Do you open a bag of chips, only to find yourself clawing at the bottom minutes later? Your mistake might be stashing the bag within arm's reach: Seeing nearby foods actually triggers neurological impulses to dig in, according to a new study in PLoS One.
For the study, researchers from Utrecht University in The Netherlands performed a series of experiments in which college students stared at images of food on a computer. (Food porn, anyone?) In some of the images, the food looked close, while the rest made it look far away.
Participants had more "must eat now" thoughts when the food displayed looked like it was within their reach -- regardless of how hungry they were. What's more, the study subjects reacted more quickly to images of unwrapped foods, reinforcing the idea that when it comes to mindless munching, availability is everything.
Want to put a damper on uncontrolled snacking? Throw out your stash! Or if you can't bear to part with it (hey, we get it!) at least store the goods in a super-high cabinet or a drawer that's hard to get to -- that way it won't be staring you down and testing your willpower quite so much.
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- 12 New Year’s (re)solutions
- Resolve to eat clean
- 3 eating resolutions to keep and 3 to ditch
- Bing: Foods for weight loss
healthy eating and good nutrition
Many of the most addictive drugs aren't illegal. They're doled out by pharmacists, sold over-the-counter, or readily available at gas stations. Although these drugs are perfectly legal – and can be beneficial – they have dangerous consequences when misused. And because they are so addictive, they're often abused.
Want to know where the healthiest people in America live? The American College of Sports Medicine reveals the top 10 healthiest cities in their annual ranking.
Avoid these pitfalls to get lean faster than ever.
Drop weight, fight belly fat and build lean muscle mass.
You have our permission to chow down with reckless abandon on these low-calorie foods.
Tired of blacklisting foods from your diet? Here are seven healthy staples you should be eating every single day.
Contrary to what you may believe, you don't always have to sacrifice flavor for nutrition. Here are 10 foods that prove eating right never tasted so good.
Seven dietician-approved foods that are either higher in nutrients or lower in calories than you might think.