Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University have arrived at a very interesting conclusion – that imagining that one is eating sweets could actually help someone who is trying to lose weight.
Conjuring up a picture in your mind that you are actually eating the sugary snack or other food that you are craving, (but not actually eating it) can help you, say researchers. This can help you stick to your diet and actually not eat what you crave.
This new research goes against conventional wisdom that if you think of something you will crave it more and then you will feel the need to go and eat it. According to the study’s lead author Carey Morewedge, an assistant professor of social and decision sciences, this is a flawed theory – that of trying to suppress one’s cravings.
This theory of using visualization effectively has been borne out by previous studies as well. In a previous study, it was found that those who did not practice the violin but pictured themselves practicing it were better off than those who did not practice and did not visualize either.
Yet another study even found that those who were suffering from a psychological pain, actually felt better after taking a pain reliever such as Tylenol.