London, Oct 22 (UNI) Banishing thoughts of chocolate could end up making one fatter, psychologists say.
Those who try to stop thinking about chocolate eat nearly 50 per cent more than others.
Psychologist James Erskine, of the University of Hertfordshire, who led the independent research, said, ''The act of avoidance seems to completely backfire.
''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.'' In the study, called ''Resistance Can Be Futile'', published in the scientific journal Appetite, 134 undergraduates were asked to suppress or express thoughts about eating chocolate for five minutes before choosing what type of chocolate they preferred-- Galaxy Minstrels or Cadbury's Shots, the Daily Mail reported.
Instead of judging the chocolate they liked, the amount they ate was closely monitored.
The results found that the women who tried to suppress their craving ate eight chocolates on average, while those thinking about having it ate five.
However, men were less prone to this rebound effect.
The research supports other studies that show eating sensibly rather than trying to cut out fatty foods is best for maintaining a healthy weight.
''We know that if you psychologically set yourself an unrealistic goal such as 'I'll never eat chocolate again' or 'I'll never have a glass of wine', automatically that is all you will think about. It then becomes more likely that you give in to these cravings,'' Emma Hetherington, head of programme development at Weight Watchers UK said.