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Good food memories can prevent overeating


Recalling a particularly delicious meal can often invoke cravings for food.

But remembering what you ate may also help to prevent overeating, a new study suggests.

Awareness results in lower food consumption

Analyzing 24 separate studies, researchers from the University of Liverpool found that solidifying memories of recent meals can help people eat less later on. Using techniques like writing down meals, taking pictures of food consumed or keeping food wrappers around helped lead to an overall reduction in food participants ate at their next meals.

Another interesting finding was that people who recalled their last meal as being "filling and satisfying" tended to eat less the next time they sat down for a meal.

Researchers hope this information will be helpful in developing coping strategies for people who need assistance with weight loss or weight maintenance, but note that further exploration of the topic is necessary.

"Whilst techniques which remind you of what you have eaten reduce food consumption, some practical strategies to put these findings into practice need to be further developed," Dr. Eric Robinson, from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said in a press release.

He also notes that the adults who were analyzed had healthy body mass indexes, so the results might be different for people that are overweight.

Distracted? Don't eat

The study also confirmed what other research has found about distracted eating: People eat significantly more when they're doing something else while consuming a meal, like watching television or reading.

The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: University of Liverpool