Playing This Game Can Keep Junk Food Cravings At Bay

Are you looking for a way to curb your cravings for junk food, and try to eat healthier in the new year? Clearly, you're not alone; the diet industry is huge, and more people than ever are concerned with their health and wellness -- not just their appearances -- and are trying to cut back on the bad foods and instead focus on nutrition.

It turns out that psychologists in the U.K. at the University of Exeter have shown that if you just dedicate 10 minutes a day or less to "brain training" -- i.e., playing a game that takes away the mental reward of consuming foods laden with addictive and bad-for-you sugars and fats -- then you are likely going to reduce calorie intake of those harmful foods.

In fact, the game that trains your brain to avoid indulging in these nutritionally bereft options actually could lead you to easily cut your energy intake by 200 calories a day without really even trying, scientists claim, according to the Telegraph.

Professor Natalia Lawrence based a new app called Food Trainer on neuroscience research that actually suggests that people tend to reach for sugary or fatty foods because their brain's reward system is trained to release feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins when being fed those foods. Lawrence's Food Trainer app, which launched for free, rewards players for choosing healthy options rather than unhealthy options, and therefore helps trick the brain into releasing pleasurable chemicals when presented with good-for-you foods, rather than junk.

It’s very exciting to see that our free and simple training can change eating habits and have a positive impact on some people’s lives," Dr. Lawrence said, per the Telegraph.

"In an age where unhealthy food is so abundant and easily available and obesity is a growing health crisis, we need to design innovative ways to support people to live more healthily."

If you're interested in using the app, what's great about it is that it's designed to be used for only a few minutes every day, so you could fit in your game time while getting ready for work, while commuting, or even as you're preparing to go to sleep.

What do you think? Will you try out the app?