Sweet relief: How people refrain from snacking on tempting foods

It’s happened to most of us – we walk past a restaurant, cafe or bakery and something catches our attention. A delicious smell wafts out the door and our taste buds start tingling. With so much cheap and easily accessible food in the western world, it’s almost unavoidable. Sometimes we don’t even need to have seen or smelt a food to experience the intense desire to eat it, we can get cravings just from a thought crossing our minds.

Research has found that while resisting temptations like these can be very hard, people often do it for reasons such as health and fitness, finances, ethics and more. But what are the actual strategies that people use to refrain from eating every tasty morsel they see? For our latest study, we asked a group how they manage to stop themselves consuming tempting foods and drinks on a daily basis.

There is a wealth of advice available on how to manage food and drink intake: from the simple – making a shopping list – to the extreme, such as cutting certain foods out of your diet completely. But our aim was to find out what people actually do to limit their consumption and if they find these strategies helpful.