Is Pinterest Making You Fat? Break Your Food Porn Addiction
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Bad news for those who like to spend time drooling over Pinterest photos of cake: Researchers have found that looking at photos of delicious-looking, high-calorie foods might make you reach for the real thing. 

Using MRI technology, researchers at the University of Southern California measured the brains of 13 obese Hispanic women who looked at pictures of unhealthy foods such as cakes and ice cream as well as healthy foods like greens and non-food images.

They found that looking at the junk food activated the region of the brain that controls appetite and reward, whereas the non-food images didn't. Viewing the photos of the food also "goosed the participants' feelings of hunger and their cravings for sweet and savory foods," Kathleen Page, M.D., assistant professor at USC and study author, said at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting where the paper was presented. 

Bummer, right? Who doesn't love looking at  glossy, high-quality photos of recipes? However, Pinterest can be a savvy weight-loss tool—you just have to use it the right way. Here are some tips to help you have your Pinterest cake and eat it too: 

1. Play food stylist with healthy recipes. Curate boards of appealing, good-for-you dishes instead of high-calorie, junky ones. You eat with your eyes as well as your stomach, so seeing photos every day of healthy recipes can help you remain motivated and engaged in a healthy lifestyle

2. Focus on the realistic. What inspires you? Is it a quote from Jillian Michaels? A cute new pair of running shoes? Choose images that are realistic and healthy, such as one of a recipe that uses apple or inspirational quotes versus photos of models and celebrities who have been airbrushed beyond recognition. 

3. Find pinnable workouts to follow. Charts, how-to videos, and infographics make for great workout inspiration. Here are some of our favorite fitness boards. Follow them, and you'll be fired up to tone up in no time!

How do you use Pinterest to maintain your healthy lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to follow us on Pinterest @shapemagazine!

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