Think thin: Lose ten times more with the help of simple imagination

Think thin: Lose ten times more with the help of simple imagination

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How does Functional Imagery Training affect weight?

Can dieting people lose weight than they really are when dieting can affect weight loss? Researchers have now found that sufferers actually lose up to ten times more weight if they simply imagine that they are much thinner and use what is known as functional imaging training (FIT).

The University of Plymouth scientists found in their current research that dieting people to be thinner than they really are has a positive impact on weight loss. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "International Journal of Obesity".

What was the weight loss?

Using the so-called Functional Imagery Training (FIT), the test subjects lost an average of up to nine centimeters in waist circumference in one year, the experts say. In contrast, patients who used a weight loss technique with the help of motivational conversations where a counselor encouraged them to lose weight lost an average of only 0.24 centimeters at their waist, the researchers say.

141 overweight volunteers participated in the study

The doctors examined a total of 141 overweight volunteers in their study. Obesity was defined as a BMI of at least 25. Of the subjects, 55 used FIT for their diet and 55 participants received motivational discussions with a counselor.

What is FIT?

The FIT started with subjects telling themselves how to look at a lemon, touch it, juice it, and then drink the juice that accidentally splashed in their eyes. This should show the participants how closely our ideas are linked to our emotional feelings. Next, they were encouraged to not only think about their own goals and imagine how good it would be to lose weight. They should also think about what losing weight could enable them to do that they currently cannot, explains study author Dr. Linda Solbrig from the University of Plymouth. In her opinion, people who lose weight should be encouraged to use all of their senses.

How did the motivational discussions go?

In the so-called motivating interview (MI), the test subjects took part in two sessions, of which the first one was face to face for one hour and the second was 45 minutes on the phone. Then calls were made every two weeks for up to 15 minutes for a period of three months. Later on, calls were made every four weeks to six months after the start of the course.

What were the results after six months?

Weight and waist size were measured at the start of the study and six and twelve months after. After six months, those using functional imagery training lost about seven centimeters at their waist. The participants who wanted to lose weight with the help of motivational conversations lost only 0.24 centimeters in waist circumference in the six months. All participants reported a higher quality of life after six months, but the FIT group achieved better results.

Many people cannot implement their diet goals

Most people are aware that they need to eat less and exercise more to lose weight, but in many cases, those affected are simply not motivated enough to heed this advice, says Dr. Linda Solbrig. FIT's main goal is therefore to encourage someone to develop their own idea of ​​how changes and feelings can develop if the goals are achieved and maintained. It is fantastic to see that people lost significantly more weight with this intervention, even though, unlike most other studies, they received no advice on diet and physical activity, the expert added. FIT is believed to be more effective than MI because this method stimulates many different senses. This allows people to visualize how weight loss could affect them and this can then motivate them to achieve their goals. (as)

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