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September 1, 2016 • Healthy Living, Weight Control

How to Make Your Diet Changes Stick


If you want the healthy diet changes you make to really stick, I have some great news. According to nifty, new research your “approach” makes all the difference. The key is a positive focus.  Meaning, what works best is incorporating healthy foods you truly enjoy versus ditching your favorites or forcing yourself to eat foods you do not like. This was the encouraging conclusion from three separate studies involving 542 study subjects. Whether the goal was weight loss or improved well-being, the researchers noted the following distinct differences in the successful study subjects relative to those who failed:

  • Those with the most success displayed more self-control and used a positive approach, commonly focusing on eating more of the healthy foods they liked, while restricting the unhealthy foods they did not love in the first place.
  • Those with the least success exhibited poor self-control and commonly used a negative approach, typically restricting or avoiding foods they loved, while choosing or “forcing” themselves to eat healthy foods they did not enjoy.

This new science is perfectly consistent with the realities of human behavior change. We all tend to triumph more readily when we focus on pleasurable, positive, and truly doable changes like eating more of the healthy foods we like versus eating those we don’t and totally nixing our favorite foods.


(Psychology & Marketing, 2016; 33 (8): 588 DOI: 10.1002/mar.20901)