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Developing self-regulation for dietary temptations: intervention effects on physical, self-regulatory and psychological outcomes


We aimed to investigate whether a self-regulatory skills intervention can improve weight loss-related outcomes. Fifty-five participants (M BMI = 32.60 ± 4.86) were randomized into self-regulation training and advice groups and received two training workshops and weekly practice tasks. The self-regulation training group was trained to use six self-regulatory skills: Delayed gratification, thought control, goal setting, self-monitoring, mindfulness, and coping. The advice group received dietary and physical activity advice for weight loss. Physical, self-regulatory, and psychological measures were taken at baseline, end of intervention (week 8) and at follow-up (week 12). Using intention-to-treat analysis, weight, waist circumference, body fat and body mass index (BMI) were significantly reduced at follow-up for both groups. There were significant increases in all six self-regulatory skills and the psychological measures of self-efficacy, self-regulatory success, and physical self-worth for both groups. Results indicate that self-regulatory skills training might be as effective as dietary and physical activity advice in terms of weight loss and related outcomes.

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Conflict of interest

Authors Heather C McKee and Nikos Ntoumanis declare that they have no conflict of interest

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All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Correspondence to Heather C. McKee.

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McKee, H.C., Ntoumanis, N. Developing self-regulation for dietary temptations: intervention effects on physical, self-regulatory and psychological outcomes. J Behav Med 37, 1075–1081 (2014).

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