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Eating patterns that help older women avoid weight gain

Obesity, which is being deemed as a serious health hazard worldwide, can be caused by several reasons. That is why a single weight loss product or diet does not work equally well for every obese individual. As a matter of fact, women and men can have different reasons for putting on excess weight. They need to get the root cause of obesity detected before trying to shake off the extra flab off their figures. Researchers and health experts are always on lookout for finding out ways to help obese lot become slimmer. Men and women hailing from various age groups may benefit from trying weight loss methods that are appropriate for their physiological needs and age.

There are several instances of women putting on excess weight after menopause. This can be difficult to cope with. This not only lowers their self esteem but they find it hard to shed off excess fat at this age range. A new research however indicates that it is not impossible feat for post menopausal obese women. The research shows that these women may change their eating patterns to fight obesity more effectively.  The findings are preliminary in nature but holds promise.

Bethany Barone Gibbs a professor is associated with University of Pittsburgh’s health and physical activity division said on the finding that maintaining a slim figure post weight loss phase can be tough for obese persons including women. To reach the conclusion, she had to study long term and short term changes made by 500 obese women. These women were in their late 50s. Specific eating patterns were found to be related to weight loss or lack of it, in these candidates.

Those fat women who discarded sugary beverages, meats, cheese and desserts and increased intake of vegetables and fruits lost weight. The findings of this study were published in detail in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The candidates were observed for two time periods- 6 months and 4 years. As expected, weight loss results between candidates observed during such different period are also different. The women who managed to lose weight in short term by discarding certain foods and adding some others, did not show same results over 4 year period.

The link between weight control and fried foods seemed to be less significant at the end of the 4th year. What this means is some eating behaviors do not bring you long term results. Besides, people cannot refrain from foods they crave for very long. Examples are French fries and hamburgers and similar junk foods. However, the other finding is what many health experts have suggested for decades. Women, who include lots of vegetables and fruits in their meals for long time, gain significant benefits at the end of the 4th year. Discarding sugar enriched drinks can also bring good weight loss results in long term.

In her study, Gibbs took help from previous studies as well. She thinks, in post menopausal women, lack of physical activity leads to reduced body metabolism. This, in turn, makes losing excess fat even more difficult than others. They also tend to feel less inclination to make much physical movements n later years. This, coupled with the fact that at older age, body fat overtakes amount of muscles makes things even more complicated. Exercise remains a difficult choice for most of them owing to onset of bone and muscle related ailments. This leaves a change in eating patterns the most suitable option for such women.

The study has sent ripples in medical community and brought out mixed reactions. Washington University’s director of nutrition, Connie Diekman said that this study will help researchers who are trying to find out how eating pattern changes can be used to aid weight loss in women and persons in general. Diets based weight loss may not always be effective and their pitfalls are also well known. However, implementing some vital changes in eating foods can help obese women eventually. Obese women need to be consistent about changes in their diet or else they are not likely to experience good effects for long term, as findings of this study indicate.

Diekman, while praising the efforts of Bethany Barone Gibbs and agreeing with the outcome of her study, feels that this study is a good beginning but needs further exploration. This study has not been able to show strong links between cause and effects leading to obesity in candidates. This means more studies need to be conducted on the topic.

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