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Eating when you are hungry is the best way to LOSE weight, survey suggests…

Eating when you’re hungry is the best way to lose weight, research suggests…and it’s better for your mental health, too

  • Scientists say ‘intuitive eating’ is better for mental and physical health
  • 6,000 young adults from eight countries responded to a study on eating habits
  • Those who followed the body’s hunger signals were less likely to overeat, it found

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We are often told to ignore our hunger pangs or risk putting on the pounds…

But it’s actually better to listen to your body when it’s telling you it’s time to eat, scientists say.

Many popular diets are based on ignoring hunger pangs, such as counting calories or eating only at certain times of the day.

But relying on our appetites and eating when we’re hungry — called intuitive eating — is better for our psychological and physical health, research suggests. 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, a new survey suggests

Eating when you’re hungry is the best way to lose weight, a new survey suggests

Researchers said it was more important to tune in to our body’s signals than to follow “the latest trendy diet or eating plan.”

In the online survey, more than 6,000 young adults in eight countries answered questions about self-esteem and body mass index (BMI), a measure of whether a person is a healthy or unhealthy weight.

Researchers looked at three eating styles: intuitive, emotional and restrained.

Emotional eating is a response to internal signals such as stress or sadness. Restrained eating is strictly restricted with the aim of losing or maintaining weight. Analysis showed that the more people intuitively ate, the happier they were with their bodies.

They also had higher self-esteem and lower weight.

On the other hand, higher levels of restrained and emotional eating were associated with lower body satisfaction and self-esteem, and being heavier.

Principal investigator Dr. Charlotte Markey, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: “Cultural messages constantly suggest that it is important to ignore our bodies’ hunger and satiety signals, but relying on our bodies and eating when we feel hungry seems to be better.” for both our mental and physical health.

“This research is consistent with the evidence that dieting is ineffective for both weight loss and body satisfaction and is often counterproductive. We should strive for our own physiology more than the latest trendy diet or eating plan.’

In the British Journal of Health Psychology, the scientists write that eating styles are probably related to how people think about themselves. “We can infer that these eating styles may influence the individual’s actual consumption, given the association sometimes found with weight status,” she added.

Last month, researchers discovered that feeling “hangry” — a mixture of hunger and anger — is a real phenomenon.

The phrase has become popular in recent years, but had not yet been widely explored by science.

One study found that hunger is associated with greater levels of anger and irritability, as well as lower levels of pleasure.

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