Is it all in your name?
If you’ve been snacking more than ever during lockdown, you’re not alone. And while some people’s snack habits are nice and healthy, involving carrot sticks and almonds, some of us lean more to the junk food side and we’ve been craving it more than ever lately. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while, but if you want to steer yourself away from the less healthy options you desire, new research offers a trick that may help.
A new study from the University of Minnesota asked 244 young adults to pick between “healthy” and “unhealthy” food items on a computer screen. Some of them watched a short video about the benefits of healthy eating beforehand. Then some were told to speak in the first person, as in “What do I want?” while others were told to use third person and call themselves by their names, as in, “Jane, what do you want?”
And it turns out, the ones who used their names were more likely to ditch the junk food and choose the healthier option and more so if they’d watched the video first. Study authors suggest that the tactic of using their names may work as a self-control strategy that encourages healthier choices. It may feel weird calling yourself by your name, but it could be an easy fix to help stop snacking on the ice cream.