15-minute writing exercise may help squeeze your waistline

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Writing down something most important to you for just 15-minutes may help shed your extra kilos in few months, if a new study is to be believed.

The new study has found that women who wrote about their most important values, like close relationships, music, or religion, lost more weight over the next few months than women who did not have that experience.

`We have this need to feel self-integrity,` said Christine Logel of Renison University College at the University of Waterloo, who co-author the new study with Geoffrey L. Cohen of Stanford University.

When something threatens your sense that you`re a good person, like failing a test or having a fight with a friend, `We can buffer that self-integrity by reminding ourselves how much we love our children, for example,` she explained.

For this study, the researchers recruited 45 female undergraduates who had a body mass index of 23 or higher. A body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight; 58 percent of the women were overweight or obese.

Then half the women were told to write for 15 minutes about the value that was most important to her. The other half, a control group, were told to write about why a value far down on their list might be important to someone else.

The women came back between one and four months later to be weighed again. Women who had written about an important value lost an average of 3.41 pounds, while women in the control group gained an average of 2.76 pounds, a pattern of weight gain that is typical for undergraduates.

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