The Future of Dieting?

I read an interesting article in the NYT this morning and thought I would share it with you! Apparently there is research being done into how to curb cravings. One hypothesis, as outlined in the article, is that if a person pictures themselves eating the food bit by bit they will be less likely to overindulge when they actually do begin eating:

“After you eat the first little cheeseburger at White Castle, your craving is probably greater than it was before you started your meal,” says Carey Morewedge, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon and the lead author of the Science article. “But your craving is probably going to be lower by the time you start your eighth.”

At that point, you may stop ordering sliders and think you’ve lost your appetite for any food. But habituation is quite specific to the food you’re eating, as has been repeatedly demonstrated both by researchers and by pastry chefs. Restaurant patrons may feel they can’t eat another bite after going through the entree, but they suddenly feel peckish when the dessert cart arrives.

The experiments at Carnegie Mellon are the first to show that habituation to food can occur simply by thinking about eating, according to Dr. Morewedge and his colleagues Young Eun Huh and Joachim Vosgerau.

The habituation occurred as people imagined eating 30 M & M’s or 30 cubes of Kraft Cheddar, one at a time. They were shown photos of each M & M for three seconds, and each cube of cheese for five seconds.

Go check out the article here!

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