It was recently proposed that one cognitive strategy people might employ to find a balance between fulfilling their immediate desires and adhering to their long-term goals is to activate compensatory beliefs (CBs). CBs are convictions that the negative effects of a behavior can be compensated for by the positive effects of another behavior (e.g., " I can eat this piece of cake now because I will go to the gym tonight" .). The purpose of the present research was to examine the motivational determinants and consequences of CBs in weight-loss dieting. It was proposed that autonomous motivation would lessen the activation of CBs. It was further proposed that activating CBs would decrease goal adherence, which, itself, would facilitate the attainment of one's dieting goals. Results of a prospective study using path analysis provided support for the model. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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