advertisement
Home » News » Plan and Visualize for a Successful Diet

Plan and Visualize for a Successful Diet

Plan and Visualize for a Successful Diet Proactively making an action plan and then visualizing carrying out the dietary plan is the best way to make it happen, according to McGill University researchers.

“Telling people to just change the way they eat doesn’t work; we’ve known that for a while,” said Dr. Bärbel Knäuper of McGill’s Department of Psychology.

“But research has shown that if people make a concrete plan about what they are going to do, they are better at acting on their intentions. What we’ve done that’s new is to add visualization techniques to the action plan.”

In a study recently published in Psychology and Health, Knäuper and her students asked 177 students at McGill’s New Residence Hall to set themselves the goal of consuming more fruit for a period of seven days.

All the students in the study ended up consuming more fruit over the course of the week than they had before hand.

But those who made a concrete plan, wrote it down and also visualized how they were going to carry out the action (i.e. when, where and how they would buy, prepare and eat fruit) increased their fruit consumption twice as much as those who simply set out to eat more fruit without visualizing and planning how they were going to do it.

These kinds of visualization techniques are borrowed from sports psychology.

“Athletes do lots of work mentally rehearsing their performances before competing and it’s often very successful. So we thought having people mentally rehearse how they were going to buy and eat their fruit should make it more likely that they would actually do it. And this is exactly what happened,” Knäuper said.

This research points to a simple yet effective means of changing eating habits.

Source:McGill University

Plan and Visualize for a Successful Diet

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Plan and Visualize for a Successful Diet. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/02/28/plan-and-visualize-for-a-successful-diet/23958.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.