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Want to lose weight? Play Tetris


Dieters can reduce cravings for fatty foods and snacks by playing Tetris, claim psychologists. Scientists said just three minutes on the classic brain-teaser can reduce naturally occurring cravings long enough to stave them off. It works by distracting the user’s brain so they don’t have time to visualise snacks, alcoholic drinks or cigarettes, according to researchers at Plymouth University. During tests, researchers asked a group of volunteers to rate their cravings in terms of strength, vividness and intrusiveness. Half the participants were told to play Tetris for three minutes, but only half actually got to use the classic 1984 tile-matching game while the others half waited for it to boot up. The individuals playing Tetris experienced 24 per cent weaker cravings than those waiting unsuccessfully for the game to load. The research was conducted by PhD student Jessica Skorka-Brown, alongside Professors Jackie Andrade and Jon May, from the university’s Cognition Institute. They say their findings could provide a quick and manageable fix for people struggling to stick to diets or trying to give up smoking or alcohol. Professor Andrade said: ‘Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualising what they want and the reward it will bring. 

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