According to the latest study by Australian scientists, imagining your favourite foods can increase cravings and make it difficult to work on other tasks.
Researchers, Eva Kemps and Marika Tiggemann, from Flinders University in Australia, reanalyzed the latest research on food cravings, and ways they can be managed in Current Directions in Pscyhological Science, the Association for Psychological Science journal.
Many research works have suggested mental imagery may contribute to food cravings as when people experience food cravings, they picture vivid images of the food.
A study results revealed the strength of cravings was associated with how vividly the subjects imagined the food.
Food imagination uses cognitive resources, a function of the brain and thus makes concentration on other tasks impossible.
The results of one experiment showed, participants who were craving for chocolates recalled fewer words and took longer time to solve math questions compared with participants who were not craving for chocolates.
Food cravings that triggered vivid imaginations mentally, use brain power and this may explain the reasons why they can be problematic.
While the study authors agree that it is common for people to crave food, in certain individuals, however, the food cravings carry serious health implications.
Recent study results reveal that food cravings can possibly be reduced by using cognitive approaches.
Reduced food cravings have been observed in subjects who imagined common sights or smells, according to the results of an experiment.