In a small study, women who spent time writing about what they consider to be their most important values were able to shed pounds.
Can losing weight really be as simple as a 15-minute writing session? It worked for a group of women who recently took part in a psychological study. But it depends on what you write about.
Women who wrote about their most important values for 15 minutes lost an average of 3.4 pounds over the next few months. Women who wrote about something less important gained an average of 2.8 pounds.
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The researchers think the weight loss was due to increased self-affirmation or self-esteem. Writing about their values made the women see themselves as better people and feel better about themselves. It may also serve to strengthen resolve. Often, heavy eaters eat in an attempt to elevate their mood. Who hasn't felt better after eating a brownie? But some people take this to an extreme and over time, the pounds can add up.
The researchers speculate that writing about one's values can kick off a chain reaction. It starts when writing about an important value makes you feel better about yourself. Maybe when you go home that night you skip the brownie or cookies you've been using as an emotional crutch. In time, skipping the brownie becomes a habit.