If you’ve tried just about everything you could to lose weight but are still meeting dead ends, you might want to try writing things out. According to a new study published in Psychological Science, people who write about their most important values are actually able to lose weight.

The researchers reached this conclusion after recruiting 45 female undergraduates who had a body mass index (BMI) of 23 or higher (normal BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9 points). Fifty-eight percent of them were overweight. They were then given a list of values and were asked to rate them in order of importance. Afterward, half of the women were asked to write about the value they considered number one for 15 minutes, while those left (control group) were simply asked to write about how the bottom pile values could be important to other women.

Between one and four months later, the women returned to be weighed in. The results were astonishing. The women who were given time to write about their most important value lost an average of 3.41 pounds, while the women who were part of the control group gained an average of 2.76 pounds.

According to Christine Logel of Renison University College at the University of Waterloo and co-author of the study, the weight loss could be attributed to the possible newfound contentment in the women who were able reaffirm the values they cherished the most. Feeling really good about themselves, they could have resisted the urge to snack and in fact might have stopped snacking altogether.

If you do decide to practice this, though, it doesn't mean you should stop exercising or eating a healthy diet. Find the balance that fits you. For all you know, the only missing ingredient from your past experiences was a healthy self-esteem.


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(Photo by Nicole April via Flickr Creative Commons)

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