Those Who Imagine Eating Fattening Foods Actually Eat Less of Them

Eric March 9, 2011

I always thought it was odd when several of my bodybuilder and fitness modeling friends would ask friends to let them watch them eat their desserts while they were dieting down.  A new study, led by Carey Morewedge at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, found that people who imagined eating a tasty food actually reduced their craving for it!  Researchers asked participants to imagine eating 30 M&M’s, and then measured how many they would actually eat when given a bowl full of the candies.  Those who imagined eating the M&M’s actually ate fewer candies, compared to those who didn’t imagine eating the candy.  The researchers didn’t measure how long the satiating effects of eating imaginary candy lasted, or whether or not it works equally in obese and lean people.  But the research is promising for those of us who are trying to fight off cravings of fatty and sugary foods.

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