Setting a high-low range goal increases dieters’ success rate

11 July 2013

People trying to lose weight often have more success when they set a flexible goal, according to a new report published in in the Journal of Consumer Research. Instead of a precise goal set at 15, ranges like 10-20 pounds  give dieters a better chance of achieving their objective.

Experts say ranges work better because the high end of the goal challenges dieters, while the low end increases its attainability. Precise goals of a single number do not motivate individuals in the same way.

Researchers said: “Consumers experience a greater sense of accomplishment when a goal is both attainable and challenging, and this makes them want to continue to pursue or reengage their goal.” Authors of the study say range goals offer “the best of both worlds” by motivating individuals while increasing their chances of success.

The findings could impact the way dieters and gastric bypass surgery patients structure their goals. Countless individuals stand to benefit from the findings, regardless of the amount of weight they have to lose.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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