LIFESTYLE

Weight Loss Computer Game Could Help You Lose 1.5lb In Two Weeks - Try It For Yourself Here

08/07/2015 10:55 BST | Updated 08/07/2015 14:59 BST

It may be time to ditch diets such as Paleo, Atkins and Mediterranean because according to researchers, playing a simple computer game could help you lose weight.

Scientists from the University of Exeter and Cardiff University have designed a game that could help you lose around 0.7kg (1.5lb) in two weeks.

In trials, volunteers who tried the game consumed around 220 fewer calories a day than they would have otherwise.

The game is designed to train people to resist unhealthy snack foods. It requires the player to repeatedly avoid clicking on images of unhealthy food (e.g. biscuits), whilst responding to other images of healthy food (e.g. fruit).

The researchers believe this trains people to associate calorie-dense foods with ‘stopping’.

You can complete the test for yourself below, or on the study's website here.

A group of 41 adults aged 23-65 with BMIs ranging from 21 to 46 (healthy to obese) tested the game in the trial.

On average, they lost 1.5lb (0.7kg) over two weeks and continued to lose weight for six months after the trials ended.

Results were compared to a second group of 42 adults who completed the same “stop versus go” training, but involving pictures of non-food objects such as pens.

Lead researcher Dr Natalia Lawrence of the University of Exeter said in a statement: “These findings are among the first to suggest that a brief, simple computerised tool can change people’s everyday eating behaviour.

"It is exciting to see the effects of our lab studies translate to the real world. This research is still in its infancy and the effects are modest.

"Larger, registered trials with longer-term measures need to be conducted. However, our findings suggest that this cognitive training approach is worth pursuing: It is free, easy to do and 88% of our participants said they would be happy to keep doing it and would recommend it to a friend."

The researchers have noted that the game may not work for everyone - it may only work in those who snack frequently, have trouble controlling their eating and are overweight

The study was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and published in the journal Appetite.

Playing a computer game may not be the only way to train yourself to make healthier choices when buying and eating food.

Earlier this year, research from Cornell University showed that eating an apple before going to the supermarket may help us to resist the lure of crisps and chocolate.

In the study of 120 people, shoppers bought 25% more fruit and vegetables than they would otherwise after eating an apple.

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