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Outcome expectations and realizations as predictors of weight regain among dieters

​This prospective study tested whether (a) baseline outcome expectations regarding the benefits of a weight-loss diet, (b) 6-month outcome realizations regarding perceived benefits actually experienced, and/or (c) the interaction between them predicted 6-12-month weight regain among overweight/obese women randomized to one of four popular weight-loss diets (N=311). Positive 6-month realizations regarding improvements in physical shape and appearance predicted less 6-12-month weight regain among Atkins diet participants only (n=70), controlling for baseline expectations, the expectations-realization interaction, and initial weight loss. Atkins participants displayed three distinct patterns of regain based on levels of 6-month realizations and initial weight loss. Experimental research should investigate whether improving realizations leads to reduced weight regain in response to this popular diet.

Authors: Moore SD; King AC; Kiernan M; Gardner CD

​Eat Behav. 2011 Jan;12(1):60-3. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

PubMed abstract

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