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Stopping the Cravings



Knowing when you are full and stopping eating can be a problem, so can stopping cravings. This new research into the more psychological factors that can help this. 

In this case it is the idea that by imagining the food you want to eat you can reduce the amount you will actually eat. 



New research says that by imaging you are eating something you can reduce your actual consumption of it. This is called habituation and it occurs when you are eating. A "tenth bite of chocolate, for example, is desired less than the first bite," the study authors note.

But now it had been found that the same thing can occur if you simply put your mind to it. Carey Morewedge from Carnegie Mellon University says; "A lot of people who diet try to avoid thinking about stimuli they crave. This research suggests that may not be the best strategy." 

"If you just think about the food itself—how it tastes, smells, and looks—[that will] increase your appetite," Morewedge said.

"This research suggests that it might be better, actually, to force yourself to repeatedly think about tasting, swallowing, and chewing the food you crave to reduce your cravings."

The technique however only works on the food you have been imaging rather than food in general. 

The study itself was carried out over five experiments which all found that when people were using the techniques they would eat less of the food. One of the experiments had 51 subjects who were split up to carry out different tests to see the difference the technique could make. 

The study is part of research that is looking at triggers that make us overeat. Physical cues are only part of the deal, now the psychological factors such as habituation also play a part.

Original article can be found here:, Christine Dell'Amore 9/12/10

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