Minor dietary changes can result in significant reductions in daily calories consumed

Gaining weight is one of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes. Despite this fact, many people find it very difficult to stick to diets. This often results in overeating and the addition of excess fat to the midsection.

While many people are aware of the risk associated with being overweight, lifestyle habits involving food are often simply too difficult to break. However, a new study suggests that one small change in eating patterns may increase an individual's odds of losing weight.

Researchers from Cornell University showed that participants who ate a portion-restricted lunch for two weeks consumed an average of 250 fewer calories per day. Additionally, these individuals lost over one pound by the end of the two-week study period.

The findings are important because the participants were not asked to make major lifestyle changes. They were allowed to eat whatever they wanted throughout the entire day. All they had to do was restrict the portion sizes they ate at lunch.

"Making small reductions in energy intake to compensate for the increasing number of calories available in our food environment may help prevent further weight gain, and one way of doing this could be to consume portion-controlled lunches a few times a week," said Carly Pacanowski, who led the study.

She added the findings indicate that the body may not be very sensitive to minor changes in energy consumption. This means that people who are currently overweight may be able to reduce the amount of food they eat without feeling very hungry.

All of this has important implications for people who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Losing weight and eating healthier are among the most important things they can do for their health. The study shows that doing so may not be as difficult as once thought.