Our Lack of Imagination Is Making Us Eat Like Bears
There are a lot of ridiculous weight-loss gimmicks out there. Whether you’re eating nothing but grapefruit like our elders or mainlining diabetes medication like a deranged celebrity, the goal has always been to achieve the fastest possible results with the least amount of effort.
And now, a new study has uncovered what is perhaps the quickest fix yet for cutting calories: Imagine you ate more than you actually did.
Researchers reached this conclusion after having 151 men and women consume a 300-gram serving of Uncle Ben’s Rice Time Sweet and Sour. These participants were then instructed not to eat anything else for the next three hours. From there, they were divided into different groups. The first three groups were asked to think about the rice they had for lunch — either visualizing moving it around on their plate, remembering what it tasted like or imagining the meal as twice as large as it was.
Finally, they took part in a fake taste test of three types of biscuits — Cadbury Milk Chocolate Fingers, McVities Digestives and Maryland Chocolate Chip Cookies — and were told to eat as many as they wanted. The researchers found that those who had imagined their lunch being twice the size ate fewer biscuits compared to the group that didn’t take part in that particular mental exercise.
“Your mind can be more powerful than your stomach in dictating how much you eat,” Joanna Szypula, lead author of the study, explained in a statement. “Our findings could give people a method to control their eating with their mind.”
It might sound too good to be true, but other studies have shown that mindfulness exercises like meditation can make us less reactive to food and lead to healthier eating behaviors.
Now if we could only get in shape by just thinking about going to the gym.