Doctors are examining the influence of expectation on losing weight
Losing weight is difficult for many people. Researchers have now found that the key to successful weight loss is an attitude with unrealistic expectations. When people set themselves an ambitious or unrealistic dream weight, they lose more weight on average.
Scientists at the University of Nottingham found in an investigation that unrealistic weight loss goals lead to greater success. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "The Journal of Human Nutrition".
Set yourself unrealistic goals
At the beginning of each year, many people plan to do more exercise or at least lose a few pounds. But most of these people do not achieve their goal and do not really manage to lose weight permanently. The reason for this could already lie in expectations. If those affected set unrealistic goals, they lose more weight, the experts say.
Scientists examine 24,000 subjects for their study
The current study examined 24,000 overweight people. All subjects carried out a weight loss program. If the participants set themselves an ambitious dream weight, they lost more weight on average (about 19 percent of their body weight), say the doctors. People who set achievable goals lost far less.
Current consultations build on realistic weight loss goals
January is the most popular time of year to start a diet or change of diet. The study’s new results are really important to maximize the chances of success, says study author Amanda Avery of the University of Nottingham. The current consultations have been designed around realistic weight loss goals. In this way, those affected should be protected from disappointments.
Limits on weight loss goals can be a hindrance
The current study suggests that limits on weight loss goals can be a hindrance. It is important that people have longings and can achieve their own success, the researchers say. If people really want to achieve a goal personally when losing weight, that motivates them most. If your goal is actually dream weight, you will be far more willing to do it, the experts add.
In the UK alone, around a quarter of all people fall into the obesity category according to their Body Mass Index (BMI). The weight seriously affects the health of those affected, say the doctors. For this reason, it is important that such people lose weight urgently. The new study now found that people lose more weight when they have bigger goals. If the target was to lose approximately 27 percent of their body weight, the result was an average of 19 percent, the authors explain. When people had a goal of 16 to 21 percent, they lost about 14 percent. A modest goal of 10 percent only led the test subjects to achieve exactly this goal. (as)