Planning to Lose Weight: Randomized Controlled Trial of an Implementation Intention Prompt to Enhance Weight Reduction Among Overweight and Obese Women

Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, ESX, England.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 08/2007; 26(4):507-12. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.26.4.507
Source: PubMed


The trial investigates the effects of augmenting an established weight-reduction intervention with implementation intention prompts.
Fifty-five overweight or obese women (ages 18 to 76 years; body mass index from 25.28 to 48.33) enrolled in a commercial weight reduction program were randomly assigned to either an implementation intention prompt or a control condition. Data were collected twice, with a time gap of 2 months.
The primary outcome was participants' change in weight and body mass index from preintervention to follow-up.
Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant Time = Condition interaction: On average, implementation intention prompt participants lost 4.2 kg (95% confidence interval = 3.19, 5.07), whereas control participants lost 2.1 kg (95% confidence interval = 1.11, 3.09). The change in frequency of planning mediated the effects of the intervention on weight and body mass index change.
Among obese or overweight women participating in a commercial weight loss program, those who learn to form implementation intentions can achieve greater weight reduction. Planning facilitation is a key mechanism explaining enhanced weight loss generated by implementation intention formation.

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    • "The results of this study and the findings of similar experiments [12] [13] [14] suggest that im-plementation intention is an effective self-regulation strategy that influences implicit self-control resources. Unlike voluntary self-control, implicit self-control is a simple, effective and faultless mechanism [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Implementation intentions is one of self-regulation strategies enabling priority goals achie- ving. This method is based on accurate planning of a variety of activities by which goal’s realization is more probable. Tim aim of the research was to evaluate the impact of the implementation intention technique on motivational and behavioral aspects of eating self- -regulation among obese people. A total of 100 obese people, abiding by a slimming program organized in an obesity clinic in Olsztyn in Poland, participated in the research. In the experimental group an implementation intentions technique for eating habit were applied. The impact of the applied method on motivational and behavioral aspects of eating self-regulation were verified through partici- pants’ answers to the Goal’s Survey and through the tested subjects’ propensity for selec- ting high-calorie foods. The Goal Survey was developed solely for the purposes of this study. Members of the experimental group exposed to the implementation intention strategy had higher motivation to weight reduction measured by the Goal Survey and were less likely to select high-calorie foods than the control subjects. Implementation of goal’s intention is an efficient technique which improves motivation to weight reduction and effectively modifies eating habits among obese people. Application of the above method in psychological intervention of obesity treatment can constitute one of the factors enabling process of changing eating habits and losing weight tobesity, weight reduction, implementation of goal’s intention.
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    • "Clinically, implementation intentions have primarily been tested as a strategy to help develop healthier eating patterns and aid weightloss in obesity. Teaching overweight women how to form implementation intentions results in higher levels of weight-loss [100]. Furthermore , this approach has also been reported to increase adherence to meal-replacement programmes in overweight individuals leading to significant reductions in participants' BMI [173]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to map the possibility of new treatment approaches for eating disorders. Eating disorders have a protracted trajectory with over 50% of cases developing a severe and enduring stage of illness. Although a good response to family-based interventions occurs in the early phase, once the illness has become severe and enduring there is less of a response to any form of treatment. Neuroprogressive changes brought about by poor nutrition and abnormal eating patterns contribute to this loss of treatment responsivity. We have summarised the profile of symptoms at the various stages of illness and considered new treatments that might be applied. In the enduring stage of illness in addition to problems with body image, food and eating, there are additional problems of low mood, high anxiety and compulsivity and problems in social functioning. This suggests that there are dysfunctions in circuits subsuming reward, punishment, decision-making and social processes. New approaches have been developed targeting these areas. New interventions targeting both the primary and secondary symptoms seen in the enduring stage of eating disorders may improve the response to treatment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Physiology & Behavior 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.06.007 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    • "ho are inclined to perform the required behavior but abstain from doing so ) . However , researchers have not explicitly sampled inclined abstainers in previous studies . While there are some studies in which participants have been sampled from sections of the population that are likely to comprise a large number of inclined abstainers ( e . g . , Luszczynska et al . , 2007 ) , the majority of studies use samples drawn from general populations of students ( e . g . , Arden and Armitage , 2012 ; Bamberg , 2000 ; Milne et al . , 2002 ) or the wider public ( e . g . , De Vet et al . , 2009 ; Elliott and Armitage , 2006 ) . These samples will not have been entirely appropriate for testing implementation intent"
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    ABSTRACT: Implementation intentions have the potential to break unwanted habits and help individuals behave in line with their goal intentions. We tested the effects of implementation intentions in the context of drivers’ speeding behavior. A randomized controlled design was used. Speeding behavior, goal intentions and theoretically derived motivational pre-cursors of goal intentions were measured at both baseline and follow-up (one month later) using self-report questionnaires. Immediately following the baseline questionnaire, the experimental (intervention) group (N = 117) specified implementation intentions using a volitional help sheet, which required the participants to link critical situations in which they were tempted to speed with goal-directed responses to resist the temptation. The control group (N = 126) instead received general information about the risks of speeding. In support of the hypotheses, the experimental group reported exceeding the speed limit significantly less often at follow-up than did the control group. This effect was specific to ‘inclined abstainers’ (i.e., participants who reported speeding more than they intended to at baseline and were therefore motivated to reduce their speeding) and could not be attributed to any changes in goal intentions to speed or any other measured motivational construct. Also in line with the hypotheses, implementation intentions attenuated the past-subsequent speeding behavior relationship and augmented the goal intention – subsequent speeding behavior relationship. The findings imply that implementation intentions are effective at reducing speeding and that they do so by weakening the effect of habit, thereby helping drivers to behave in accordance with their existing goal intentions. The volitional help sheet used in this study is an effective tool for promoting implementation intentions to reduce speeding.
    Accident Analysis & Prevention 11/2014; 74. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2014.11.006 · 1.87 Impact Factor
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