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Thinking about food may help with weight loss

Posted On Fri, December 10, 2010

A study from Carnegie Mellon University gives new meaning to the phrase, "food for thought." Researchers found that thinking of food may actually make people less inclined to eat it.

Assistant professor and lead study author Carey Morewedge says her team's research efforts revealed findings that seem counterintuitive.

"Our studies found that instead, people who repeatedly imagined the consumption of a morsel of food - such as an M&M or cube of cheese - subsequently consumed less of that food than did people who imagined consuming the food a few times or performed a different but similarly engaging task," says Morewedge.

Study participants were split into three groups. Each group was assigned to envision putting quarters into a laundry machine, eating M&M's, or both actions.

Those who just thought about candy consumed less when allowed to eat as much as desired.

The technique may prove beneficial to those trying to cut their consumption of unhealthy foods and lose weight. With a growing number of people being diagnosed as overweight or obese, such a tactic is important to consider.

Furthermore, those without a weight problem are likely to have lower life insurance rates and require less medical attention. 

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