When there are occasions of celebration, like birthdays and holidays, people typically consume more food. When these kinds of things happen, we tend to pay more attention. In line with this, a new study found that compared to people who eat in response to their emotions (considering internal factors), those who tend to eat in response to external factors like holidays and celebrations have fewer difficulties managing their weight loss. Emotional eating was also linked to weight gain in those who had lost weight, according to the study.
According to lead author Heather Niemeier of Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, their findings indicate that participants in behavioral weight loss programs lose less weight when they report eating to respond to thoughts and feelings like loneliness.
Those who reported emotional eating were also more likely to regain their weight than those who had successfully lost it, according to the findings. The authors emphasized the significance of this because the issue of weight regain following weight loss remains one of the most significant obstacles in the treatment of overweight and obesity.
Niemeier says that people who participate in behavioral weight loss programs lose an average of 10% of their body weight, and these weight reductions are linked to significant improvements in health. Sadly, the majority of participants lose weight within three to five years of starting.
The Eating Inventory, a questionnaire that is frequently used in studies of overweight and obesity, was the subject of this particular study, and the responses that the individual provided were analyzed by the researchers. The Eating Inventory is a tool that measures cognitive restraint, hunger, and disinhibition as three aspects of an individual’s eating behaviors.
Niemeier and her team only focused on the Eating Inventory’s disinhibition component for a more specific study. Even though previous studies have suggested that disinhibition as a whole is a reliable predictor of weight loss, the scale itself includes several factors that each has the potential to predict outcomes in their way.
According to Niemeier, the disinhibition scale will assess impulse eating in response to social, emotional, or cognitive cues. Their objective was to investigate, isolate, and ascertain whether the factors that make up the disinhibition scale have a particular relationship with weight loss and regain.
There are two groups of participants in the study. The first group included 286 overweight men and women who were enrolled in a behavioral weight loss program at the time. The subsequent gathering then again included 3,345 individuals from the Public Weight Control Library (NWCR), a continuous investigation of grown-ups who have lost no less than thirty pounds and kept it off for somewhere around one year.
By examining these two distinct groups, the researchers were able to assess the impact of disinhibition on those attempting to lose weight and those attempting to maintain their weight loss, according to the study. Upon additional assessment, the specialists found that the parts inside the disinhibition scale were to be gathered in two particular regions: internal as well as external inhibition.
Internal eating in response to thoughts and feelings, including emotional eating, is referred to as internal disinhibition, while external disinhibition refers to experiences that are external to the individual. Internal disinhibition was found to be a significant predictor of weight over time in both groups, according to the findings. The more internal disinhibition a person has, the less weight they lose over time when they participate in weight loss programs.
Since thoughts and feelings play a significant role in weight loss, their research has suggested that eating that is triggered by thoughts and feelings should be addressed. However, internal disinhibition outperformed other psychological issues like depression, binge eating, and perceived stress to predict weight change over time.
Patients’ ability to maintain weight loss behaviors, even in the face of affective and cognitive challenges, may be enhanced by further treatment modification to address these determinants of unhealthy eating and educate them about alternative approaches.
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