Journal article Open Access

Training inhibitory control: Recipe for resisting sweet temptations. Appetite, 56, 345-349

Houben, Katrijn; Jansen, Anita

When inhibitory control is lacking, people are more prone to indulge in high calorie food. This research examined whether training to inhibit food-related responses renders one less susceptible to temptations of high calorie food. Trait chocolate lovers were divided into three conditions: participants either consistently inhibited responding to chocolate stimuli (chocolate/no-go condition), consistently responded to chocolate stimuli (chocolate/go condition), or responded to chocolate stimuli only during half the trials (control condition). Chocolate consumption was measured following the manipulation with a taste test. Chocolate consumption did not differ between the control condition and the chocolate/go condition, and increased as a function of dietary restraint in both conditions. In the chocolate/no-go condition, however, chocolate consumption was significantly reduced, and higher levels of dietary restraint were associated with decreased chocolate intake. These findings demonstrate that repeatedly practicing inhibitory control over food-related responses can help people regain control over the consumption of high calorie food.

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