Latest Weight Loss Tip Reveals Best Way to Approach Weight Loss


2013-06-19 09:55

Attitude and expectations can make the difference when it comes to weight loss is the message behind a recent article published in the Journal of Consumer Research. According to their results in a human behavior study, dieters who approached weight loss with a goal of losing between 2-4 pounds at a time did better than those who set a definite goal of 3 pound increments.

A press release about the study states:

“Whether a goal is a high-low range goal (lose 2 to 4 pounds this week) or a single number goal (lose 3 pounds this week) has a systematic effect on goal reengagement. High-low range goals influence consumer goal reengagement through feelings of accomplishment, which itself is driven by the attainability and challenge of the goal,” write authors Maura L. Scott of Florida State University and Stephen M. Nowlis of Washington University in St. Louis.

The success of this method is based on observed consumer behavior that demonstrates consumers prefer to have choices when it comes to goal setting that they will then engage repeatedly when they find one that works for them. However, this does not just apply to weight loss. It is also observed when people set goals to save money or improve their performance in some task such as a sport.

In the aforementioned weight loss study, selected consumers in a weight loss program set either high-low range goals (lose anywhere between 2-4 pounds) or single number goals (lose a predefined 3 pounds).

What the researchers discovered was that although there was no difference in the average weight lost by between the two groups, those who were in the high-low group were significantly more likely to re-enroll in the program and continue on toward losing even more weight in small steps.

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The researchers note that these findings parallel those from other similar studies were consumers were tasked with other goals such as resisting tempting foods, solving puzzles, or playing a grocery shopping game.

According to the press release the authors concluded that:

Setting a high-low range goal can offer “the best of both worlds” compared to a single number goal due to its flexibility: the high end of the goal (lose 4 pounds) increases the challenge of the goal, while the low end (lose 2 pounds) increases its attainability. On the other hand, a single number goal (lose 3 pounds) may be perceived as a compromise and therefore both less challenging and less attainable.

“Consumers experience a greater sense of accomplishment when a goal is both attainable and challenging, and this makes them want to continue to pursue or reengage their goal,” the authors state.

To help take off that 2-4 pound goal you set this week, discover these weight loss tips from the Dr. Oz flat belly plan.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: Journal of Consumer Research “The Effect of Goal Specificity on Consumer Goal Reengagement” Published ahead of print June, 2013; Maura L. Scott and Stephen M. Nowlis.

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