This Science-Backed Mind-Set Trick Makes It Easier to Resist Junk Food

Updated 05/08/19

Nothing threatens a healthy eating plan like the hypnotizing temptation of foods high in fats and sugars. Even the most delicious vegetable medley can't compete with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie. If you've found that giving into said temptations has become habitual, science suggests shifting your mind-set to combat these cravings.

New research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology this month explores how individuals are better able to practice self-control when they think and speak abstractly rather than concretely. When faced with tempting junk food, don't let your mind dissect the details and tastes of the unhealthy item in question.

"Focusing on the specifics of those temptations—particularly their desirable characteristics—makes it harder to resist those temptations," explains Psychology Today. Addressing them abstractly—using larger categories to think and speak about them, like "dessert" or "snack," will keep you motivated to avoid them and achieve your long-term goals.

Now study up on seven other ways to harness your willpower.

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