It's OK to stuff an entire sleeve of cookies into your mouth. And that cake left over from the office party? Take a thick slice and eat every bite. Whatever your food fantasy, go ahead and imagine fulfilling it.
The Wall Street Journal breaks down a recent report in Science about a new study, which shows that people eat less of something after they've thought about eating it. So when you start to think about a box of chocolates, the best thing for your diet may be to open that box up -- in your mind.
It seems counterintuitive to give in to your cravings, even if it's just virtual. The researchers discovered that mental binging won't take away your love for doughnuts, but it may lessen your desire for a doughnut right this instant. As professor Carey Morewedge explained to the WSJ, it's the habitual act of visualization that reduces your cravings:
"People can't totally suppress their thoughts, and when they do intrude, they're more impactful about behavior." So think away -- but remember it's important to picture yourself actually eating it, over and over again. "If you really engage in the thought that accompanies the action, then it diminishes the desire to perform that action," he says.So close your eyes at your desk and take a moment to dream about a perfect hot-fudge sundae or the pan-fried chicken at Stroud's. After all, it's for your health.