Eat Out and Lose Weight
Eating out is convenient and often cost effective. But eating out a lot can make you fat. Large portions of food are often prepared with extra oil, sugar and salt to enhance flavor. But, luckily, a new study says you can eat out and lose or maintain your weight.
Investigators from The University of Texas at Austin enlisted the help of 35 healthy, perimenopausal women aged 40 to 59 years who eat out a lot. They participated in the 6-week program called “Mindful Restaurant Eating.” This is a weight gain prevention intervention which helps diners to develop skills needed to reduce caloric and fat intake when dining at restaurants. The focus of the program to avoid weight gain, not achieve weight loss. Still, several members of the group did lose weight during the course of the study. Researchers found that the women lost significantly more weight, had lower average daily caloric and fat intake, had increased diet related self-efficacy and had fewer barriers to weight management while ordering off a menu.
Maintaining weight is almost as important as not gaining. The population in the US has an increasing waistline and with it comes cardiovascular disease and diabetes, both on the increase. Particularly vulnerable are perimenopausal women who often struggle with weight as their hormones and metabolism changes with age.
“Although the intention of the intervention was weight maintenance and the majority of participants were not dieting with the intent to lose weight at the start of the study (69%) on average the intervention group lost 1.7 kg during six weeks,” said Dr. Gayle M. Timmerman, PhD, RN, principal investigator of the study. The number of calories consumed per day decreased by almost 300.