By Team Best Life
Cake. Cookies. Candy. French fries. What’s your Achilles heel when it comes to foods that taste good, but aren’t very good for you? Is it difficult to resist the temptation? Do you find that you always overdo it when you’re around these foods? Where’s that willpower when you need it? We’ve got the fix! It’s a new technique known as “episodic future thinking.”
Here’s how it works: Imagine events that you’re looking forward to that are happening at different points in the future: tomorrow and two days, a week, two weeks, six months, and two years from now. Describe the events that you’re picturing in detail—what you are wearing; what you see, hear, and do; and how you feel. Commit this to memory. You can call to mind these images whenever you’re faced with your trigger food(s) or even make a recording of yourself describing these events and play the tape back before you head out to a party.
My battle with self control when it comes to food has been an arduous one, the main problem being I love sugar so much it hurts. One week, I feel I could say ‘no’ to someone waving three of my favorite flavor ice cream cones in my face. And the next, if I saw a shiny piece of candy on the ground I might just pick it up and eat it right there on the spot.
In other words, my self control seems to come in waves. While it’s here, I feel empowered. But when it’s outside of my grasp, I’m left feeling powerless.
But there may be reason behind my inability to pass up my favorite indulgences. According to a new study, we have a limited supply of self control and when it dries up, we’re practically defenseless in the face of temptation.
Researchers asked 16 people to perform a self-control test while being monitored by an fMRI scanner, and found that participants exuded much more self control during the first session than the second. (more…)