by Chuck CarrollBy Chuck Carroll

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Overcoming that seemingly insurmountable obstacle that keeps us in the starting blocks at the beginning of the diet can be as simple as turning that frown upside down.

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found women with a more optimistic view on life are better able to maintain healthy eating habits. The steadfast approach to food came regardless of whether they were on a doctor or self-imposed diet.

The study monitored postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79. And doctors believe the traits of an optimistic person — not the optimism itself — were the reasons the women were able to succeed.

“It’s not just having a sunny outlook – rather, this is a marker of other things people do,” Melanie Hingle, a dietician at the University of Arizona, told Reuters. “People who want to make lifestyle changes should focus on skill-based factors that can help them whether or not they are an optimist.”

The study, led by Hingle, was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Interestingly, lesser optimistic women generally began the study with poorer eating habits.

Hingle believes the same traits that made women with a zest of life develop healthier eating habits can also be applied to other areas of self-improvement, including smoking and coping with stress.

The women who displayed a more pleasant demeanor also tended to show greater discipline in not reaching for junk food as a coping mechanism when challenged with stress or disappointment. Such discipline likely contributed to their overall success on diets.

Hingle also believes that everyone, even pessimists, can find some level of success in leading a healthier life.

“It doesn’t really matter if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. Either way, you can make positive changes to your diet,” Hingle said.

And those changes, no matter how small, can lead to big success when stepping on the scale.

About The Author

Standing just 5 feet 6 inches tall, Chuck Carroll once weighed 420 pounds and amassed a 66-inch waist. He shed 260 pounds to become The Weight Loss Champion and now serves as an advocate for healthy living.

Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll