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Thinking About What’s Important In Life May Help Prevent Unhealthy Dietary Behaviors

January 4, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Canada and the U.S. who studied 45 overweight and obese women found that women who spent 15 minutes writing about why certain values were most important to them actually lost more weight over four months than women who did not. All of the women ranked their values – e.g., creativity, music, friends, family, etc. – in order of importance. But half of the group wrote about why those values were important, while the other half did not. Those who had written about an important value lost an average of 3.41 pounds, while women in the control group gained an average of 2.76 pounds. The researchers suggested that reminding yourself of what’s important in life may help prevent unhealthy habits, such as snacking.
C. Logel and G. L. Cohen, "The Role of the Self in Physical Health: Testing the Effect of a Values-Affirmation Intervention on Weight Loss", Psychological Science, January 04, 2012, © Association for Psychological Science
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