A sure-fire technique for wrecking any diet is to expose yourself to food you’re trying to avoid. This sounds like common sense, but many a self-confident dieter imagines that he or she should possess enough willpower to abstain from overeating in any situation. Scientists say it just isn’t so.
In two experiments at Boston University Hospital, dieters were exposed to the sight and smell of favorite foods, which made them suddenly “hungry.” When allowed these foods, the dieters ate far more food than usual.
“Mere exposure to the sight and smell of palatable food is sufficient to precipitate loss of dieting motivation,” the researchers conclude. They theorize that the dieters feel anxious or nervous in the presence of foods that they like but are supposed to be trying to avoid. Ironically, it’s the very anxiety that can lead to overeating.
Don’t torment yourself. Keep favorite foods out of your house. Don’t prepare them for someone else, thinking that you can just enjoy looking at them. Don’t hover around tables as other people are enjoying your favorites. Win with the old slogan: Out of sight, out of mind.