Half of women were on a diet in last year

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LOSING WEIGHT: Denying yourself food may not be the best way.

MORE than half of all women have tried to lose weight over the past year. Research by retail analysts Mintel found that 57 per cent of women admitted to dieting, compared to 39 per cent of men.

The survey found one in three women are unaware of how many calories they eat. A third said they ate more than the recommended 2,000 a day.

However, denying yourself food may not be the best thing to try and lose weight. Scientists at Loughborough University (UK) found that women who created an ‘energy deficit’ through calorie restriction, rather than working out, ate around 40 per cent more at a buffet dinner. The team discovered levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ increase in women who deny themselves food.

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The study looked at 12 women who restricted their diets by around 836 calories before a buffet dinner. On another occasion, they burnt the same energy on a treadmill before having the buffet. Researchers found that when they were dieting, the women ate an average of 944 calories, compared with only 660 after exercise.

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