This just in from an article published in today's edition of the Journal of Physiology: ". . . during a reduction in energy stores or circulating nutrients, the brain initiates responses to restore and maintain energy and glucose homeostasis. In contrast, in times of nutrient abundance and excess energy storage, the brain promotes reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure."
In other words, deprivation makes your brain and body store fat. But having access to plenty of food can lead to eating less and moving around more.
This has always been my experience. When I give myself permission to eat what I'm truly hungry for--and stop eating when I'm satisfied--I eat less than when I go into deprivation mode.
It's interesting to know that there's neurobiology at work. The human body is a wonderful thing.