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Remembering Meals Can Help Prevent Overeating, Study Reports

Update Date: Mar 19, 2013 11:22 AM EDT

Taking pictures of meals and remembering them might prevent the waistline from expanding. According to a new study, memorizing previous meals before eating a new one might help "feed" the brain and prevent it from wanting to eat more later on. The image of the previous satisfying meal that the brain produces informs the eater what he ate, which can indirectly influence him from making poor eating decisions at the current moment. The researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom studied how food awareness can prevent overeating.

The head researcher, Eric Robinson found that if people remembered their meals, they would be more likely to be more aware of what they are currently eating. This increase awareness would ideally lead to the eater paying more attention on the current meal, which would prevent overeating. Robinson believes that although more research needs to be done, this study could help people with obesity and overeating. If people can develop a habit of eating with an increased awareness of the contents on the plate, they can stop themselves from overconsumption.

"Our research found that if people recalled their last meal as being filing and satisfying then they ate less during their next meal," he said. "This could be developed as a new strategy to help with weight loss and maintenance and reduce the need for calorie controlled dieting."

The research team came to this conclusion after noticing that people who were distracted tended to eat more of their meals. The more distracted a person was, the more likely he or she would develop a habit of overeating. Some of the distractions that the researchers noted were watching television, listening to music and reading.

The research study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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