Mind Over Fatter

According to two separate articles, a diet is only as good as you think it is. This revelation comes from two studies: one, in 2006, in which a group of housekeepers were told they got a pretty good amount of exercise, and it was healthy for them. The other group of housekeepers got told nothing. What happened? The first group lost two pounds in a month and their blood pressure dropped. The second group, bupkis.

Banksy's maid in Chalk Farm. Photo by Rachel Slack.


The second study in question, from last month, is based on more treachery: all of the subjects were given the same kind of milk shake, but some were told it had half the calories it actually did, and others were told it had twice the actual amount. The researchers then measured the levels of a hormone (called “ghrelin”) in the subjects’ blood, which are higher if you’re hungry. The people that thought they ate the half-calorie milkshake had a lot higher levels (almost unchanged from before they ate the milkshake) than the ones who thought they ate the double-calorie milkshake. Even though they had the same milkshake.

Sycamore Fig Tree


What does this mean? Well, maybe Jesus was on to something:

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Matthew 21:18-22


So pray to lose weight, and if you have faith, it won’t actually matter if God heard your prayers.


From Psychology Today and IO9, via Lifehacker


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