Want to drop a few pounds? Eat a light lunch

If you want to lose weight without a radical diet overhaul, look to your lunch hour. New research shows that opting for a light lunch can stave off hunger pangs while helping you lose 25 pounds (around 11 kilos) in a year. The rest of the day? Eat normally.

Researchers at Cornell University in the US monitored the daily diets of 17 volunteers. For the first week of the study, participants ate from a buffet for their meals and snacks, while researchers tallied up calories consumed. The next two weeks, half the group was asked to pick from one of six pre-packaged portion-controlled foods, such as soups or pasta meals, but could eat whatever they wanted from the buffet the rest of the day. The remainder of the participants continued eating whatever they wished from the buffet.

The volunteers who ate portion-controlled lunches consumed 250 fewer calories per day, losing an average of 1.1 pounds (about half a kilo) over the course of two weeks.

What's interesting is that the subjects didn't make up for the reduced calories from their portion-controlled lunches at other snack and meal times, and were able to almost sneak in small caloric reductions without the body noticing, the researchers said.

The Cornell scientists stated that in an age of abundant food choices, "making small reductions in energy intake" could help keep your waistline trim. One way of controlling your weight could be to simply eat a portion-controlled lunch a few times a week, they added.

The research will be published in the October issue of the journal Appetite.

In May, researchers at the University of Missouri in the US also found that tucking into a high-protein breakfast increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.

MRI images showed that a protein-packed breakfast reduced the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven behavior.

That study, published in the journal Obesity, suggested that incorporating a protein-rich breakfast could be a simple strategy for people to stay satisfied longer and prevent snacking.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Software Engineer - C++

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...

    Software Team Leader - C++

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software Tea...

    Sales Executive - Central London /Home working - £20K-£40K

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Executive - Ce...

    Graduate Java / C++ Developer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Graduate Java / C++ ...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

    Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

    The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor