28 April 11 What Changes Can Really Lead to Weight Loss Success?

Last year at this time Cornell University researchers published the results of a three-month study involving 200 participants that examined which changes people could make that would lead to greater successes at losing weight and sticking with those changes. This study was a sub-set of a larger study where researchers looked at how accurately 1,000 people in the National Mindless Eating Challenge (a precursor to MindlessMethod.com) could predict their success at following dieting tips based on their perceptions of their difficulty levels.

For the smaller study, Cornell researchers broke the 200 individuals into three separate groups, each following three different categories of dieting tips: 1) change your environment, 2) change your eating behaviors, and 3) change your food choices. The results of the study indicated that those who followed tips related to changing their environment lost more weight (1-2 pounds more per month per tip followed) and adhered to those changes longer (2 days more per month) than those following tips in the other two categories.

Tips for changing one's environment included stocking and using 10-inch plates for meals, turning off all electronics while eating, moving the candy dish out of sight and rearrange the cupboards to put less-healthy foods in the back. Tips for changing eating behavior included putting down utensils between bites, eating larger healthy items on the plate first and eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours. Tips in the "food choice" category included using lemon juice instead of salad dressing, eating fruit and cereal for breakfast and eating fruit for an afternoon snack.

In relation to the larger study, the fact that people who made environmental changes were more successful at following the tips and losing weight also perceived that making environmental changes were easier to do than changes in the other categories. The study showed a correlation between how successful people predicted they could be and how successful they actually were. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy or consider that environmental changes are actually easier to do than changing behavior or food choices.

Researchers concluded that it takes at least 20 days of consecutive adherence before any changes really started to happen. So whatever you choose to change, stick with it and the results will become apparent.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Tags:

Weight Loss/Behavior Weight Loss/Food Environment

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