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Belief= Weight Loss?

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Old 05-10-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default Belief= Weight Loss?

I just read about a study in a book I'm reading:

"Prof. Langer’s research she took 84 hotel housekeeping staff and told one group of them that the work they did (cleaning hotel rooms) was good exercise. She told the control group nothing. Four weeks later there were no changes to the control group however the test group had decreased in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index. Their work hadn't changed, so it seems that some new thinking or belief in the hotel workers had been enough to change their bodies."

Interesting, no?

Have you read about anything like this before? And do you practice it?
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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It makes me wonder if they put more effort into their movements as they cleaned.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #3
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I need to more more effort into the movements in my life.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:02 PM   #4
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It makes me wonder if they put more effort into their movements as they cleaned.
That would be the way I see it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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Or maybe they thought they were exercising and started eating better? I wonder what their diets looked like before and after...
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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Very interesting
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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This is fascinating to me!

I basically use housecleaning as my only exercise. I know, sounds crazy, but I have a reasonably sized house with tons of carpet, two kids, a very furry dog who sheds constantly, boatloads of laundry, a husband who is away often, so it all falls on me. Believe me, there are hours of cleaning I could do every day! I wear a heart rate monitor and track it very closely and conservatively.

Anyway, I find that when I am cleaning and wearing the HR monitor, I don't try to minimize my movements. Like if I need something from another floor, I just go and get it right then. I am deliberately inefficient. I also move faster.

Maybe that's what the housekeepers were doing too!
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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Lunar..... I believe and I lose... when I doubt.. I stall or gain..... Its funny how the mind works
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:37 AM   #9
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I think that is really cool! I completely believe that weight loss and fitness is as much mental as it is physical. You have to have both to be successful and maintain, at least that is what has worked for me in the past and will work again!
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:51 AM   #10
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I wonder if the thought that they were getting some benefit from the job made them feel happier and consequently less stressed? Lower stress, lower cortisol; lower cortisol = fat loss.

I've cleaned for a living and it can be a thankless job. Having a better attitude towards the job could reduce stress levels.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
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I'm really enjoying people's thoughts on this study. I've always thought the mental game of weight loss was fascinating.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:57 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by wannaskipandlaugh View Post
Lunar..... I believe and I lose... when I doubt.. I stall or gain..... Its funny how the mind works
This has been my experience, too!
Granted, this does not apply in an "eat all I want and still lose weight" fashion. But when I am eating mindfully and feel a strong drive within myself to lose weight, my body seems to respond to it more than if I eat mindfully and nada. My body really does respond in turn.

On that note, something I find very interesting is when people who are trying to lose weight have a disappointing "off" meal and come back in a few days saying they've gained x lbs (usually it's 2-4). I've seen it time and time again. Some of that gain is surely retained water from high sodium, etc. But after all of those things are accounted for, there is NO way the calories in a burger, pizza, sweets, etc. equal that kind of a weight gain, and sometimes I wonder if it is a belief in the high caloric content of the food (or the off-limits nature of the food, based on it being "the weight gain ")) that reinforces those processes within the body. I know it might sound crazy, but sometimes I really do wonder...

Having said all of this, I don't doubt there likely are behavioural components that change without our conscious awareness. Maybe the weight-loss cohort of cleaners WAS working harder. But perhaps it's also the case that our thoughts steer our physiology to a certain extent. Whatever it is, it is definitely fascinating to me, too! Great topic.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ReNew Me View Post
I wonder if the thought that they were getting some benefit from the job made them feel happier and consequently less stressed? Lower stress, lower cortisol; lower cortisol = fat loss.

I've cleaned for a living and it can be a thankless job. Having a better attitude towards the job could reduce stress levels.
I thought of this too.

People are so stressed all of the time, over $$, time, stress itself, exercise, health, etc. Maybe knowing their work can double as exercise for health benefits and somehow it relieves the stress that they can kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
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