Need Help Sticking with Your Weight-Loss Goals? Fake It Til You Make It

New weight-loss goals seem like a great idea on New Year’s Eve, but they tend to become a total pain in the ass not too long after (FYI, we're two months in).

But, according to new research, we might be approaching the process all wrong. The study, which was published in the journal Self & Identity, found that telling yourself that you’re a healthy eater actually helps make you one. It's kind of a Jedi mind trick—on yourself. 

For the study, researchers gave 124 women information on food portion sizes and asked them to keep a food diary for six weeks. The women were then split into three groups: One was given standard educational materials on nutrition, another was given no information, and the third was asked to write statements that linked good nutrition with their identity, like “I am a healthy eater” and “I am a fruit eater.”

The study authors discovered that those who made the statements ate more healthy foods than the other groups a month after the study began. Those women also stuck with their healthy eating habits throughout the study (while people in the other groups were more likely to crap out over time).

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People in the “self as doer” group (which is how scientists termed these healthy-eating statements) also ate one extra portion of healthy food per day than women in the other groups.

Scientists found that these statements work well across the board, nutritionally speaking. For example, if you want to break your daily soda habit, saying “I’m not much of a soda drinker” should help.

Plus, “I’m a fruit-eater, veggie-lover, salad-eating, chip-hater” has a nice ring to it, right?


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