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

ArticleinHealth Psychology 26(4):507-12 · August 2007with45 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.59 · 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.