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Diet downfall: the power of suggestion

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Dec 08,2019 - Last updated at Dec 08,2019

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine


The power of suggestion to influence my eating decisions is stronger than I thought. But now I enjoy stripping the power away from the power of suggestion and reclaiming my healthier self! 

When I watch my favourite television shows with fit and trim detectives as characters, I don’t feel like snacking. At most, I drink my water or sip my tea. However, if I’m watching shows where the lead character is baking a fresh apple pie between solving crime cases, I start to crave comfort food! 

The power of suggestion is indeed stronger than we think and it’s not just our choices of television shows and YouTube videos, but also the commercials in between that can do us in. How many of us drool by just looking at cheese stretching across our television sets in the ads about burgers? 

Don’t get me started on the chocolate commercials!


From sight to smell


Even when I decide I’m going to be healthy and get in an hour of walking at the mall, the power of suggestion attacks my senses as soon as I smell that delicious aroma of cinnamon buns! That deadly combination of sugar, fat and carbs threatens to clog my arteries. The power of smell is even stronger than a visual suggestion. 

We all remember the smell of delicious hot bread coming out of the oven back in the day when our parents and grandparents baked it fresh-it was irresistible. The power of smell takes me back to my childhood memories in a flash and who of us wouldn’t want to regain our youth! The only problem is when I give into these temptations, I get sucked into a cycle that is hard to break! 


Awareness is already half the battle


I know not to walk into the food courts of malls if I’m hungry because I’m more likely to break down my defences and fall for their tricks if I’m starving. The same is true if I’m going to watch television on an empty stomach; I know I’ll end up reaching for junk food which is why I shouldn’t have it in stock in the first place. Impulse eating is greatly affected by what we see and smell.

The power of suggestion is only powerful if we are naïve and unaware of our true hunger signals. Let us ask ourselves if we’re truly hungry and not reaching for food because it’s been suggested to us by people or media or any source other than our bodies. 

It’s hard enough with our hormones playing tricks on our brains, messing with hunger signals; we certainly don’t need to add outside interference!

Like the flu shot, some defence is better than no defence! Making sure I’m not hungry or thirsty is my number one defence. Filling up on healthy foods and making sure my water bottle is with me is like armour this Desperate Dieter takes to the battlefield! What’s your number one defence?


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

57 users have voted.


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