London, April 24 : If you want to lose weight, but are perturbed by those desperate hunger pangs, just think about the last meal you ate, according to a new study.
British researchers found that concentrating on a meal you have already had turns out to considerably reduce the desire to snack.
Until now, most diet experts have said the best way to keep away from snacking is to think about something else.
Going for a brisk walk is one common piece of advice, while others suggest brushing your teeth or ringing a friend to block out sugar cravings.
But, researchers at the University of Birmingham say that the opposite could actually be more help, reports the Daily Express.
For the study, Dr Suzanne Higgs asked a group of women students to eat lunch and then join a biscuit-tasting session either one hour or three hours later.
Just before the tasting, half the women were asked to recall the lunch they had eaten in vivid detail, while the other half had to think about their journey to the session.
After the tasting, the women were told they could finish up as many of the leftover biscuits as they wanted.
The results showed that women who took part in the tasting within an hour of their lunch ate few biscuits.
But those who took part three hours later had very different results. The group which was told to recall their lunch snacked on only a few biscuits at the end of the exercise. But the group asked to remember their journey cleaned up all the leftovers.
Terry Davidson, from Purdue University in Indiana who carried out this research, told New Scientist magazine: "If these memory impairments promote obesity, then treatments that improve this part of the memory function might have an anti-obesity effect."