The definition of insanity… Yo-yoing between a terrible diet and extreme restrictions MAKES you fat; a healthy weight requires consistent healthy choices
05/14/2018 // David Williams // Views

If you're looking for a real solution to the world's most persistent weight-related problems, you're better off eating regularly instead of skipping meals. When most people try to lose weight, they often deprive themselves of food, thinking that if eating less will help them to gain less and eventually lose fat on their bodies. Some even take it all the way to the extreme – not eating any food at all, for certain times of the day, but now a new paper calls that very assumption into question.

The study, which was conducted by researchers in Finland, shows that there's a clear and effective way of keeping your weight down, and it isn't through dieting by way of removing meals off your list. Instead, it is said that simply eating regular meals can be much more effective, and it can help with both weight loss and staying at the same weight.

The study also found that one of the most common factors among young men and women who were able to manage their own weight successfully is eating regular meals. Early adulthood was specified as a precocious time when most people tend to gain most of their weight for their adult lives. That's why it's important to understand the underlying factors at work to keep everything in your favor.

According to Ulla Kärkkäinen, a licensed nutritional therapist at the University of Helsinki and one of the researchers, avoiding foods is not an ideal way of solving weight problems. "Often, people try to prevent and manage excess weight and obesity by dieting and skipping meals," she said. "In the long term, such approaches seem to actually accelerate getting fatter, rather than prevent it." (Related: If you really want to keep the weight off, eat good food regularly and don’t go on fad diets.)


The study was conducted as part of something called the FinnTwin 16 study, which had more than 4,900 young men and women as its participants. All subjects were asked to answer surveys that mapped out all of the factors involved in any weight changes while they were 24 years of age, and then again 10 years later while they were 34 years of age.

It is said that during the decade that passed by, most research subjects gained weight. Only 7.5 percent of all the women and 3.8 percent of all the men managed to lose weight over that time period. And between the ages of 24 and 34, the mean gain in women was measured to be 0.9 kilograms per year. In men, it was measured at 1.0 kilogram.

Apart from skipping meals and other irregular diet habits, it is said that a woman's risk of gaining weight also increased due to childbirth involving two or more children. Other factors include drinking soft drinks regularly and "poor contentment with life." As for men, the one factor identified as increasing the risk of weight gain was smoking. And when it comes to factors protecting weight gain, physical activity was identified to be important for women, and a higher level of education was said to be important for men.

To Kärkkäinen, their results simply confirm that previous studies were indeed correct when they showed that constant dieting, particularly involving meal-skipping, has a poor track record when it comes to helping subjects lose weight or maintain their weight. Instead of trying to lose weight through these methods, it's more important just to keep eating meals regularly and trying to find a balance that won't make you overeat, and therefore gain extra weight, said the researchers.

In conclusion, Kärkkäinen stated that weight management would benefit from an increased focus on key differences, as well as taking certain factors that affect human well-being into account, along with their sense of meaning in life.

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