A mind game to curb hunger

Lose weight using the power of your mind with this ‘game’.

A mind game to curb hunger

Did you know there is a way to lose weight using only the power of your mind? It’s just a matter of knowing what to do. And, according to psychologists Eric Robinson, that ‘what’ is your memory, as appetite is formed in your mind as much as in your belly.

Robinson recently tested whether a recording, played during a meal, could help a group of obese women to eat some ham sandwiches more mindfully. The three-minute recording instructed them to focus on the full sensual experience of eating the meal – i.e. sight, taste and smell. Robison also had a control group who ate their meals to the pleasant sound of a cuckoo’s tuneful calls. 

Robinson found that the women who were asked to savour their food snacked less for three hours after eating the meal, consuming 30 per cent fewer calories than the control group. That’s a big difference. 

You might suspect that a healthy brain is smart enough to take notice of what you’ve eaten, but recent research shows it is easily fooled. And fooled it is with working lunches now being routine in most offices, and many people watching TV or playing with their devices and laptops during evening meals. All of these distractions can affect your memories of your food intake – not just what, but also how much. 

In another study, performed by Jeff Brunstrom at the University of Bristol, participants ate with one hand while they played solitaire with the other. Because of this distraction, they struggled to recollect their meal, and pigged out on biscuits later in the day. 

That’s why researchers are now looking into ways of boosting the sensory memory of food. Including Robinson, who is currently working on an app that helps to remind someone of their previous meals throughout their day. 

Don’t worry. Robinson found that “attentive eating” did not reduce his subject’s enjoyment of eating, but rather that they actually seemed to find meals more enjoyable. He says, “It’s not unimaginable that savouring food could actually be a good thing.” 

So mindful eating – i.e. paying attention to and recalling the aromas, textures, colours and flavours while eating your meal without distraction – is the mind game to play to curb hunger and prevent overeating. 

Are you ready to play? Or are you still not convinced? Read more at the BBC.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    14th May 2015
    I can't believe that at this late time in the day there are no comments.

    I would add therefore, that seeing as I am fasting today, I really did enjoy the allowed
    soup I had this evening... Can't wait until the morning when I can savour my porridge... YUM!!
    15th May 2015
    I really enjoyed this article. Weight has always been problem in my life and have honestly tried every single "method"that was ever mentioned. Five children and accompanying weight gain just one of my problems. Now at the grand old age of 80 I have at last been able not only to lose the excess but keep it off. It includes "mindful eating", enjoying the food but it is called "grazing" I guess. One must use one's mind especially to tell yourself that if you yearn a piece of chocolate, have it no matter what and say that was great and I CAN do it again any time I feel the "longing: but not right now. If one loves a biscuit certainly have a couple perhaps at morning tea, but no more until tomorrow's morning tea.. For me I have found this fantastic, but of course it demands strong willpower but no guilt which makes you very mindful.
    I hope this could help someone because I never thought I would do it as a lifestyle. Of course it follows that one must have the proverbial 3 meals a day with veg, protein etc but smaller servings Good luck my friends.

    22nd May 2015
    I'm "mindful" when it comes to eating Halal certified food - I don't!

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