The secret to weight loss might truly be at your fingertips: Tapping your forehead with your finger for 30 seconds could cut food cravings, suggests new research presented at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting.
It’s not the only distraction trick that works—obese people in the study also tapped their ears with their fingers, tapped their feet on the floor, and stared at a blank wall—but researchers found it was most effective at reducing the participants’ hankerings.
How come? When you feel a craving, the image of the food gets locked into the visual cortex of your brain. That’s why it’s so hard to shake the desire. But when you involve your eyes in focusing on something—like participants did when they followed the movement of their fingers—you’re engaging that same part of your brain. This adds to the distraction and helps you interrupt the process involved in the craving.
Want to crush a craving in public, but feel a little weird trying the forehead technique? Just pick something to focus on that’ll keep your eyes busy—say, an interesting family picture from your wallet—and try to engage in what you’re seeing, says Weil.