In today’s society where it seems the battle against high calorie foods is a losing one, dieting is still very popular . Different kinds of dieting plans are advertised, with different people groups arguing that their kind of diet is easier and will yield faster results, in a never-ending loop.
The thing about this is there are so many types of dieting that it is so hard to choose what is the best for you. You try one and then after some time, you find yourself not wanting to continue. And then try another one, and so on. And after the tedious effort of choosing and replacing a diet, maintaining it will take even more work.
The next time you see those irresistible fries or that juicy, delicious burger, which will surely ruin the diet you have been strictly following, what can you do to stay on the “righteous path?”
Enter the Disgust Diet
Kristina Legget, a psychologist at University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, has come up with a way to force your brain to recoil from the appealing french fries and cake to something unappealing or even disgusting, according to NPR.
Her team uses a technique called subliminal priming. Through sending subliminal signals, whether it be an image or a faint sound, it implants an idea to a person’s mind that influences their reaction in the next thing that he or she will see.
They tested this idea to 42 volunteers, wherein they first showed the image of the fries, asking them how much they want to eat that now. Of course their response is “Yes, absolutely.” Then they flashed a disgusting image and showed the picture of the food again.
The amygdala, the part of the brain that functions in activating emotions as response to specific stimuli, catches the signal and activates the feeling of disgust. When they asked the audience how much they wanted to eat the food in the picture for the second time, the volunteers’ desire has decreased. The same trend was observed for five days, having their mind set that a certain kind of food is disgusting.
The positive results can open a lot of possibilities. Disgust is a powerful feeling that dictates the decision of a person. People can train themselves to disgust a certain kind of food using subliminal priming tools that can be readily available, which can certainly lead to healthier food choices.
However, Nothing is For Certain
Unfortunately, there are many loopholes in this technique. The behavior towards that food may not change at all. For some, the satisfaction of eating that ice cream is still greater than the disgust of it. The technique works for one kind of food at a time. You may have become disgusted with fries, but there are so much delicious alternatives out there.
Also, subliminal priming cannot be a therapy because it defeats the purpose of it being subliminal. People will be actually prepared for it, and their behavior will not change.
Despite this, you can try to train yourself to disgust on certain kinds of food. If you’re up for it, the disgust diet may help you achieve your weight goals and live a healthier life.
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