Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perception and Hunger Cues

I think today's tip is rather interesting. However I'm taking it with a grain of salt, mostly because I think the research is too new to trust completely.

According to the study, researchers say that focusing on the amount of calories a meal has can help you dial back your hunger levels. In particular it helps if you can convince yourself that you're eating an indulgent high calorie food.
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Convince yourself that this is a calorie-rich treat and you might be satisfied with just one!
In the study, two sets of college students were given a 350-calorie milk shake. One group was told that the shake was a hefty 650-calories, the other was told that it was a reasonable 140-calorie treat. The levels of ghrelin (the hormone responsible for making you hungry) were measured in each group. Surprisingly, the levels of ghrelin in the group who thought they were having an indulgent treat fell. The researchers currently theorize that a person's perception of caloric intake can affect the complex makeup of chemicals that control our appetites. 

What does that mean for the regular person?
The studies are too new for us to really understand whether knowing the caloric value of particular foods can truly help control our appetites. I suspect that you don't necessarily need to know the caloric value of a food for this principle to be of benefit. It might be enough to simply convince yourself that something is an indulgent and rich food, thereby making yourself feel more satisfied on less of it. 

It's definitely an interesting topic for me, I'll be watching for follow on research in the future!

Do you think that your perception of a food's satiety value affects your hunger levels? Lemme know in a comment below!