A recent study conducted by Stephen Rathbun, a Biostatistics professor at the University of Georgia and his colleagues showed that people who are trying to lose weight or who want to avoid weight gain have a difficult time sticking to their diets when they are in a restaurant or when they are eating with company.
The study involving 150 people, where 90 percent are female, ran for three months to see when people are most likely to deviate from their diets. The volunteers have an average body mass index of 34 and were given a target calorie count related to their weights. Women volunteers weighing less than 200 pounds were given a target of 1,200 calories a day and those who weigh more than 200 pounds were to consume 1,500 calories per day.
They used a smartphone application to report when and where they felt tempted to give in to temptation and if they already gave in.
Data from the volunteers’ use of the app revealed that they were most likely to “declare a cheat day” if they were eating with others, dining at a restaurant, or at someone else’s house.
Rathbun also said that the study focused on people’s unplanned deviation from their diets just like when they eat with friends and only ate cake just because the others were having it.
On the other hand, people were least likely to deviate from their diets when they are at work or in their cars.
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