Published January 13, 2015
The more people try to resist eating chocolate, the more they end up eating, according to researchers, the Daily Mail reports.
The Resistance Can Be Futile study, published in the scientific journal Appetite, looked at 134 undergraduates. Each student was asked to suppress or express their chocolate cravings for five minutes before choosing cocoa treats to eat.
Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire in England found that the women who tried to suppress their craving ate eight chocolates on average, while those thinking about chocolate ate five. Of the men studied, less chocolate was eaten by those who were allowed to think and crave it before choosing.
"The act of avoidance seems to completely backfire,” said psychologist James Erskine, who led the independent research. "We found that if you try not to think about eating chocolate, it tends to lead you to eat more. In other words, thinking about chocolate is not dangerous — but trying not to think about it is."
The study, according to researchers, claims that this “behavioral rebound" could help to explain why people may be prone to yo-yo dieting and proves that cutting out certain foods doesn’t work. Instead, they suggest eating sensibly to avoid the rebound effect.