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Imagine more, eat less

By: Bailey Sowka

The people in the CMUP experiment who pretended to eat more M&Ms ended up eating less real M&Ms than the other participants. Photo courtesy of Google images

When people are hungry, their natural reaction is to head over to the kitchen and grab some food. However, a quick trip to the pantry could lead to an all night food fest. This wouldn’t be a problem for some, but for dieters, it would cause a slight dilemma. Luckily, for weight watchers finding themselves in this bind, a new research has been conducted to find a solution to this problem.

            A recent study was conducted by the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. This study showed that imagination can curve a person’s appetite. That’s right, pretending to eat a food will satisfy a food craving. Pretending to eat the food is more effective than actually thinking about the food. Carey Morewedge, a psychologist at CMUP, stated, “This research suggests that it might be better, actually, to force yourself too repeatedly think about tasting, swallowing, and chewing the food you crave your reduce cravings.” This technique will only work with the food that is imagined by the person. So, if there is a craving for a chocolate bar, the person should imagine a chocolate bar, not a hot dog.

            The experiment that was held was made up of three groups. Thie first group was asked to imagine inserting 30 quarters into a laundry machine. That action required as much motor skill as eating M&Ms. The second group was asked to imagine inserting three quarters into a laundry machine and then pretending to eat 30 M&Ms. The last group had to imagine inserting 30 quarters into a machine and then pretend to eat three M&Ms. After this took place, the participants were given a bowl of M&M’s from which they could eat from. The results showed that the group that imagined eating 30 M&M’s ate fewer candies from the bowl.

            This study is now being used as part of a new study to help trigger addictions and other over indulging problems. If you’re a dieter looking to lose weight, put the Snickers down and imagine eating it first. This may sounds crazy, but the research proves it is helpful.

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