Wouldn’t it be nice if just just thinking about food could reduce your urge to snack? Well according to recent research, it actually can.
The 2008 study, done by the University of Birmingham, UK, used female volunteers who were told they were taking part in a cookie taste test. All of the women were given lunch, then divided into two groups to conduct the taste test.
Before the taste test began, one group was asked to write a detailed description of the food they had just eaten, and the other group was asked to write a detailed description of their trip to the testing site. After the taste test the all the participants were invited to eat as many of the remaining cookies as they wanted.
The women who had written the detailed description of the luncheon food ate significantly fewer cookies than those who had written descriptions of their trip to the testing site. And the longer the interval between the luncheon and the “taste test”, the greater the effect seemed to be.
Though other studies have shown that thinking about food can actually increase the urge to snack, the University of Birmingham researchers say the difference is in how specific the thoughts of food are. Recalling a specific meal involves the hippocampus, a part of the brain believed to play a role in decision making. Stimulating this part of the brain may help people make the decision that they don’t need additional food.