Staring at pictures of pizza might not sound like the best idea when you're trying to stay motivated on a diet but new research suggests it could be just the thing to stop you caving in to temptation.
Scientists have found that looking at images of high-carb foods can make the food you're eating taste better - even if that's a plate of greens.
The researchers from the Nestlé Research Centre showed volunteers images of food either high in carbohydrates, such as pizza or pastry, or low in carbs such as watermelon then tested their taste perception using an electric pulse, which stimulated the tongue but had a neutral flavour.
Brain images were also analysed which tracked the food enjoyment of the participants.
Despite experiencing the same flavour, those who had seen the high-carb pictures enjoyed the taste more than those who saw the low-carb images.
Researcher, Dr Johannes le Coutre, said, as reported by the Daily Mail: "The results provide evidence that high calorie food cues enhance the hedonic evaluation of subsequently presented tastes.
"The study provides novel insights into cross-modal sensory interactions underlying taste and probably food evaluation and consumption."
The researchers hope the findings could have implications for the treatment of appetite disorders.
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