Eating regularly and channeling stress would be two effective actions against weight gain. Indeed, to reduce the risk of gaining weight, consuming regularly balanced meals would be more effective than restrictive diets, according to a study published in the medical journal Eating Behaviors.
Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland followed 2,452 women and 2,227 men to analyze the usual factors of weight gain in young adults. The subjects in the study responded to questionnaires about the factors influencing weight and weight change at the age of 24 and then ten years later, at the age of 34.
The majority of volunteers gained weight between 24 and 34 years of age. On average, 0.9 kg per year for women and 1 kg for men. Only 7.5% of women and 3.8% of men lost weight during this period.
In addition to dieting and having irregular eating habits, the risk of women gaining weight was increased by births, regular consumption of sugary drinks and stress. In men, smoking was shown to be an additional risk factor for weight gain. The study also found that the protective factors against weight gain were physical activity, balanced nutrition and regular meals for women, while for men, the level of education seemed to play a predominant role. .
The results of this study show that it is more important to focus on taking regular meals, ensuring one’s well-being. Regular and sufficient meals support the body’s natural biological functions and help manage one’s eating habits and weight management over the long term.
“People often try to prevent and control their weight and obesity by dieting and skipping meals, and in the long run, such approaches actually seem to accelerate weight gain rather than preventing it,” explained Ulla Kärkkäinen from the University of Helsinki. “Previous studies have shown that about one out of every two Finnish adults is always on a diet. (…) Although diets seem to be a logical solution to weight control problems, they can actually increase weight gain and nutrition disorders in the long term “.