Weight loss is an elusive fantasy for many Americans. Statistics show that in 2012, there were 100 million Americans actively “dieting,” which helped to fuel the $20 billion weight loss industry.
According to the most recent data released September 2015, rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in three states (Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi), 22 states have rates above 30 percent, 45 states are above 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent. Arkansas has the highest adult obesity rate at 35.9 percent, while Colorado has the lowest at 21.3 percent.
It’s clear from this lack of progress that new approaches to combat the obesity epidemic are desperately needed.
Weight loss and 30-second distraction.
A study out of Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York illustrates one of those new approaches — all you have to do is tap your head.
Richard Weil, MEd, CDE, director of the weight-loss program at Mt. Sinai, had 55 obese patients participate in 30-second distraction tasks to see if those tasks could help ease their food cravings.
The tasks included “tapping one’s own forehead and ear with the index finger, tapping a toe on the floor, or a control task of staring at a blank wall.”
Even though the techniques seem a little rudimentary and boring at first glance, the results gave researchers hope.
All of these strategies worked to reduce the intensity of cravings, but finger tapping had the best results of all, with the largest effect sizes. It also led to the greatest reductions in food image vividness.
While researchers aren’t quite sure why these simple tasks helped to reduce the intensity of cravings, the fact that they worked, combined with other substantial studies on distraction and weight loss, should give a lot of people hope.
Cravings can’t control you if you know how to push back. If you’re having a difficult time resisting the urge to have a few cookies at night, try this scientifically-proven tapping trick! It may seem silly, but it all boils down to giving your brain something else to focus on besides the desire to eat.