New Effective Weight Loss Strategy
When you’re dying for a sweet treat… a salty snack… or another treasured indulgence, there’s a new weight loss strategy you might try to keep from giving in. Postponing it. Those who do end up finding that the snack they were craving is actually less desirable according some experts.
Often, when you get a craving you think you have two choices – give in or resist. If you give in, you end up feeling guilty. If you manage to resist, you feel deprived and may well over-indulge the next time. The third option researchers propose is to tell yourself, “I can eat it later.”
Postponing the indulgence gives your mind a chance to cool down, and acts to remove you from a conflict mode before you either feel guilty for giving in, or deprived for not.
Postponing indulgences also appears to have you eating less of the particular food over the following week according to the latest research. The key is to put off eating the desired food until some vague future time. This will help the cravings for the food go down. If you were to give a specific time, you’ll likely find yourself watching the clock… obsessing over the treat that’s been denied you.
To understand more about postponing, researchers got 99 volunteers to view clips of films and put a bowl in candies within reach of each subject. The first group was told to eat the candy if they liked, another group was instructed not to have the candy, and a third was directed not to eat them, but they could have the candies later on.
After watching the clips, the researchers asked the subjects questions not related to the clips, to take their mind off the study. All the subjects were then told they could then eat the candy, but were unaware that the amount they ate was going to be measured.
As you might expect, those told not to have the candy during the film clips ate the most – a full 1/3 of an ounce. Those who ate freely or postponed eating both consumed half as much as the group not allowed to eat… with the postpone group consuming just a bit less than those who had eaten freely.
What’s more, those who were in the postponing group only had chocolate candy once during the following week. Those who ate freely during the screening had chocolate three times that next week, and the ones told not to touch the candy at all had chocolate over 4 times during the following week.
The next step for the team was to see if the same results came when allowing subjects to choose the eating strategy. So they gave just over 100 high school students (average age 15) a portion of chips and either randomly assigned an eating plan or allowed the subjects to choose the one they wanted.
Once again, the group who postponed the snack ate the least, whether they were originally assigned to this group or chose to belong to it on their own. And they ate fewer chips over the following week as well. Postponers had chips 2.4 times that week, while those who ate freely had chips nearly 4 times; the participants instructed not to eat the chips went on to have them over four times in the week following the experiment.
The findings have yet to be reviewed by research peers, however the study does point out the amount of control we all have over what we eat… a plus when it comes to losing weight.