The New Way to Drop Pounds (and It's Easier Than You'dThink!)
Do you keep a journal of some sort? With all the activities, relationships, jobs, and hectic lifestyles that seem to take over these days, it might be a rare occasion that you’d actually take the time to sit down and record your thoughts and dreams.
But what if, simply by taking the time to collect your thoughts, you could lose weight?
Well, researchers have strongly suggested that the secret to losing weight successfully could rest in your hands, in the shape of the “almighty pen.”
According to a new study that was recently published in the online journal Psychological Science, which belongs to the Association for Psychological Science, women who wrote about their feelings and values lost weight more successfully than their peers who did not write.
The Weight of Self-Integrity
The writing is not just about anything, however. The researchers discovered that writing about values that are important to an individual, such as close relationships, religion or music led to more weight loss over a short period of months, compared to the people who did not write about their values.
Christine Logel of Renison University College at the University of Waterloo, who helped write the new study alongside Geoffrey Cohen of Stanford University, believes that a woman writing about her values strengthens her sense of self-integrity.
Any instance where you have a negative experience in your life, such as failing a test, getting into a fight with your loved one, or losing a promotion, reminding yourself of the most important life values can help buffer that self-integrity and restore your sense of being a good person.
Details of the Study
An experiment was conducted by the researchers that involved 45 recruited females, who were all undergraduates and had at least a body mass index (BMI) of 23. To compare, a normal weight is considered to be a body mass index between 18.5 and 25. On average, around 58 percent of the women who participated in the study were either overweight or obese.
After each woman was weighed in, they were given a list of the most common important life values, which included creativity, politics, music, friends and family. The women were then asked to number the values in order of how important each value was to them, and ranked each value appropriately. Finally, half of the women were told to write for approximately 15 minutes about the single most important value to them, while the other half, which was the control group, was asked to about why a value that was at the bottom of their list might be important to someone else.
After the writing exercise, the women left and were asked to come back about four months later. When they did come back, each woman was weighed again and the results were surprising. The women who had written about an important life value lost an average of 4 pounds, while the women who wrote about their least important value actually lost no weight, and instead gained close to 3 pounds.
The scientists suggest that feeling good about ourselves can certainly have a big impact on how easily we lose weight, and this simple writing exercise provided concrete evidence that reinforces that idea.