A new study now finds that dieters can lose 10 times more weight by simply changing how they think.
Researchers found simply imaging yourself as being slimmer can be enough to help dieters achieve their weight-loss goals.
Researchers from Postmouth University found dieters who were using functional imagery training (FIT) lost 1st (14lbs) and 9cm from their waists after a year, on average.
In contrast, patients who tried 'motivational interviews' — being encouraged by a counsellor to shed fat — lost just 0.1 stone (1.4lbs) and 0.24cm from their waists.
Notably, all of the patients were on a diet or exercising regularly — two known factors that can boost weight loss efforts even further.
The researchers analysed 141 overweight volunteers; defined as having a BMI of at least 25.
Fifty nine of the participants received FIT, while the remaining 55 had 'motivational interviews' (MI).
Speaking of FIT, lead author Dr Linda Solbrig said they started with taking people through an exercise about a lemon and from there we are able to encourage them to fully imagine and embrace their own goals.
All of the participants had two sessions, the first of which was for an hour face-to-face and the second 45 minutes over the phone.
Weight and waist circumferences were measured at the start of the study, and six and 12 months on. After six months, those receiving FIT lost 0.6 stone (8.4lbs) and 7cm off their waists.
But the MI participants had still lost just 0.1 stone and even gained 0.24cm in their waist circumferences since the six-month mark.
All of the participants reported greater quality of life after six months, but the FIT group more so.
The results were published in the International Journal of Obesity.
FIT is thought to be more effective than MI due to it stimulating many different senses. This allows dieters to visualise what weight loss would be like, which may motivate them to achieve their goal.