The study was led by Professor Brian Wansink at the Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. Researchers launched an online healthy eating and weight loss programme ‘The National Mindless Eating Challenge (NMEC)’ that focused on simple eating changes instead of dieting.
NMEC participants were given three customised tips to follow for a month. All tips were founded on research and based on Wansink’s book “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think”.
At the end of each month, they were expected to send in a follow-up survey, the Journal of Medical Internet Research reports.
More than 500 participants who completed at least one follow-up survey, either lost weight or maintained their weight. According to a Cornell statement, weight loss was highest among people who made changes consistently.
Those who devotedly followed the plan for 25 or more days per month reported an average monthly weight loss of two pounds or roughly one kilogram.
Common barriers that prevented people from making changes included personally unsuitable tips, forgetting, being too busy, unusual circumstances such as vacations and emotional eating, according to the study.
“These results confirm that small, consistent changes in our daily eating can result in gradual weight loss and in developing healthier eating habits,” said Wansink.