Attitude Just As Important To Losing Weight As Diet

I spend so much time discussing the science behind improving your diet here on my daily blog, I hope you're not overlooking the other foundation of optimal health: Your emotional wellbeing. Changing from a live to eat to an eat to live mindset is challenging, especially in today's fast-paced world where a quick reaction may solve immediate concerns -- for example grabbing a bagel on the way to work rather than preparing a fresh food snack the night before -- but never for the long-term and at the risk of worsening your health.

That's what attracted me to this study on self-efficacy: The confidence that allows you to carry out a particular behavior. This quality is also "a potent predictor of treatment outcomes across dozens of health behaviors," meaning it's awfully hard to make lasting changes without it.

Dutch researchers followed the progress of 66 obese men and women recruited for an eight-week low-calorie weight loss regimen. Prior to the study, patients filled out self-assessment questionnaires about their physical and mental health. During the study period, all patients received the same amount of information and support, ate the same number of calories and attention the identical number of follow-up visit.

Which patients were the most successful?

  • Those who believed they were able to control their weight.
  • Those who didn't blame their obesity on a physical problem they couldn't solve.
  • Those who believed they would be more successful.

Mentally, you know that you should be eating lean proteins and fresh vegetables, but emotionally you have been conditioned to crave certain foods, such as grains and sugars. In other words, successful eating may indeed be just as much a battle against your own emotions, as acquiring the right knowledge (which can also be why so many "one-size-fits-all" diets fail).

There are various approaches for dealing with these challenges, but the one I most highly recommend is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). If you're having problems overcoming your food cravings and getting on the path to better health, I strongly urge you to review my free EFT report.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, March 2005, Volume 105, Number 3

Washington Post March 22, 2005

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