Planning, visualising improve eating habits

February 27th, 2011 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Feb 27 (IANS) If you want to improve the way you eat, the best way to do so is to first make an action plan and then visualise yourself carrying it out, researchers say.”Telling people to just change the way they eat doesn’t work; we’ve known that for a while,” says Bärbel Knäuper of McGill’s Department of Psychology.

“What we’ve done that’s new is to add visualisation techniques to the action plan,” adds Knauper, the journal Psychology and Health reports.

Knäuper and her students asked 177 McGill’s students to set themselves the goal of consuming more fruit for seven days.

All the students ended up consuming more fruit over the course of the week than they had before, according to a McGill statement.

But those who made a concrete plan, wrote it down and also visualised when, where and how they would buy, prepare and eat fruit increased their consumption twice as much as those who simply set out to eat more fruit without visualising and planning.

These kind of visualisation techniques are borrowed from sports psychology. “Athletes do lots of work mentally, rehearsing their performances before competing and it’s often very successful,” says Knäuper.

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