You should get thinner if you regularly consume ready-to-eat diet meals that are low in calories and fat. Right? Maybe not.
It turns out that what is seen as a quick and easy way to lose weight can backfire--big time. Because diet meals leave us feeling dissatisfied, they actually encourage binge eating, reports London's Daily Mail of research from Bristol University in England.
The study: The Bristol team recruited 36 male and female volunteers, all of whom were a normal weight. Half the group was given a microwaveable supermarket spaghetti bolognese for lunch for five days in a row. The others were given a low-fat version of the same meal. At the beginning of the week, both groups rated the meals equally for taste.
The results: At the end of the week, those who consumed the low-fat spaghetti lost their taste for the dish, but those who ate the full-fat version of the lunch liked it as much at the end of the five days as they did at the start.
The takeaway: The Bristol researchers think this may explain why so many people find it difficult to stick with a diet over the long haul. While diet foods seem like an easy way to cut calories, it's common for dieters to discard them for the real thing--and then the pounds come back on fast.
"Perhaps this is why people engage in yo-yo dieting," lead study author Jeffrey Brunstrom told The Daily Mail.
--From the Editors at Netscape