A new university study has shown that it may be possible to curb cravings simply by thinking about the foods you want to eat, subsequently making you want to eat less. For more information on this interesting new study, keep on reading after the jump.
Is it possible that the more you think about a certain food, the less likely you are to want to eat it? That is what a new study is suggesting! It certainly brings a new meaning to the term mind over matter!
Carnegie Melon University has recently conducted a study in which volunteers were asked to imagine themselves completing a series of simple tasks, in some cases including eating M&Ms and cubes of cheese. The study found that the subjects who repeatedly were asked to imagine themselves eating the large amounts of the foods ate less of them when presented with them than those who only imagined eating a few pieces or none at all. The findings of the study were published in this month’s issue of “Science”.
The study brings up questions on previous methods of craving control in which it was thought best to try and forget the craving instead of allowing yourself the mental satisfaction of thinking about it.
“These findings suggest that trying to suppress one’s thoughts of desired foods in order to curb cravings for those foods is a fundamentally flawed strategy,” says Carey Morewedge, PhD, of Carnegie Mellon and the author of the published study.
The reason this works is because it plays upon a psychological phenomenon called habituation. This process is what allows us to get used to situations and things that are at first annoying, such as a noisy room, a dimly lit space, or a confined space like a plane. It is believed that repeated exposure to something for a period of time desensitizes people to the experience in a fairly short amount of time, allowing us to carry on with our activities with little interruption. Until now it was believed that a physical sensory experience was needed for habituation, but the findings of the study suggest that the mind can play a huge role.
It is also opening doors that if one can curb food cravings, and subsequently lose weight, but thinking about food, that this method may also be used to help people quit smoking and give up addictions to drugs and alcohol.
What do you guys think of the study suggesting simply imagining yourself eating foods will make you want to eat it less? Have you ever tried it? How do you curb your cravings? Let us know by leaving us some comments, and check out this video on healthy eating below.