A new study has found that people with greater willpower are more likely to shed unnecessary pounds.
Researchers led by Tricia M. Leahey found that individuals with more willpower or self-control lost more weight; were more physically active; consumed fewer calories from fat; and had better attendance at weight loss group meetings.
The same was true for participants who experienced an increase in self-control during a six-month behavioral weight loss treatment program, the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice reports.
While the findings may seem obvious, Leahey from the Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Centre, says there have been surprisingly few studies focusing on the impact of self-control on weight loss.
"Of course, it makes sense that if you have more willpower you'll do better in a weight loss program, however, this phenomena is surprisingly not studied much," she says, according to a Miriam statement.
"Our study is the first to examine whether practicing acts of self-control during weight loss is linked to an increase in self-control and better weight loss outcomes, although other research has demonstrated this effect in the area of smoking cessation," Leahey adds.
"The more you 'exercise' it by eating a low fat diet, working out even when you don't feel like it, and going to group meetings when you'd rather stay home, the more you'll increase and strengthen your self-control 'muscle' and quite possibly lose more weight and improve your health," says Leahey.