Overestimating self-control may thwart New Year’s resolutions

January 5, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Overestimating self-control may thwart New Year’s resolutions

With the New Year upon us, many people are vowing to kick their bad habits and start the year on a healthier note.

A recent study from researchers at the Kellogg School of Management and the University of Amsterdam shows that one way to stick to your resolution is to keep your self-control in check.

The researchers found that people who tended to over-estimate their self-control when it came to such things as stopping smoking, or eating healthier actually exposed themselves to more temptation, and were more likely to engage in impulsive behaviour. 

In one example, researchers found that ex-smokers who were over-confident with their ability to stop smoking, not only put themselves in more tempting situations, they also had higher rates of relapse four months later.  Researchers suspect that over-confidence prevents people from taking necessary precautions – such as getting rid of the last pack of cigarettes or emptying the shelves of junk food.

The study was published in the December 2009 issue of Psychological Science.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.