The power of positive thinking. Yes, it is a cliche but according to a new research study, thinking about eating healthy could actually help you eat healthier and better.
A new study from the University of Tübingen in Germany suggests that people who thought about eating healthy while preparing their meals actually followed through on their goals of cutting caloric consumption. They were more likely to serve smaller portions when compared to people who prepared their meals normally.
The participants of the study who varied from normal weight to obese were divided into three groups with one group focusing on the health effects, another to focus on the expected pleasure of the food while the third was told to focus on staying satiated. The participants were then told to choose a portion size for their consumption.
The participants of the group who were told to think about eating healthy chose smaller portions for consumption while the group which focused on staying full chose much larger portions. The researchers studied the brain scans of the participants and concluded that thinking healthy “can trigger activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is linked to self-control and future meal planning.” Hence, participants who were told to focus on eating healthy had significant control over their caloric consumption as compared to others.
Think The Way You Eat
According to the study, influencing your brain into changing the way you eat has potential benefits in weight loss and the obesity epidemic which has been on the rise recently. “The rise in obesity since the 1950s has directly paralleled increasing portion sizes. We are finding that switching an individual’s mindset during pre-meal planning has the potential to improve portion control,” said Stephanie Kullmann, the lead investigator of the study.
Although more research is needed to conclude whether thinking healthy has a direct correlation to eating healthy, a definite message from the study is that “people of all weights responded positively to a healthy mindset instruction, suggesting that this approach should be considered in strategies for healthy weight management.”