Intuitive eating for a healthy weight
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Intuitive eating for a healthy weight

Lauren Outland Assistant professor, nursing, California State University, US
Hala Madanat Associate professor, public health, San Diego State University, US
Frank Rust Lecturer, nursing, California State University, US

Lauren Outland and colleagues explain why dieters should be educated about getting neither too full nor too hungry

Many dieters eventually end up weight cycling (yo-yo dieting) or overweight. This paradox may partly be explained by a chemical response to a disturbance in weight homeostasis, which happens when hunger cues are ignored as the result of dieting. A study was undertaken to examine what beliefs might guide eating behaviour and to determine how these behaviours are related to lifetime weight and weight stability. In a sample of 189 Californian nurses, those who consistently overrode hunger cues were more likely to suffer from a lifetime of overweight and weight cycling. Those who consistently overrode fullness cues were more likely to have to use moderate to extreme effort to maintain weight. Because overriding homeostatic cues may lead to physiological and behavioural overcompensation, nursing and public health education should caution against getting either too full or too hungry.

Primary Health Care. 23, 9, 22-28. doi: 10.7748/phc2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 06 February 2013

Accepted: 29 April 2013