Lose weight: is healthy eating more promising than smaller portions of diet?

How does weight affect when people consciously eat healthier foods?

When people try to lose weight, they often start eating smaller portions to eat less overall. But researchers have now found that people should replace unhealthy foods with healthier foods rather than eat less to lose weight.

The Department of Nutritional Sciences at Pennsylvania State University's latest study found that people who want to lose weight should eat healthier foods rather than eating smaller portions. The experts published the results of their study in the trade magazine "Appetite".

Eating healthier foods results in fewer calories

In their investigation, the researchers analyzed how many meals the test subjects took with different portion sizes. The doctors found that the healthier food-eating participants lost more weight compared to less eating subjects. With healthy foods, participants consumed fewer calories overall.

Small portions lead to a greater feeling of hunger

The results show that the selection of healthy, low-calorie foods was more effective and sustainable than just missing large portions with higher calories, explains Faris Zuraikat. If you choose high-calorie foods but limit the amount consumed, the portions will be too small and you will likely stay hungry, the expert adds.

Larger portions result in higher food intake

Earlier research had shown that the effect of larger portion sizes made people eat more. This can cause those affected to consume more calories than they actually want. The researchers designed an intervention to counter this effect. To do this, they taught participants strategies on how to better control food portions and eat healthier.

How did the trained participants react to increasing portion sizes?

The experts examined a group of subjects who were trained extensively in control strategies for portion sizes. The researchers wanted to find out whether these participants reacted differently to increasing portion sizes than untrained people. "We were also interested in whether these untrained individuals with overweight and obesity or normal weight had different reactions," says Zuraikat.

Scientists study over 100 women in their study

The researchers recruited a total of three groups of women to participate in the study: 34 overweight participants, 29 participants with normal weight and 39 women who had previously participated in a one-year weight loss study focusing on portion control strategies. All participants visited the laboratory once a week for a period of four weeks. The researchers gave the women the same foods each time they stayed, but the portion sizes were slowly increased in a random order over weeks.

When the portion size was increased, people ingested more

Each meal consisted of foods with a higher calorie density such as garlic bread and lower calorie densities such as lettuce. The food was weighed before and after the meal. So it was determined how much the women consumed and calculated how high the calorie intake was. The scientists found that the participants in all three groups ate more because of the larger portions. For example, increasing the serving size by 75 percent also increased average consumption by 27 percent.

Trained participants ate foods with fewer calories

However, when the participants took part in the training, they consumed fewer calories overall compared to the other subjects. Although the subjects ingested similar amounts of food in all three groups, the participants who had previously received training chose foods with a lower calorie density, the experts explain.

The choice of dishes was different among the participants

“All groups were served the same meals, but their choice of food was different. Students who completed a training course consumed more low-calorie and less calorie-rich foods than the untrained person, ”said Zuraikat in a press release from Pennsylvania State University. As a result, the calorie intake of the trained participants was lower than that of the control groups, although the weight of the meals did not differ.

Full plate, but the calories consumed decrease

The study supports the notion that eating less calories and nutritious foods can help manage hunger and cause people to consume fewer calories, says Professor Barbara Rolls of Pennsylvania State University. People still have a full plate, but the proportions of different types of food have changed. (as)

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