Effect of mental toughness on weight loss at a national weight loss group

Stamp, Elizabeth, Crust, Lee and Swann, Christian (2015) Effect of mental toughness on weight loss at a national weight loss group. In: The 1st Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) International Student Conference, 21 February 2015, Loughborough University.

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Adhering a to diet programme to lose weight can be challenging. Individual differences are proposed to influence adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviours. One such difference, which has not yet been explored in relation to diet adherence, is mental toughness (MT). Emerging from sport research, MT has recently been identified as important in other life domains (e.g. exercise). Associated with maintaining control over the direction of one’s life, mentally tough individuals tend to uphold commitment and confidence to strive towards reaching their goal despite prevailing circumstances, viewing challenges as an opportunity to develop rather than as a threat. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between MT, adherence, and progress in a national slimming club.
Altogether, 420 members of a national slimming club completed online questionnaires to assess MT and eating identity (indicting healthiness of diet). Questionnaires were recompleted at three and six months. Attendance and body weight were recorded at weekly meetings. Data analysis involved conducting bivariate correlations.
A weak significant correlation was observed between MT and attendance (r=.101; p<0.05), and a nonsignificant correlation between MT and weight loss (r= -.056; p>0.05). These findings maybe due to the weight loss club compensating for lower MT through robust support systems. Therefore a ceiling effect is created, limiting the difference in weight loss between high and low mentally tough individuals. MT is significantly correlated with healthy eating (r=.307; p<0.001), and emotional eating (r= -.249; p<0.001), displaying mental toughness is a beneficial characteristic in selecting healthy dietary choices.
Future research could identify the relationship between non slimming club member’s weight loss and MT, to identify if MT plays a larger role in weight loss when a structured slimming club support network is not available.

Keywords:Mental Toughness, Diet, Weight loss
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:17774
Deposited On:09 Jul 2015 11:13

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