Struggling to stick to a diet? Stocking up on fruit and veg helps because it improves self-control

Courtesy of Daily Mail  By Rachel Reilly30 July 2013

From News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Stocking up on fruit and veg helps – even if you DON’T eat it – because it improves self-control

  • Researchers at University of Leeds found that those who ate a salad instead of garlic bread as a starter went on to eat smaller main meal
  • Smelling an orange reduced chocolate consumption by over half
  • Experts say that findings suggest that salads and fruit may remind dieters of their long term goals to lose weight and improve self-control

Struggling to stick to your diet? Then make sure you stock up on fruit and veg – even if you don’t eat it.

Scientists have discovered that the sight and smell of healthy food can help dieters stick to their weight-loss goals.

In one test people reduced their chocolate consumption by more than half if they smelt a fresh orange first.

And diners who started with a salad instead of garlic bread went on to eat a smaller main course – because the sight of the lettuce reminded them about their diet.

The study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour, suggests healthy foods that are associated with diets can help improve self-control.

Researcher Nicola Buckland said that when tempted by food, dieters should ‘take a few moments to focus on the sensory properties of healthy food, such as the sight and smell of fruit or salad vegetables’.

She added: ‘Healthy food cues can provide an instant reminder to dieters. Or order a salad as a starter to help reduce intake.’

Miss Buckland also recommended filling our fruit bowls and keeping the fridge well-stocked if we want a bit of extra help sticking to our diet plans.

Even when away from home, dieters can prompt resistance to temptation with a piece of fruit or baby carrots. Or when eating out ‘order a salad as a starter to help reduce intake’, said Miss Buckland.

The study also found the effects of healthy food to improve dieters’ self-control may be most beneficial when hungry.

When participants were given a standard lunch and then offered a snack two hours later, prior exposure to fruit had no effect on intake.

It suggests that diet cues may be most useful when an individual is hungry and tempted to overindulge on unhealthy food.

Scientists say that being exposed to fruit and vegetables helps remind a dieter of their goals–DONT-eat–improves-self-control.html#ixzz2bfEi2kV0
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