If you’re trying to cut back on how much you chow down, before you dig in, try imagining yourself eating much more than is in front of you. A new study found that people who practiced visualizing in this way wind up eating about 2/3 less.
Scientists already knew about the “habituation” effect where the more you’re exposed to a type of food the less you want to eat it. This is separate from other appetite-squelching signs your body gives out, like a bulging stomach or increased blood sugar. But now it’s been shown that merely imagining the exposure also can have a habituating effect.
So if you find yourself gorging at holiday dinner, just picture yourself taking about 30 bites of that ham before you eat it. Just have an excuse ready when Aunt Janice asks you why you don’t like her cooking anymore.
To Eat Less, Imagine Eating More [Science Now]