Virtual Donuts and m&ms


There’s some recent research that suggests visualizing eating a snack or treat can help you beat the craving for the actual snack or treat. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (mmmmellonmelon) discovered that if people visualized eating 30 m&ms then are faced with ACTUAL M&Ms they eat fewer of the actual candies. This is good news for these guys.


The theory is that binging or cheating is often a habit not a hunger. I agree with this. I have tried to visualize stuff before and it devolves into the following stream of gobbeldygook…

Rebecca’s Brain Stream:
In front of me sits a cream filled eclair with chocolate icing. It is so rich, I’m going to sink my fork into…oh the sink is still clogged on that one side..wonder if they’ll be enough seating on the home side…I gotta go to the bank..what’s that fuzzy thing…dang is that nail is chipped.. I like essie nail polish better than…oh crap I gotta get that laundry to the dryer…I need bangs…

I recognize the need to try different techniques to curb my cheating diet heart. Which brings me a new web site, The Virtual Diet. The site offers up snacks, treats, really any kind of food, with a lovely picture. You click on little squares to “eat” the treat and it disappears bit-by0bit. I suggest you click at least 30 times since the researchers tested 30 bites. 

The Virtual Diet has got a whole system of tracking, which I’m not doing because I already track my food in a gabillion places. And of course you could also just look for good images of your favorite foods online. But remember you can’t just look for this to work, you’ve got to pretend to eat the treat in your mind. That’s how The Virtual Diet stands out. It helps you really imagine eating the donut!

If you want to read the story about the study at Sience Daily – click here.

So will this work? Let me know if you’re trying it too. Catch you later, I’m going to imagine that I exercised. (Wait, that might not work the same way.)



2 Responses to “Virtual Donuts and m&ms”
  1. Love this! I actually was telling some friends last weekend that I used visualization as a tool to prevent abundant snacking! (It’s always nice when science agrees with us.)

    Most times, it’s enough for me to imagine what that slab of cake in the bakery window tastes and how it feels on the tongue and I no longer even want it.

    And then there are the other times. :)

  2. Laugh It Off Ladies says:

    Thank you Cammy – – I’m going to be trying to do it more often!