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Can't resist chocolate? Try looking away
September 13, 2005
If you are trying to lose those extra kilos, but simply can't keep your hands off a delicious-looking bar of scrumptious chocolate, just try distracting yourself.
A research team headed by Professor Marika Tiggemann from Adelaide's Flinders University, Australia, suggests you can curb your craving for chocolate by simply looking out of the window or focusing on anything but the chocolate.
The aim is to reduce the vividness of the image your mind conjures up when you crave for a certain food.
Until now, the popular scientific approach to food cravings has been 'not to think about it'. It is a strategy that does not always work.
Tiggemann says the techniques of cognitive psychology in reducing the vividness of the visual, gustatory (taste) or olfactory (smell) imagery might just do the trick.
"Anecdotal evidence shows that when people crave chocolate or a cigarette, they talk about the ability to 'see, smell and almost taste' it," Tiggemann says.
"We got people to think back to the last time they were craving something and to describe it for us. Then we got them to think about what they most felt like now and to describe how they felt about that.
"What we came up with was the notion that imagery is a big part of cravings, in particular the 'seeing it, smelling it, tasting it' imagery," he said.