Journal article Open Access

"I will fast … tomorrow": Intentions to restrict eating and actual restriction in daily life and their person-level predictors

Reichenberger, Julia; Smyth, Joshua M.; Kuppens, Peter; Blechert, Jens

Dublin Core Export

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<oai_dc:dc xmlns:dc="" xmlns:oai_dc="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
  <dc:creator>Reichenberger, Julia</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Smyth, Joshua M.</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Kuppens, Peter</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Blechert, Jens</dc:creator>
  <dc:description>Objective. Dietary restraint is a common, yet controversial practice to tackle overweight. Yet,
despite good intentions to reduce food intake, most restraint-based diets fail to produce long term
weight loss. A better understanding of the naturalistic course of daily dieting intentions and their
effectiveness in guiding subsequent eating behavior are therefore needed.
Method. In two studies, participants (n=49 and n=59) reported both their state intention to restrict
eating on the next day, as well as their actual restriction on that day via smartphone-based
evening reports of 12 and 10 days, respectively. Intention-behavior gap scores were calculated as
differences between intention at t1 (e.g. evening intention Monday for restriction Tuesday) and
restriction at t2 (evening report of actual restraint on Tuesday). Restriction-related trait
questionnaires served as predictors of general intention or restriction level, whereas several traitlevel
disinhibiting eating style questionnaires served as predictors for intention-behavior gaps
(difference scores).
Results. Daily intentions to restrict were rated higher than the daily actual restrictive behavior.
Participants with higher scores on restriction-related questionnaires (restrained eating, dieting,
reversed intuitive eating) showed higher levels of daily state intention and restriction. Larger state
intention-behavior gaps, by contrast, were seen in participants scoring high on trait-level
disinhibiting eating styles (emotional eating, stress eating and food craving).
Discussion. The results point to potential risk factors of diet failure in everyday life: emotional,
stress eating, and food craving are disinhibiting traits that seem to increase intention-behavior
gaps. These findings can inform individualized weight-loss interventions: individuals with
disinhibiting traits might need additional guidance to avoid potentially frustrating diet failures.</dc:description>
  <dc:source>Appetite 140 10-18</dc:source>
  <dc:subject>food intake</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>dietary restraint</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>eating styles</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>food craving</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>intention-behavior gap</dc:subject>
  <dc:title>"I will fast … tomorrow": Intentions to restrict eating and actual restriction in daily life and their person-level predictors</dc:title>
Views 98
Downloads 9
Data volume 5.3 MB
Unique views 92
Unique downloads 8


Cite as