Filed Under:

Boomer Women Prove They Can Dine Out And Still Lose Weight

Play associated audio

When women go on a diet, we tend to avoid our favorite restaurants because they are filled with temptations — bread, booze and desserts. But are we doomed to sit in our kitchens eating salad alone while everyone else is headed out on the town if we want to keep the weight off?

Take heart, ladies. A new study of women in their 50s and early 60s finds they could eat out and still succeed at long-term weight loss.

"What was really surprising was that eating at restaurants did not predict long-term weight change," lead researcher Bethany Barone Gibbs of the University of Pittsburgh tells us.

The study looked at predictors of weight loss at six months, and then again at four years after dieting began. Early in the dieting phase, eating at home seemed to be most effective. But as the years went by, the women who were successful at weight loss seemed able to bring their healthier eating habits to the restaurant table. They were eating out about two to three times per week, compared with the average American, who eats out four to five times a week.

So what separated the successful dieters from the not so successful? For starters, cutting back on meats and cheeses was important. And eating fewer desserts and sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda or sweetened tea were both important.

But the most powerful predictor was what the women added to their diet. "The strongest effect actually was for fruits and vegetables," says Barone Gibbs.

The study found that four years after starting a diet, the women who added in daily servings of fruits and vegetables did best. The new findings, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics fit with another study published in the same journal last year that examined strategies for losing weight and keeping it off.

So how do women manage to keep down portions and resist all those restaurant temptations? Perhaps they've adopted the slow down and savor approach. As we've reported, women who participated in a mindful eating study were eating about 300 fewer calories per day after incorporating these techniques.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

Got To Catch Peter The Great And Ivan The Terrible

Think of it as an intellectual version of Pokémon Go. Moscow's City Hall will launch an app next month that allows players to catch long-dead historical figures on the streets of the capital.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.