Want to stop yourself from eating the rest? Carnegie Mellon researchers say you should …By Gourmet Live guest columnist Peter Feld
A recent psychological study published in the journal Science reports that mental imagery alone, depending on how it's directed, can actually make you want to eat less.
So how does imaginary eating work? Carnegie Mellon researchers suggest that if you want to eat all of the Paula Deen chocolate gooey butter cookies that you just made, picture yourself devouring the whole batch first.
Here are some guidelines:
- Whatever you do, don't just picture food. Imagine yourself actually eating.
- Do this repeatedly. 'Habituation,' or the result of repeated exposure to these images of yourself eating, decreases appetite.
- Be food-specific. If you want to stop yourself from eating the leftover cake in your fridge, imagine eating the whole thing.
- Mental imagery works by decreasing hunger rather than a love of certain foods. Meaning you'll still want to scarf the whole cake tomorrow even if the thought makes you sick now.
The team of researchers thinks their findings could help not only with curbing junk-food cravings, but also with the treatment of drug addiction and certain phobias.
So next time 4 o'clock rolls around and you need to down a bag of M&Ms, treat your brain to one of these instead.
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Photo Credit: Conde Nast Digital Studio
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