The imagination could be the greatest cure in fighting obesity or being overweight. This has been proven in a new study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. According to this study, imagining eating craved foods can control food intake unlike the old belief which has been disputed for long that by focusing mentally on a certain type of food makes one crave for more.

Earlier research showed people who tried to curb their desire to eat a particular food could contain their craving for it; instead, those who focused on eating the food they wanted were the ones who had restrained themselves from eating more. There is this thing about looking forward to eat a morsel or just a bit and focusing on a larger amount. If the target amount is big, then the bigger amount could be acquired out of it. Therefore, desiring to eat a small amount can bring one to consume less.

If this can be true in terms of food, it follows that this focus method can be adapted towards the reduction of alcohol, smoking, and for other cravings. Future intervention on these other vices or bingeing can be a big benefit and people may able to stay away from unhealthy foods as well as they might be able to help in making wise and healthier options.

This new study was inspired by a research that showed mental imagery and perception engaging neural machinery in the same fashion both affecting response tendencies, emotions, and motor behavior. This was said to have been tested in five experiments in a row.

One group tried to picture themselves eating M&M’s, while the others were asked to insert coins on a washing machine at a Laundromat. Right after this activity, they were asked to eat from a bowlful of the same chocolate candies. As it turned out, more consumption of candies on the part of those who did not picture out the candy itself. The results were the opposite as expected. This experiment was repeated twice and researchers found the same outcome.

The last three tests resulted in reduced actual consumption after image-consumption owing it to habituation, which is a gradual cut in motivation of eating more volume of food clearly discounting priming or change in food taste perception. This goes to show that food consumption can be curtailed by means of imagining its consumption as demonstrated by the experiments. Those who manifested cravings by means of thinking of the desired food itself psychologically affected or influenced its actual consumption. This is considered as a good outcome.

This new development on reducing weight is helpful indeed as one only has to imagine taking up on the food that he wants and that would lead him to believe that he has already taken much of it once he tries to satisfy his desire when he sees the actual food. The mind is indeed a good source of motivation as the brain functions to dictate on the rest of the body and it is up to the individual to weigh what matters most in his life—being overweight and being unhealthy or reducing weight to become healthy.