Being Too Optimistic Could Harm Weight Loss Efforts

(TOKYO) – Being too optimistic or self-oriented might stop you from losing weight, finds a new study.

The researchers from Doshisha University, Japan have found that personality traits have a significant impact on weight loss efforts.
Lead researcher Hitomi Saito and his colleagues psychologically profiled 101 obese patients undergoing combined counseling, nutrition and exercise therapy at the Kansai Medical University Hospital Obesity Clinic over a period of 6 months.

Patients’ psychosocial characteristics before and after attending the clinic were assessed using psychological questionnaires designed to identify patients’ personality types.
The study showed that patients who were able to improve their self-awareness through counseling were more likely to lose weight than those who were not.

Optimism and self-orientation characteristics improved for most patients after the 6-month program, although this was not related to weight loss.
In fact, patients who started the program with high levels of self-orientation and optimistic characteristics were less likely to lose weight.

It supports previous findings that some negative emotion has a positive effect on behavior modification because patients care more about their disease.
However, the overall improvement in optimistic ego state is not necessarily detrimental, as this increased optimism should result in patients maintaining the healthy lifestyle achieved at the clinic.

“It is important to enhance patients’ self-effectiveness and self-control in order to reduce psychological stress and to maintain the weight loss”, said the authors.
The research is published in BioMed Central’s open access journal, BioPsychoSocial Medicine.

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