How To Crush Unhealthy Cravings in 3 Minutes – PsyBlog

This distraction enough to reduce common cravings by 24%.

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Counting calories and chasing them with exercise doesn’t work.  The only successful path to sustainable weight loss is hunger management.  That’s why calorie-free craving crushers are incredibly powerful psychological tools that you can put to use right away and start seeing immediate results.

This article reports that simply playing tetris for 3 minutes can actually reduce cravings by 24% – how awesome is that?

Professor Jackie Andrade, an author of the study, explained:

Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualizing what they want and the reward it will bring. Often those feelings result in the person giving in and consuming the very thing they are trying to resist. But by playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades.

This theory, known as Elaborated Intrusion, postulates that imagery is central to craving.  Think about the last time you had a craving for a slice of pizza or pecan pie – you probably had an image in your mind of the sensation of that hot spicy melted cheese or those sweet crunchy pecans stimulating your tastebuds – the sweet and salty tastes, the smooth & crunchy mouth-feel.  It turns out that you can trick your brain with simulations of those images or even by blocking them out altogether.

Here are some more calorie-free craving crushers that really work:

Scientists at the University of London are developing a new high-tech brand of cutlery that could seriously curb your salty and sweet cravings.   Taste Buddy uses a low-level electrical current to stimulate the tongue’s taste buds — to fool people into thinking they are trying sweet or salty flavors, basically making vegetables taste like chocolate – or whatever you want them to taste like.

Read more about it at:

I love the idea of a spoon that stimulates taste receptors because it addresses the psychology of hunger which is the most commonly ignored weight loss obstacle.

There are other, simpler calorie-free ways to stimulate taste receptors and curb cravings.  My favorite ones are:

  • Textures – the smooth surface of frozen blueberries sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes has an incredible mouth feel that beats an ice cream sundae with sprinkles
  • Bubbles – club soda tingles in your mouth and the bubbly feel lingers all the way down to your belly and suppresses cravings much better than water – try adding a slice of fresh lemon
  • Temperature Contrasts – put an ice-cold frozen raspberry on a spoonful of piping hot whole grain oatmeal – it’s like bread pudding with a gumdrop on top
  • Spices – add cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder to your coffee
  • Aromas – try a sweetly scented candle
  • Extracts – I put almond or vanilla extract into my coffee grounds before brewing




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