-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to weight
loss, the words you choose when refusing something tasty can make
the difference in whether you are able to resist temptation, new
For instance, when offered a slice of pie, responding with the
words "I don't" increases the likelihood you will stick to your
diet, rather than saying "I can't."
"Whether it's buffalo wings at a tailgate or heaping plates of calories at the Thanksgiving day dinner table that is your downfall, help is merely a couple of words away," wrote co-authors Vanessa Patrick and Henrik Hagtvedt.
"This insight is based on the notion that saying 'I can't' to temptation inherently signals deprivation and the loss from giving up something desirable," the University of Houston and Boston college researchers explained in a journal news release.
On the other hand, they said, the "I don't" strategy shows a
sense of determination and empowerment.
In conducting the study, the researchers assigned 30 women to
one of three groups and followed them for 10 days. Each group
received a single strategy for refusing foods: "I don't," "I can't"
or "Just say no."
The study, published online in the
Journal of Consumer Research, revealed the 'I don't' strategy boosted people's feelings of autonomy, control and self-awareness. This strategy also created a positive change in their long-term behavior, such as renewed dedication to weight loss.
"What's great about this research is that it suggests a strategy that is simple, straightforward and easy to implement. And most importantly...it works," the authors concluded.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases provides more about
food and self-control.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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