Imaginary Donuts and Weight Loss?
One of the amazing things science teaches us is that counter intuitive is often true. This was the case when I read about how imagining your favorite foods may actually decrease your consumption of them.
Old time hypnotists frequently used what is known as 'aversive imagery', pairing the thought of a favorite food with something gross or disgusting. Experience shows that success with this approach had limited success, although on the surface it seemed to make sense.
In more recent times we usually work toward having healthy foods seem more appealing. Yet research carried out by Morewedge, et al (2010) as reported in Science suggests that imagining eating your favorite foods decreases what is known as the hedonic response. What is that you may ask?
An everyday example might be if you had a box with one dozen of your favorite type of donuts. Now eating the first one might be fun. Yet if you tried to eat the full dozen, it is almost guaranteed that about midway through they would rapidly start losing their appeal. If for reason you managed to eat the whole box its doubtful there would be much enjoyment involved by the end. Chances are you would feel quite ill.
What the research discovered is that simply imagining eating something say salty or sweet will allow you to decrease or eliminate the craving for that particular food stuff due to the decrease in the hedonic (pleasure) response. It's a tenet of modern hypnosis practices that the subconscious mind responds to vividly imagined experiences as if they were true.
The part I found counter intuitive is that I would have predicted that focusing on the sweet or salty taste would increase desire rather than decrease. However, the opposite seems to be true.
In my upcoming Effective Weight Loss Strategies Class I will be sharing ideas like this and much more. It is appropriate for both absolute beginners as well as those in need of a refresher course. Learn more at the Upcoming Events Page.
P.S. Private sessions are also available for those who prefer that option.
Reference: Morewedge, Huh, Vosgerau, Science, December 2010, Vol. 330, Issue 6010