Last Friday Dr. Oz presented a show dedicated to weight loss. He opened the show with the claim that science has shown how it is possible to simply think yourself skinny.
“Quite simply, most diets come down to restricting what and how much you can eat. But what if you could eat all the food you wanted, but only in your mind?”
It sounds very far fetched and certainly caught our attention!
The idea is simply that by thinking about eating your brain sends the same signals to say no more food is required as happens when food is actually eaten. The process is called “habituation”.
We covered some of these concepts in our article The 10 Root Causes of Weight Gain and How to Start Losing Weight.
Health scientists from Carnegie Mellon University carried out research to determine if the process of habituation really can affect hunger and reduce appetite. The study revealed that people who imagined eating all their food ended up wanted to physically eat less.
Dr. Oz was joined by Michelle May who wrote “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat” and also psychologist and author of “Your Brain on Food” Gary Lee Wenk.
How Can You Think Yourself Thin?
Michelle May explains how it demonstrates the power of the mind-body connection.
Gary Wenk explains habituation and how as we eat the pleasure from eating reduces until we stop eating.
Dr. Oz raised the question of hypnosis and asked if there was a similarity between the two processes at play. Gary Wenk says that the two are completely different.
The power of “thinking yourself thin” is that all of us can use this technique whenever we want to help reduce appetite. No training or consultation is required – if it free!
Dr. May also emphasis that allowing yourself to get too hungry results in overeating. This is a common problem that people suffer from when they skip meals. By following this method you actually become more in tune with your feeling of hunger and can act on them sooner. Also people rarely take part in “mindful eating” these days. People simply do not think about what they are eating.
Dr. Weng explains that the same part of the brain causes addiction to both drugs and food.
40% Reduction in Food Consumed
The Dr. Oz Show tested this theory and found that those that imagined eating a bowl of candy before being allowed to then eat as much as they wanted really did eat less. In fact they ate 40% less after visualization.
How To Do Habituation and Visualization
To start you simple imagine eating something. Then you place the food in your mouth and concentrate first on the feeling of the food. Feel the texture, the smell, the flavor and even the sound of the food.
One women interviewed on the show had been doing the technique for 7 months and has lost 14 pounds. She explained that she does it before each meal and snack. “If you can visualize it your brain can achieve it”.
Dr. Oz rounded the show up with the thought that lot of eating and dieting is emotional. Most people that become overweight or obese do so because they cannot control their eating. It is our emotions and our mind that puts our body to action. If you can control your own mind then you can overcome your desire to eat too much food.
Remember also that losing weight requires you to eat less, but good health requires you to follow a healthy diet plan.
You can currently watch the show here. It is in 3 parts (clicking the image of the show takes you to the Dr. Oz website).
“No diet. No exercise. Hear about the new science that says you can change your body by using your mind. Dr. Oz shows you how you can trick your mind…”