To eat or not to eat? Mental budgets help winning diet battles | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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To eat or not to eat? Mental budgets help winning diet battles

health and fitness Updated: Nov 19, 2009 11:22 IST

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Ever felt like you are losing the battle with a triple-chocolate cake, don't worry just set a "mental budget" as a new study claimed that it helps in controlling consumption.

According to researchers Parthasarathy Krishnamurthy from University of Houston and Sonja Prokopec from ESSEC Business School, France, one can rein in overeating by setting a mental budget, Journal of Consumer Research reported.

"For those who wish to cut out those desserts, our research suggests some simple tips. First, it is important to have a mental budget. At the very least, it allows you to keep track of how you are doing with respect to your goal," they said.

They added, "Second, make sure the budget works as a limit rather than a licence for the consumption behavior. To do this, it is important to have an active goal of controlling the consumption."

Krishnamurthy said, "There are some behaviors that people try to limit but have trouble doing so. Even as one aims to curtail consumption of sugars and fat, one ends up consuming the tiramisu or the triple-chocolate cake. Such discrepancies between one's goals and actual behaviors represent instances of self-control failure".

The authors conducted several studies where they encouraged some participants to set mental budgets and compared them to people who did not set budgets. They examined their consumption of sweet treats, and they discovered that they controlled over-eating.