Dieters appear to be more impulsive than non-dieters, say researchers at a midwestern college. An experiment was conducted with a group of male and female students, some of them reporting that they were on a diet, others that they were not.
All were deprived of food and water for eight hours and then given a choice between having a glass of juice immediately or waiting an hour for the juice. Those students who described themselves as dieting had a greater tendency to choose the glass of juice immediately, whereas those not dieting more often opted to wait.
What is not known is whether people on diets are impulsive in the first place or whether the process of dieting itself leads to increased impulsiveness. But whatever the reason, be on guard. A good technique for counteracting an urge is to count to 10 while slowly inhaling and exhaling deeply, imagining the impulse passing by as quickly as it came.