Improve Eating Habits with Mental Imagery and Action Plan
Mental imagery… a simple, yet effective way to improve your eating habits.
It’s as easy as one, two, three.
1. Decide to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Picture yourself touching, preparing, and enjoying fruits and vegetables.
2. Create an action plan:
- choose specific foods each week;
- decide when and where you will purchase the foods and make a grocery list;
- decide when and how you will prepare them.
3. Savor it and give the process time to become habit-forming.
“Telling people to just change the way they eat doesn’t work; we’ve known that for a while,” Bärbel Knäuper of Montreal’s McGill University, Department of Psychology, said in a press release. “But research has shown that if people make a concrete plan about what they are going to do, they are better at acting on their intentions. What we’ve done that’s new is to add visualization techniques to the action plan.”
In a study published in Psychology and Health, 177 students were asked to set a goal of eating extra fruit for seven days.
All the students in the study ended up eating more fruit than they had before the study. But those who created an action plan, wrote it down, and visualized how they were going to carry out the action — when, where, and how they would buy, prepare and eat fruit — increased their fruit consumption twice as much as those who only said they would.