It may sound obvious but nutrition experts have been divided over whether cutting calories leads to long-term weight loss because it can backfire and trigger binge eating and weight gain.
Now, new research from Brigham Young University suggests that eating less can significant reduce the risk of weight gain, particularly in women as they age.
In this study, researchers followed 192 middle-aged women for three years and compiled information on their lifestyles, health and eating habits.
Overall, women who didn't practice more restraint and reduce the amount of food they ate during the study period were 138 percent more likely to put on 6.6 pounds or more.
"Because the body's energy requirements progressively decline with age, energy intake must mirror that decrease or weight gain occurs," says one nutrition researcher.
Women who make a conscious effort to eat less age they age avoid the weight gain - and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases - that's common in middle age.
To downsize your portions, try filling up on low-calorie foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans), chicken or turkey breast, low-fat milk or broth-based soups.
For more personalized advice on how to age healthfully by eating less, check out how you can work one-on-one with Leslie Beck, RD.
This study was published in the January 2009 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.