Developing self-regulation for dietary temptations: intervention effects on physical, self-regulatory and psychological outcomes

J Behav Med. 2014 Dec;37(6):1075-81. doi: 10.1007/s10865-014-9557-6. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


We aimed to investigate whether a self-regulatory skills intervention can improve weight loss-related outcomes. Fifty-five participants (M BMI = 32.60 ± 4.86) were randomized into self-regulation training and advice groups and received two training workshops and weekly practice tasks. The self-regulation training group was trained to use six self-regulatory skills: Delayed gratification, thought control, goal setting, self-monitoring, mindfulness, and coping. The advice group received dietary and physical activity advice for weight loss. Physical, self-regulatory, and psychological measures were taken at baseline, end of intervention (week 8) and at follow-up (week 12). Using intention-to-treat analysis, weight, waist circumference, body fat and body mass index (BMI) were significantly reduced at follow-up for both groups. There were significant increases in all six self-regulatory skills and the psychological measures of self-efficacy, self-regulatory success, and physical self-worth for both groups. Results indicate that self-regulatory skills training might be as effective as dietary and physical activity advice in terms of weight loss and related outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Counseling*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Control, Informal*
  • Waist Circumference
  • Weight Loss*
  • Young Adult