How journal writing enables weight loss

On one level keeping a food journal to count calories and stay in control of our diet is a recognised successful weight loss strategy.

However, research also shows that there is a deeper implication for weight loss by writing expressively about the things that are important to us.

In a paper published earlier this year Christine Logel of Renison University College at the University of Waterloo described how the way we think about ourselves is important to our sense of self-integrity, and this triggers greater control over our eating habits. For example comfort eating and snacking become less prevalent.

The paper (reference below)  describes a study demonstrating how a population of female, overweight university students who were guided through writing about the values that are most important to them were found to lose on average 3.41 pounds over a 6 month period. The control group, who were asked to write about a value that might be important to someone else, gained on average 2.76 pounds over the same period.

Article reference: Association for Psychological Science (2012, January 4). Exercise is good for your waistline — but it’s a writing exercise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2012/01/120104134811.htm

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