Mind Imagery May Lead to Weight Loss Success
It’s important not to discount the power that our mind has over our conscious efforts to lose weight, as well as our subconscious desire to control the foods we eat. Our brain exerts a powerful influence over our actions and research indicates that thinking about eating a favorite food can actually help us to consume less of that food and save the calories as a bonus.
We are truly creatures of habit, and tend to eat the same foods in similar quantities on a regular basis. For most people this means we over consume calories without much conscious thought, and are unable to lose weight despite our short lived efforts at dieting. Sooner or later we slide back into the same dietary model and caloric consumption, slowly gaining extra pounds as our metabolism slows with age. It may be possible to harness the power of conscious thought toward a slimmer waistline.
Using Your Brain to Lose Weight
A common assumption is that thinking about our favorite food increases our craving for it and ultimately leads to consumption. The results of a study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University and published in the journal Science shows that when we imagine eating a food, our appetite for that food actually decreases. This study demonstrated that mind imagery has a much greater influence over our desire to eat than our physiological cue to eat.
Study participants were asked to imagine eating a large handful of M&M candy entirely in their mind, while a control group was asked to think about a different task, such as inserting quarters into a laundry machine. Both groups were then allowed to eat freely from a large bowl of M&M’s. The group members that envisioned eating the candy ate significantly less than the control subjects who had been asked to think about a non-food task.Continued on the next page