|Visualizing dessert can help you eat less later.|
However, previous findings suggest that asking dieters to ignore food cravings to distract themselves from their hunger typically backfires. It’s like the psych 101 white bear theory. If you tell a group not to think about a white bear, it is suddenly the only thing anyone can think about. Images of white bears literally take over the brain even as one tries desperately to suppress the thought. So, if not visualizing food leads a dieter to obsess about that taboo slice of cake, perhaps imagining the consumption of the decadent dessert prior to eating can truly minimize eventual food intake. Food visualization could be a first step towards overall portion control by tricking the brain into thinking the eater is satisfied.
In the end, many of these studies need to be replicated under a variety of conditions to see if certain theories can be applied to the population at large, but it seems as if visualizing techniques could be a valuable weight loss tool to help some individuals keep calories in check.