Holy Toledo: To lose weight, carry a heavy backpack …

No, it’s not what you think.

You’re thinking: carrying a heavy backpack burns off calories, right?


In fact,  there’s a web site called Fatpacking that offers “Weight Loss Backpacking Adventure Vacations”

Their slogan” “Shape Up. Lose Weight. In Just 1 Week. Backpack Your Way to Fun & Fitness!”

But, that’s not what I’m talking about.

You see, researchers have found that carrying extra weight (i.e. a heavy backpack) increases guilt and, as a result, motivates healthier eating.

Here’s the skinny …

A study soon to be published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology reports that “the physical experience of weight is associated with the emotional experience of guilt and thus that weight intensifies the experience of guilt.”

More specifically, in four studies, researchers found that participants who wore a heavy backpack experienced higher levels of guilt as compared to those who wore a light backpack.

And, wearing a heavy backpack affected participants’ behavior.

It led them to be more likely to choose healthy snacks over guilt-inducing ones.

It also led participants to cheat less … and choose boring tasks over fun ones.


So, next time you see somebody toting a heavy backpack, think “honest, slim and boring”.

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Holy Toledo ?

Ever hear the expressions “jump on the Toledo” or “He broke the Toledo”?

It’s old school and refers to the iconic Toledo scale.


So, if somebody suggests that you “jump on the Toledo”, they’re suggesting, well, that you might want to start hauling around a heavy backpack … and shave of a few pounds.

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