Objective: Many individuals have difficulty adhering to a weight loss diet. One possible explanation could be that dietary restriction paradoxically contributes to overconsumption. The objective of this study was to examine ingestive behavior under a forced chocolate restriction with a focus on the anticipatory restriction period and the post-restriction period in frequent chocolate consumers.
Methods: Fifty-six male (N = 18) and female (N = 38) high chocolate consumers with high (N = 25) or low (N = 31) cognitive disinhibition participated. Chocolate snacks were provided for a week each to establish baseline, pre-restriction, and post-restriction consumption, Chocolate snacks were replaced with nonchocolate snacks during a 3-week chocolate restriction period.
Results: Highly disinhibited participants felt more guilty and consumed significantly more energy than low disinhibited participants across snack conditions. Low disinhibited participants consumed significantly less in the post-restriction period compared to baseline and the pre-restriction period, while high disinhibited participants consumed the same amount across all conditions. Aggregating the data, high and low disinhibited chocolate consumers ate snacks more frequently in the pre- and post-restriction periods compared to the baseline period.
Conclusions: This study suggests that for some individuals, restriction of a preferred food like chocolate may be contraindicated for energy restriction and weight management.
© 2015 The Obesity Society.