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Wednesday, 01 February 2012 11:15

Postponing a Snack can help to lose weight

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People Who Postpone a Snack Craving Have Less Desire for It; Eat Less Over Time, Study Finds 

If you want to reduce a weight and could not resist the craving of eating those fattening food items including chocolate ice-cream, chips or something else, just postpone eating of it- suggest the researchers. Researchers found  in study that people who postpone eating of desired food items, eat less over the next week. "People who postpone a snack they crave; actually desire it less and are able to delay eating it", say researcher Nicole Mead, PhD, an assistant professor at Catolica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics in Portugal.Thus Postponing can be a key to loss the weight- she suggests.

How it works?
Assistant professor  Mead says, when a craving hits, people often think they have two choices, giving in or resisting, "If you give up, you are usually feeling guilty,"  If you resist, you often feel deprived and ''you might overindulge later on." Here she propose a third option: To say to yourself, 'I can have it later.' It takes you out of that ''yes-no,'' ''should I or shouldn't I?'' conflict, explained Mead. And by the time your craving to eat particular food items may decreased.

Mead tested the postponing strategy, using different food items,

  • Candies test
  • Chips test

In a candies test she invited 99 men and women to watch film clips and put a bowl of candies in front of each participants. Participants were not aware that the researchers were actually studying and were counting the candies eaten by them.
They were divided in three groups,

  • One group was told they could eat the candies freely.
  • Another group was asked not to eat them.
  • A third group was told they could have them later.

After the film clip viewing, Mead asked the participants unrelated questions, such as whether the temperature in the room was OK, again to throw them off.
Then she told all of them it was OK to eat the candies After the film clip viewing, Mead asked the participants unrelated questions, such as whether the temperature in the room was OK, again to throw them off.

The group told not to eat the candies while watching the film ate the most, about a third of an ounce. Those told to eat freely and those asked to postpone each ate about half that amount. The postponing group ate a little less than the eat-freely group.
"We also measured chocolate consumption over one week," Mead says. The postponing group ate chocolate candy only once during the week after the experiment. The group told to eat freely ate it three times. The group told not to eat it at the film viewing ate it about four-and-a-half times.

Similar findings are  obtained in Chip test also, in this test  she gave 105 high school students in the Netherland , average age 15, each a bag of chips. They were randomly assigned to an eating strategy or told to choose their own. The postponing group ate the least amount of chips, whether they were assigned to that group or chose it, Mead found.
More over they also notice that , postponing group ate  the least amount of chips over the week that followed, too, "This one-minute manipulation lasted seven days," Mead says.

Why Postponing May Work- explanation by researchers

"When you postpone to some indefinite time in the future, the desire for the food actually decreases," Mead says. She presented her findings at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Diego.
The postponing gives the mind a cooling-off period, It may also take you out of conflict mode, torn between feeling guilty and feeling deprived. However, Mead  believes the postponement must be nonspecific. Not "I'll have that candy at 3 p.m.," but "I'll have the candy later if I want it."

Second opinion on Postponing Strategy- by expert to WebMD
The key may be postponing without telling yourself when, says Brian Wansink, PhD, John S. Dyson professor of marketing at Cornell University. He is a long-time researcher on eating behavior.
He wasn't involved in the Mead study, but he tested the postpone strategy some years ago.
He told people to postpone to a specific time, and he gave up on that research, he tells WebMD. "It worked OK for people who weren't that eager to have a food," he says. But it didn't seem to combat strong cravings.Some participants, he remembers, were then watching the clock and thinking of nothing else but the food they craved.

Mead's strategy of postponing to some undefined time in the future, he says, might work well for those who want to watch their weight and avoid certain foods. During postponement, he says, they may actually substitute a healthier food.

(This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal)

Well, I think  we should try this novel Postponing snack strategy,  nothing to lose in trying except weight!!!

related reading,
Make a snack time healthy 

online diet consultation for weight reduction
customised packages to lose weight

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Read 3572 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 12:03


  • Comment Link Jay Tuesday, 07 February 2012 10:03 posted by Jay

    I have found that to be the case with people who have food will power. Others do not do as well. I've found substituting healthy foods for unhealthy ones to be better.

  • Comment Link Andrew Thursday, 02 February 2012 12:58 posted by Andrew

    Personally, I have found it to be the opposite. If I have a craving and postpone it, it only gets worse, then I eat more

  • Comment Link Monisha Wednesday, 01 February 2012 12:28 posted by Monisha

    Wow great! Will surely keep this in mind

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