In a guest post for the PhitZone, I wrote about your body’s reactions to the sight of food, and how those responses may awaken your appetite, even to the point of making you think you’re “hungry” when, in fact, you’re not. Next time you encounter a ‘heavily desirable’ food item (the more appealing the better), try to pay attention to what’s happening to you physiologically. The more senses that are aroused, the more potent your response may be. Note how quickly you start salivating, see if you sense a compelling ‘urge’ to eat. Consider all those signals and how they are affecting your perceptions of hunger and appetite. Awareness of these responses is the first step to learning how to resist those “irresistible” temptations of the palate.

Try an experiment: next time you’re in a situation when you’re about to eat something that makes you drool, stop. Close your mouth (you may need two hands for that ;)), close the bag/push away the plate…and see what happens to you. It’s not easy, is it? When your whole being is poised to receive a palatable food, you may experience an intense frustration. All that saliva and nothing to chew. The stomach is ready but nothing’s coming. The more you were initially expecting to eat, the more intense your reaction may be. How much does your body protest? How about your mind?

Note all of these sensations, and come back and tell me what they were! I’d be interested in knowing if, at that point when you’re deciding whether to engage in this experiment, you actually go through with pushing that special food item aside just this once. For the sake of science. Or does the sight of that food make you forget everything else and just dig in?

Happy resisting!

Note: this experiment is more effective if you have a partner whom you entrust with the task of pulling that tempting food away from you at an unspecified time in the future. Try not to drive a fork through their hand!