How to Stop Food Cravings: Study Reveals Simple Trick to Avoiding Unhealthy Food

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Jul 27, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

Are you tired of breaking your diet of healthy food just because of a sudden whim or cravings to eat junk food? If your answer is yes, then you are in luck because a study that is set to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition next week has discovered how to stop those pesky cravings.

Medical Daily writes that a team of researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine has found out that simply looking at pictures of bugs or any disgusting images can actually kill cravings. The authors state that the outcome has made them conclude that pairing feelings of disgust with junk foods can lessen the chances of people choosing or eating these foods.

The study has been observed on 42 participants. Each has been shown a picture of something gross or yucky, like cockroaches, burn wounds and vomit before being shown a picture of something tasty or unhealthy, like fries, pizza and ice cream. Almost immediately, the participants have lost their appetites, and three to five days later, the participants are still associating the disgusting foods with the unhealthy foods thus prolonging their desire not to eat the foods.

Additionally, The Washington Post writes that the researchers believe this will be a successful tactic to prevent people from experiencing unhealthy food cravings and can help prevent obesity. The researchers have even compared the results of their study to most grocery store decisions made after seeing food advertisements. In a statistical sense, the experiment can help lower people's desire to eat the food at that very moment.

However, many critics state that the study is too brief and caters only a small group of participants. Also, no actual weight loss or any change in eating patterns have been recorded and the attempt to change how people view healthy food by showing them pictures of cute babies and pretty scenes has not affected the subjects at all. Kristina Legget, assistant professor for psychiatry at the same university said when it comes to food behavior, disgusting scenes can be very influential than showing people pictures of kitten and babies.

Many health experts believe it is still important to control food cravings on your own. Marianne Carter, a registered dietitian and director of the Delaware Center for Health Promotion at Delaware State University, shared on Delaware Online that the key is to look for lower-calorie alternatives should your cravings hit. It is also important to not completely deny yourself of any food you like because it can lead to overindulgence and obsession.

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