3. Research suggests that an alternating pattern of food restriction and food binging contributes to reward dysfunction (change in neural circuitry) and an addictive pattern of eating. Moreover, intermittent access to highly preferred "binge" foods (as practiced by many restrained eaters) may progressively decrease the acceptability of less palatable, more healthy foods and promote relapse to more rewarding, less healthy alternatives.
Conclusion Repeat dieting, high day-to-day fluctuations in intakes, and attempts to enforce highly rigid control over eating all seem to be counterproductive to weight control efforts and may disrupt more appropriate food choice behaviors.
Characteristics of successful restrainers include:
1. employing more flexible, less stringent restraint
2. avoiding "all-or-nothing" thinking
3. using more general behavior modification techniques, such as using smaller plates and eating more slowly and mindfully (paying attention)
4. accepting and dealing with transgressions kindly.
Most of the people I see struggle with the addictive nature of food far more than not knowing how to eat healthfully in moderation. Some of us are wired more for addiction; for example, if our mothers were deprived of nutrients, sometimes substituting alcohol or other drugs, when we were in the womb. This maternal undernutrition can cause permanent disruption in both appetite control and central insulin and leptin resistance - this leads to future overeating and obesity.