frequently and consuming large, energy-rich portions can result in excess calorie intake and weight gain. Now a new study suggests people don't have to stop eating out to lose weight, even if they dine out frequently, as long as they take a mindful approach to eating. A report on the study is scheduled to appear in the January/February 2012 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Dr Gayle M. Timmerman, of the University of Texas at Austin led the research. She said in a press statement that:
"Based on what we learned from this study, for those individuals who eat out frequently, developing the skills needed to eat out without gaining weight from the excess calories typically consumed at restaurants may be essential to long-term health."
Timmerman and colleagues recruited 35 healthy women aged between 40 and 59, and who frequently ate out, to take part in the study.
The researchers wanted to focus on this section of the population because women have a tendency to put on weight around the time of the menopause, especially around the waist, which puts them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
About half the women joined the intervention group, while the other half were in the comparison group.