Curb Specific Food Cravings With ‘Sensory Simulation’

Curb Specific Food Cravings With ‘Sensory Simulation’

If you find you are constantly craving sweet or salty foods, a recent study showed that over-stimulating your brain with pictures of those foods may help kill your desire for them.

Photo by Jasmine

The study had participants repeatedly rating or choosing pictures of food in a process called sensory simulation. One group viewed sweet foods, and the other viewed salty foods. The researchers found that when participants repeatedly evaluated sweet or salty foods, it had an effect on their brains similar to actually eating the foods over and over. When the participants were actually given sweet or salty foods afterward, their enjoyment of eating it significantly decreased.

When your enjoyment of eating something decreases, you’re a lot less likely to crave it. This method may not work for everyone, but it could work for you if you feel like certain foods have you in their grip. Basically, the idea is to look at something so much you’re sick of it. Imagine looking at an endless stream of pizza pictures until the last thing on Earth you want to see is a pizza. You need to reach that tipping point, though, because just looking at a few pictures of delicious food could have opposite the effect and make your food even tastier.

Satiation from sensory simulation: Evaluating foods decreases enjoyment of similar foods [Journal of Consumer Psychology via PsyBlog]

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