When a killer craving starts to kick in, it can take every last bit of willpower you have to resist caving in, and sometimes even that isn’t enough to fight the temptation. However, a new study has proven that there may be a much simpler way to fight the occasional (or frequent!) craving, and all it takes is a quick snap — or rather tap — of the fingers.


The study, which was led by Richard Weil of the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, sought to compare the effects of several different 30-second intervention tactics on reducing cravings. These tactics included tapping the forehead, tapping the toe on the floor, and staring at a blank wall.


The new study found that tapping your forehead could be especially effective in reducing cravings, most likely because it engages multiple parts of the brain and provides more distraction (completewellbeing.com)

Tapping your forehead can be especially effective in reducing cravings, most likely because it engages multiple parts of the brain and provides a high level of distraction (completewellbeing.com)

In order to test each trick, the researchers studied a group of obese patients, asking these participants to imagine eating, smelling, and tasting different foods. Through stimulating the senses through imagination, this exercise was used as a method of triggering cravings.


The researchers then prompted each of the participants to perform one of the aforementioned tricks while imagining the different tastes and smells of some of their favorite and most tempting foods. Additionally, they requested that each participant in the study rate the intensity of the cravings on a scale of 0 to 100, which would signify low and high craving levels, respectively. By comparing participants’ responses before and after each intervention, it would be possible to find shifts in craving intensity and thus understand the impact of each intervention.


While each of the tricks proved effective in reducing cravings in the study’s participants, it turned out that the most successful was tapping the forehead. According to Weil, this could be because of the fact that the movement was the most dynamic of the tested tricks, meaning that it engaged more regions of the brain and thus provided the highest level of distraction.


So next time you feel a craving creeping up, tap the thought of giving in right out of your mind — literally.


What are some of the tricks you use to resist your biggest cravings? Share them with us below or tweet me @tamarahoumi