Christmas cookies and cherry pie. Mashed potatoes, candied yams and homemade turkey stuffing! Surrounded by so much delicious holiday food, it’s terrifying to even think about getting on the scale come January 2nd.
Or maybe not…
Contrary to popular belief, most Americans gain only one pound over the holidays. Sadly, though, research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that most of us never lose that pound. And so it goes, the slow but steady s-p-r-e-a-d of our waistline.
This holiday, take hope from some new and impressive scientific research. The respected journal Sciencerecently reported on an unusual study in which researchers asked volunteers to spend 90 seconds methodically imagining what it would be like to taste, chew and swallow 30 M&Ms, one after another. Then, when presented with a bowl of real M&Ms, the volunteers ate only about half as many candies as participants who’d been asked to imagine eating only three M&Ms (or none at all).
All this defies conventional scientific thought, which has long assumed that only real sensory input can produce the feeling of fullness (satiation). This study suggests that thought alone may trigger satiation—at least where eating is concerned. The results are likely to generate new investigations into overeating and ways to curb it.
PS… Subsequent testing found that methodical thinking about M&M eating did not suppress cheddar cheese consumption; but in-depth thoughts about eating cheese did. No kidding! So put on your thinking cap.