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Abolishing Chocolate Cravings with Two-Stage Psychological Technique [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 15, 2017 07:56 AM EDT
Hershey's Chocolate World Grand Opening At New York-New York Hotel & Casino
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 03: Hershey's brand ambassadors hand out Hershey's Kisses chocolates. One million Kisses are distributed in Las Vegas to celebrate the opening of the new Hershey's Chocolate World retail experience at New York-New York Hotel & Casino on June 3, 2014. The 13,000-square-foot store offers interactive experiences for visitors and more than 800 Hershey's candy and chocolate offerings.on June 3, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo : Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Hershey's Chocolate World)

Researchers from at Finders University in Australia revealed two psychological approaches that can help a person successfully resist chocolate cravings. These two methods are cognitive defusion and guided imagery.

Chocolate is one of the most favored treats around the world. In the United States alone, 2.8 million pounds of chocolates are consumed yearly, equivalent to 12 pounds of sweet indulgence per person, the Medical News Today cited. When moderately taken, chocolate is good for the health. However, over-indulgence may lead to a risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes. The latest research gives tips to a person to become more self-aware and to control one's cravings for chocolates.

The Huffington Post reported that deconditioning strategies may help in reducing one's food cravings, whether on chocolate or other food products. Training one's self to resist chocolate will eventually increase dramatically in time. Delayed response method, one of the successful deconditioning strategies to decrease one's desire to overindulge, showed 7.5 percent effectiveness in reducing a person's body weight.

However, researchers on the latest experiment conducted two psychological experiments where the first one involves 94 young women while the second one includes 97 young women, who want to reduce their chocolate cravings. Both groups received cognitive defusion or mind-wandering control condition.

The method targets the initial thought towards a desirable product. The aim is to move away from such pleasurable thoughts on chocolates to be able to prevent the test subjects from giving in to such cravings.

Guided imagery was then performed during the second part of the experiment. In this method, how a person imagines the smell and taste of chocolate are being replaced by unrelated imagery such as the look of a forest or the feel of the sun on a hot day at the beach.

Results of the experiments showed that cognitive defusion led to a reduced intrusive thought and lessen the intensity of chocolate cravings in both sample groups. The guided imagery psychological approach, on the other hand, showed that reducing chocolate-related thoughts was only effective for the sample group who would want to control their chocolate cravings. As for the control group, or the 94 women who had no intentions of controlling their chocolate urges, guided imagery showed no effect.

Although the consumption of chocolates was the same between the two group of test subjects, the researchers believed that engaging self-awareness on chocolate-related thoughts helps a person fight and resist one's cravings.

 

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