Think yourself slim and you'll lose more weight - study
Slimmers can lose up to five times more weight by imagining how much better their life would be if they were thinner, a new study has shown.
Researchers found that overweight people who used the new functional imagery training (FIT) intervention lost an average of 4.3cm (1.7 inches) more from their waistline, and they continued to lose weight after the intervention had finished.
The therapy works by encouraging people to imagine not only being slimmer, but also what the weight loss would enable them to do.
Researchers at the University of Plymouth in the UK and Queensland University of Technology in Australia compared results from 141 people using two different weight loss techniques: motivational interviewing (MI) technique, where people are encouraged to develop and talk about their needs; or FIT.
The leader of the study, Dr Linda Solbrig of Plymouth's school of psychology, said: "It's fantastic that people lost significantly more weight on this intervention, as, unlike most studies, it provided no diet or physical activity advice or education.
"People were completely free in their choices and supported in what they wanted to do, not what a regimen prescribed.
"Most people agree that in order to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more but in many cases, people simply aren't motivated enough to heed this advice, however much they might agree with it."
People who used the FIT intervention lost an average of five-and-a-half times more weight after six months, dropping 9lb (4.1kg) compared with just over 1.5lb (0.70kg) among those using MI techniques.
The study was published in the 'International Journal of Obesity'.