The topic of the Dr. Oz show today was “Think Yourself Skinny.” Do you believe it is possible to somehow use your mind to trick your body into thinking that it is full and lose weight as a result? Dr. Oz discussed the process of thinking yourself skinny with guests Dr. Michelle May and Dr. Gary Wenk.
According to Dr. Oz, diets usually place limits on the amount and type of foods a person is permitted to eat, but the process of thinking yourself skinny does not have such restrictions. Instead, it focuses on thinking about all the foods you want to eat, and eating them in your mind. Somehow this thinking process will help your body feel as if it has eaten the foods. The process used for thinking yourself skinny is known as Habituation. According to Dr. Wenk, author of Your Brain on Food, Habituation is a decreased physiological and behavioral response to repeated stimulus. Dr. May further explained to Dr. Oz and the audience that this is evidence of the mind-body connection.
Dr. Oz asked Dr. May, the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat , to elaborate on how to think yourself skinny. Dr. May said that people are busy doing other things while they are eating, but it is important to practice mindful eating; this means eating without distractions, such as driving or talking on the telephone. Mindful eating means focusing on the task of eating, paying attention to the food, and enjoying it with all the senses. Dr. May said that when we eat without thinking, without being mindful, the brain does not properly register the food that we are eating. We also have the problem of letting ourselves get too hungry before eating. These behaviors lead us to overeat.
Dr. Oz presented a “Think Yourself Skinny” experiment that he conducted. Using hidden cameras in a conference room, Dr. Oz tested 2 groups of people. One group was given a bowl of candy and told to imagine eating all of it, and then to actually eat as much as they wanted. The next group was told to imagine drinking a glass of water, and then instructed to eat as much candy as they wanted. According to Dr. Oz, the group that imagined eating the candy actually ate 40% less candy than the group that imagined drinking the water. Dr. Oz’s results indicated that if we visualize eating our food and awaken our senses first, we will actually eat less of the real thing. Dr. Oz reminded us that we can use the power of our minds to help us lose weight among other things that we wish to accomplish.
The next time you think about starting a diet consider using your mind to control your body. Everyday before eating, simply imagine eating all the delicious food you love, then go for it. You will probably end up eating less, learning first hand that you have the power to think yourself skinny.