Eating When You’re Hungry Is The Best Way To LOSE Weight, According To A Survey…And It’s Better For Your Mental Health, Too
- Scientists say “intuitive eating” is better for psychological and physical health
- 6,000 young adults from eight countries completed a survey on eating habits
- Those who followed the body’s hunger ‘signals’ were less likely to overeat, he found
We are often told to ignore our feelings of hunger or risk gaining weight…
But it’s actually best to listen to your body when it tells you it’s time to eat, scientists say.
Many popular diets are based on ignoring feelings of hunger, such as when counting calories or only eating at certain times of the day.
But trusting our appetites and eating when we’re hungry — known as intuitive eating — is better for our psychological and physical health, research shows. In one study, those who ate intuitively were more likely to weigh less and feel happier with their bodies than those who restricted their food intake.
Eating when you’re hungry is the best way to LOSE weight, according to a new survey
The researchers said it was more important to be in tune with our body’s signals than to follow “the latest fad or diet plan”.
In the online survey, more than 6,000 young adults from eight countries answered questions about self-esteem and body mass index (BMI), a measure of whether an individual is of a healthy weight. or not.
The researchers looked at three eating styles: intuitive, emotional, and restrained.
Emotional eating is in response to internal cues such as feeling stressed or sad. Restricted eating is severely restricted in an effort to lose or maintain weight. The analysis revealed that the more intuitively people ate, the happier they tended to be with their bodies.
They also had higher self-esteem and lower weight.
On the other hand, higher levels of restricted and emotional eating were associated with lower body satisfaction and self-esteem, and higher weight.
Lead researcher Dr Charlotte Markey, from Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: “Cultural messages consistently suggest that it’s important to ignore our body’s signals of hunger and fullness, but trust to our body and eating when we feel hungry seems to be better for both our psychological and physical health.
“This research is in line with evidence that weight loss diets are ineffective for both weight loss and body satisfaction and often counterproductive. We should aim to be more in tune with our own physiology than the latest fad diet or eating plan.
Writing in the British Journal of Health Psychology, the scientists said eating styles are likely linked to how people feel about themselves. “We can infer that these eating styles may affect an individual’s actual intake, given the association sometimes found with weight status,” they added.
Last month, researchers discovered that feeling “hungry” – a mixture of hunger and anger – is a real phenomenon.
The phrase has become popular in recent years but had not been widely explored by science.
One study found that hunger is associated with higher levels of anger and irritability, as well as lower levels of pleasure.