Pasta for dinner? Again?
Eating the same thing day after day may sound dull – but it’s a winning formula for weight loss, a new study has found.
As Time.com reports, monotonous menus can help you “bore yourself thin.”
Repetition – not flavour preferences – may discourage overeating, according to the study, to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In other words, daily helpings of sizzling rib-eye could have the same effect as endless egg-white omelettes.
In the study, University of Buffalo professor Leonard Epstein and colleagues recruited 32 women and divided them into two groups with an equal number of overweight and normal-weight subjects.
For five days in a row, one group performed a 28-minute task and then ate as many 125-calorie helpings of macaroni and cheese as they wanted.
The second group followed the same program, except they completed the sessions only once a week over five weeks.
By the end of study period, the once-a-day group was eating 30 less calories of mac and cheese per session, while the other group had increased their intake by 100 calories.
The conclusion? The first group was mac-and-cheesed out. Or, as the researchers put it, repetition had led to “habituation.”
Food-addiction experts suggest the flip-side may also be true.
In an editorial accompanying the study, professors Nicole Avena and Mark Gold at the University of Florida wrote: “School-lunch planners and public-health officials should note that diversity in the menu is not necessarily a virtue, and in fact it may be associated with promoting excess food intake and increased body mass index,” reports MDNews.com.
That would be the “buffet effect.”
In Canada, more than 1 in 4 adults – 25.4 per cent – are obese, defined as having a body mass index over 30, The Globe and Mail reported.
And if the mac-and-cheese boredom study holds any weight, the nation’s dizzying array of food choices may be partly to blame.
Is variety the spice of life? Or are diverse menus a recipe for obesity?