How to lose weight with the help of the brain,

Scientists have come to the conclusion that it is possible to lose weight without strict diets , using only your mental abilities. You just need to know how it works.

Eric Robinson, a psychologist from the University of Liverpool, has developed a curious method of losing weight that almost anyone can use. The only thing that is needed for this is our memory.

People often imagine losing weight as fighting the excessive appetite of their own stomach, but psychologists tend to believe that consciousness is no less responsible for the formation of hunger.

In addition, Robinson is sure, the role of the brain in this process is so great that you can feel full just by remembering in detail what you ate last time. “According to a number of studies, hidden psychological factors can affect appetite, but most people are not aware of this,” he says. “And this is very important, given the global trend towards obesity .”

How does the Robinson method work?

Recent experiments investigating the influence of consciousness on appetite are based in part on observations of people suffering from anterograde amnesia, a disorder of memory for events that occurred after the onset of the disease. Such patients can, for example, enter into a long and exciting conversation with a person they have just met, but after 20 minutes they completely forget about the conversation and do not even recognize the interlocutor. “Just 20 minutes later, they won’t remember what just happened to them,” says Robinson.

The same thing happens in these patients when eating. One study involved a former musician and a former banker. Both suffer from anterograde amnesia. First, participants in the experiment were given a plate of sandwiches and pastries and asked to eat until they were full. The plates are then removed and after 15 minutes they are returned filled again. The healthy subjects no longer wanted to eat, but the two with amnesia began a second meal with gusto. “Such patients forget that they have already eaten, and if they are offered a snack after a while , they will start eating again,” says Glynn Humphreys of the University of Oxford, who conducted the experiment.

In the second part of the weight loss experiment, they were given a choice between rice pudding, chips or chocolate, and after a while they were again offered the same set of products. Most ordinary people have an inherent desire for variety in taste sensations, so they will not choose the same dish twice in a row – this phenomenon is known as sensory-specific satiety. Remarkably, the two amnesiacs also showed less interest in the food they chose the first time – even though they couldn’t remember eating it recently. Apparently, they didn’t have problems processing sensory information – their brains just weren’t able to form a clear, conscious memory of the eating process. In the absence of this memory, they still feel hungry even on a full stomach.

It seems that a healthy brain should notice what its owner eats. However, recent research confirms that the brain is easily fooled. Jeff Brunstrom of the University of Bristol is doing an ingenious experiment. Volunteers are given the simple task of eating a bowl of soup. What they don’t know is that at the bottom of the bowl is a tube that runs through the table through which Branström can discreetly add soup to some of the subjects while they eat.

Thus, some of the participants in the experiment ate more than they thought. The observation of the volunteers continued throughout the day: as it turns out, the amount of food they ate after eating the soup depended much more on whether they judged the volume of their bowl as large or small before the meal than on the actual volumes of soup they were given fed Brunström.

All these facts disprove the theory that only stomach hormones are responsible for the feeling of hunger. “This is not to say that the stomach is not involved at all, but the role of cognitive activity in the formation of appetite has so far been seriously underestimated,” Brunstrom says. And under certain circumstances, our thoughts can be decisive.

Ignoring this can lead to negative consequences in our hectic time. Snacking at work has become ubiquitous, and at dinner many of us are watching TV or busy with our smartphones. All these distractions dull the memory of what you ate. So, in one of the experiments, Branstrom asked subjects during lunch to occupy one hand with the real meal and the other with a game of solitaire. After that, they hardly remembered what exactly they ate, and then during the day they constantly “bite”.

Eat with feeling

It is for this reason that scientists are investigating the possibility of improving food memories on a sensory level. Robinson recently attempted to induce his subjects into a state of “mindful eating.” He played a three-minute audio recording of a group of overweight women eating ham sandwiches , urging them to concentrate fully on the sensations they experienced from the sight, taste and smell of the food. The control group of subjects fed to the accompaniment of melodious cuckoo sounds. As Robinson expected, people who were asked to taste the food subsequently gave a more complete description of what they ate and consumed 30 percent fewer calories at their next meal three hours later.

This method isn’t necessarily for everyone who wants to lose weight without dieting , but Robinson has a few alternative ideas. As one of his experiments showed, if a person is asked to remember what they ate last, their appetite usually decreases, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Imagination can also come to the rescue: American scientists have discovered that if we imagine in great detail the dish we would like to eat, we can convince ourselves that we have actually already eaten that dish. In this case, the feeling of hunger is also dulled.

Robinson is currently working on a mobile app that will remind the user throughout the day to remember what they ate in the morning. However, the scientist admits, it will be possible to verify whether memory manipulation is really effective as a weight loss method only during large-scale clinical tests. Also, Robinson suspects that many may find his method too tiring—especially if the dieter has to listen to an audio recording with each meal.

The good news is that the mindful eating method does not diminish the sensual pleasure of the process. On the contrary, subjects enjoy the opportunity to fully appreciate the variety of sensations that food evokes.

Who said tasting food is bad? Robinson stated.

If memory can indeed be used to blunt hunger and lose weight without dieting , in the future overweight people may be offered a tempting alternative to strict diets – a weight loss program that enhances the pleasure of eating.

If you are looking for an ally in the fight against pounds, check out our tried and tested diet recipes.

 

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