Some diets suggest inspiring yourself by putting a picture of yourself at your heaviest on the fridge. Well, here’s a good reason NOT to try it: A study at the University of Colorado had volunteers look at a photo of an overweight person – or a healthy-weight person - and answer questions. Afterwards, they were told to help themselves to a bowl of candy. The result: The people who saw the overweight image ate the most.
In a second test with a different group, volunteers participated in a cookie “taste test.” The results were the same: When the people handing out the samples were overweight, volunteers ate twice as many cookies as when a normal-weight person passed them out. Dr. Margaret Campbell was one of the lead study authors. She says that subconsciously seeing an overweight person leads us to believe that it’s okay to eat more. To counter that, she says to remember your personal health goals, and the link between unhealthy eating and gaining weight. Her research shows that keeping those things in mind will counteract the “free eating pass” we give ourselves when we see someone who’s heavy.