Trying to eat less can be beneficial to stave off middle-age weight gain in women, according to a new study.
Researchers have found that those women who did not practice more restraint on their eating, over the time, had more than twice the risk of substantial weight gain.
"Some suggest that restrained eating is not a good practice," said Brigham Young University professor Larry Tucker, the study's lead author.
In the study involving 192 middle-aged women, the researchers have found that women who did not become more restrained with eating were 138 percent more likely to put on 6.6 pounds or more.
Columbia University researcher Lance Davidson, who was not involved with the analysis, said the findings highlight an important principle of weight management.
"Because the body's energy requirements progressively decline with age, energy intake must mirror that decrease or weight gain occurs," he said.
"Dr. Tucker's observation that women who practice eating restraint avoid the significant weight gain commonly observed in middle age is an important health message," he added.
"Weight gain and obesity bring a greater risk of diabetes and a number of other chronic diseases. Eating properly is a skill that needs to be practiced," said Tucker.
The study appears in American Journal of Health Promotion.