Ten Habits Assist with Self-Regulation
We are all looking for easy ways to assist our endeavor toward weight loss success. Many simple habits have been shown to assist with weight loss. Habit interventions are designed to promote a routine that consists of healthy behaviors. This routine may also enhance self-regulation while they develop a healthy set of habits. The goal of any such set of habits is to inhibit less healthy habits while promoting the more healthy ones. Hone will guarantee success, but they will certainly help.
A recent randomized trial of habit-based advice for weight loss looked at their list of Ten Top Tips. The study was published in 2017 in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The researchers looked at 537 obese patients from 14 primary care practices in the United Kingdom. The subjects were weighed at the beginning and 90 days and were requested to fill out a questionnaire. The subjects were divided into a study group and a control group. The subjects in the study group were given a leaflet containing top ten tips for weight loss and healthy habits formation, a self-monitoring logbook, and a wallet-sized shopping guide on how to read food labels. The study revealed that, during the three months, patients who were given Top Ten Tips reported greater increases in self-regulatory skills than those who received usual care.
Top Ten Tips in Study:
- Develop a mealtime routine. Eating at the same time each day is a good habit.
- Eat Reduced fat foods. Not sure I agree with this one.
- Walk off the weight. Hmm, this might be the title of this site.
- Pack a healthy snack. If you bring snack foods, you will limit the unhealthy choices.
- Read The food labels. Looking at the labels will have you know what you are eating.
- Watch your portion size. Avoiding unlimited intake to a single portion will reduce intake.
- Stand for ten minutes every hour of the day. Standing during the work day will increase the number of calories you burn.
- Watch what you drink. Avoiding sugary and alcohol containing beverages will limit empty calories.
- Focus on your meals. This emphasis means to prevent mindless eating.
- Increase fruits and vegetables. Eat at least five servings a day of fruit and vegetables.
- Weight Your self daily. Although not a part of the plan, it is emphasized in the study and will reduce weight gain. Consider it number 11.
The bottom line: This study provides evidence that greater engagement with the top ten habits appears to be associated with more significant improvements in self-regulatory skills, automaticity, and weight loss. A longer study is needed, but this is promising.
Kliemann, Nathalie, Victoria Vickerstaff, Helen Croker, Fiona Johnson, Irwin Nazareth, and Rebecca J. Beeken. “The Role of Self-Regulatory Skills and Automaticity on the Effectiveness of a Brief Weight Loss Habit-Based Intervention: Secondary Analysis of the 10 Top Tips Randomised Trial.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 14, no. 1 (September 5, 2017). doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0578-8