“Our studies found that people who repeatedly imagined the consumption of a morsel of food — such as an M&M or cube of cheese — subsequently consumed less of that food than people who imagined consuming the food a few times or performed a different task.”
Some of the volunteers were asked to imagine eating either three or 30 chocolate M&Ms, or small cubes of cheddar cheese. Others imagined carrying out various actions such as eating a different food or moving the M&Ms or cheese cubes around rather than eating them.
After that, each participant was given a bowl filled with M&Ms or cheese cubes and asked to rate the food for a taste test.
Morewedge and his team saw a reduction of around 50% in the amount of food consumed by participants who had been told to imagine eating before being given the bowl of food,.