Saturday Nov 19, 201103:54 PM GMT
Healthy snacking may help weight loss
Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:56PM
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Mindful eating of healthy snacks may help weight control.
Overweight people eat less but take in more calories through each serving and spend less through physical activity, a new study says.

New findings show that overweight people may be somehow right when saying they gain pounds despite eating no extra meal. The secret is that they gain more calories and are less active than their thin counterparts.

Marywood University researchers reviewed two large surveys which had studied the dietary habits of about 250 people. The results disclosed that on average, the normal weight people ate three meals and a little over two snacks each day, whereas the overweight participants averaged three meals and just over one snack a day.

But, on the other hand, the overweight people consumed more calories from each meal time, according to the report published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

“Weight loss maintainers” consumed the fewest calories, at about 1,800 a day, compared with the normal weight and overweight subjects, who took 1,900 and more than 2,000 calories a day, respectively, the study showed.

Weight loss maintainers also were the most physically active of the three groups, lead researcher Jessica Bachman told Reuters Health.

They burn about 3,000 calories a week through exercise and other activities. This amount is as low as 2,000 calories a week among the normal weight subjects and 800 calories a week in the overweight group, she added.

“It appears that being extremely physically active and eating more often helps them keep the weight off,” Bachman noted. “Most commonly, they were walking at least 60 minutes a day seven days a week.”

Although lowering daily calorie intake and increasing physical activity is crucial for sustainable weight loss, mindful snacking might help prevent weight gain by staving off intense hunger, the study suggested.

“If you eat more often, it stops you from getting too hungry,” Bachman said. “If you wait 10 hours after you've last eaten, you end up eating a lot more food. If you sit down and you're really hungry, you also tend to eat more calories.”

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