Visualisation improves healthy eating, says research

A research study published in Psychology and Health says that visualisation improves healthy eating. It does make sense that by training our minds, we can overcome cravings for unhealthy foods and start to eat better. Here’s the story, first reported by Newswise.

Date: 25th February 2011

Source: Newswise

visualisation improves healthy eatingIf you want to improve the way you eat, the best way to do so is to both make an action plan and visualize yourself carrying it out, according to McGill researchers.

In a study recently published in Psychology and Health, Knäuper and her students asked 177 students at McGill’s New Residence Hall to set themselves the goal of consuming more fruit for a period of seven days. All the students in the study ended up consuming more fruit over the course of the week than they had before hand. But those who made a concrete plan, wrote it down and also visualized how they were going to carry out the action (i.e. when, where and how they would buy, prepare and eat fruit) increased their fruit consumption twice as much as those who simply set out to eat more fruit without visualizing and planning how they were going to do it.

These kinds of visualization techniques are borrowed from sports psychology. “Athletes do lots of work mentally rehearsing their performances before competing and it’s often very successful. So we thought having people mentally rehearse how they were going to buy and eat their fruit should make it more likely that they would actually do it. And this is exactly what happened,” says Bärbel Knäuper. This research points to a simple yet effective means of changing eating habits…. Read More