While doing some research this week I stumbled across a study which I thought I’d share with you. I thought you may find it especially useful at this time of year when all we want to do is over indulge. And if there is anything we can do to keep the fat at bay, then it’s sure worth a crack hey? I thought so!
Scientists believe that thinking about food all the time could actually make you eat less. Their research suggests that if you imagine eating your favourite snack, the real thing will become less appealing. But for it to work, those on diets should really put their thinking caps on and imagine savouring every bite of their favourite fat laden, sugary food until the packet is empty or the plate is clear.
In the study at Camegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, volunteers were divided into three groups……
Group one – was asked to visualise eating a large handful of M&Ms, one by one.
Group two – was asked to imagine just eating three M&Ms.
Group three – was told to think about feeding a machine with coins – an action similar to popping sweets in the mouth.
The men and women were presented with a bowl of the scrumptious sweets and told they could eat as many as they like ( a chocolate lovers dream!) Group one who had just imagined eating lots of the treats got through only half as many of the real thing as the others, including those who had imagined eating only two or three.
This according to the boffins suggests that repetition is the key to the effect. Other experiments showed that in order to curb hunger, the volunteers had to imagine eating the sweets. Putting them in a bowl one by one did nothing to control their appetite. Only the food that is thought about becomes less appetising. So if you don’t want to eat chocolate, there’s no point daydreaming about crisps!
I personally found this study very interesting because I tend to work with the visualising technique a lot in other areas of my life, such as running a marathon or owning a new item of clothing. In fact I remember running the Birmingham half marathon and I kept imagining doing that in 1:58. I kept visualising that number and write it down and not at one point did I deviate from that though. So can you imagine my delight when I received my results via email the next day saying I had run the marathon in 1:58:19! The best thing to do is put the text into practice and really imagine yourself eating all that food you want to over Christmas and New Year. Afterall what have you got to lose? Other than those pounds!