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Several Factors – Not Just Willpower – Account For Lapses When Dieting

February 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A small, week-long study among dieters has found that late night cravings, alcohol use and friends contribute significantly to a drop in willpower and self-control. For the study, 80 people who were dieting were given mobile phones to use as an electronic diary. Researchers found that participants gave in to food temptations just over 50 percent of the time, and were especially vulnerable at night. They were more likely to give in to alcoholic temptations than to eat a sugary snack or to overindulge. And they were often influenced by the presence of others, regardless of whether a dietary temptation was unexpected or whether the dieter went looking for something to eat.
Heather C. McKee et al., "An Ecological Momentary Assessment of Lapse Occurrences in Dieters. ", Annals of Behavioral Medicine, February 24, 2014, © Springer
Dieting & Weight Control
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