How you can use them to lose weight:
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthy so you can lose weight, we’ve got three great suggestions to help you succeed.
One keeps you mindful of the food you eat by writing it down.
The second invites you to savor every bite of the foods you enjoy and indulge yourself from time to time.
And the third will surprise you: Paint a picture in your mind of the food you crave and you won’t want it.
First, keeping a food diary can be immensely valuable. Keeping track of what you eat can boost confidence in your ability to select healthy foods and give you a historical perspective of patterns you tend to follow. In a sense you’ll be creating a reference guide to your dietary habits and a personalized menu of the foods that contribute to your healthy diet. Record the unhealthy choices you make as well. You might even note how each food affects your mood and sense of wellness.
Foods and cravings on your mind?
Secondly, wouldn’t you love to do away with the notion that eating your “no-no’s” all at once (just to get it over with) is the way to handle your cravings for sweets, chips and soda? Why not learn to savor an indulgence and make note that you will allow yourself two pieces of dark chocolate or save room for two cookies?
It’s a much healthier attitude than guilt-tripping yourself after overindulging.
That brings us to our third suggestion, which may strike you as weird. If you’re craving immediate gratification through a treat, picture that treat and imagine yourself enjoying it so much you are savoring it down to the last morsel.
You might assume that if you imagine it, temptation is going to win. But a 2010 study from researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University suggests the opposite: Thinking about it will be satisfaction enough and you won’t need to actually eat it.
It sounds hard to believe, but the researchers found that conjuring a mental image of eating a food didn’t influence people to give into temptation. Imagining it became a substitute for the real thing. It sounds a bit like living vicariously through the imagined experience—the movie “Total Recall” comes to mind. Hey, whatever works!
With thanks to:
Carey K. Morewedge; Young Eun Huh; Joachim Vosgerau. “Thought for Food: Imagined Consumption Reduces Actual Consumption.” Science 10 December 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6010 pp. 1530-1533 DOI: 10.1126/science.1195701