Breaking away from mindless eating can help a person avoid overeating that in turn leads to better weight management. A new study found that making changes in eating habits, even for about 25 days a month, can help a person lose weight.
Researchers say that when people make small changes to their lifestyles, instead of major ones, they are less likely to put on more weight.
The challenge, however, is to find a way to stick to these changes long enough to make them a part of your daily life.
The study was conducted by researchers from Cornell University. Researchers launched the National Mindless Eating Challenge, an online program that focused on small lifestyle changes as a way to lose weight, rather than dieting.
Participants in the study were assessed on their eating habits, weight and wellbeing. These people were given personalized tips to follow for a month. They were then sent emails each month to keep them on track. At the end of each month, participants had to complete a follow-up survey.
Researchers found that out of the 504 participants who completed the program, more than two thirds (42 percent) had lost weight.
Analysis of the results showed that participants who made the changes for around 25 days a month had reduced on an average two pounds of weight. Also, people who maintained the new lifestyle changes for three months lost about 1 percent of their initial weight.
"These results confirm that small, consistent changes in our daily eating behavior can result in gradual weight loss and in developing healthier eating habits," said Professor Brian Wansink from Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab and a marketing professor in Cornell's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.
Researchers found that busy schedules, unplanned vacations, forgetting, etc. are the reasons why people can't stick to a good diet plan. Researchers add people can adopt healthier habits based on their lifestyle.
"Later come up with your own changes and succeed at reaching your goal," Wansink said.