Hunger and Psychology

Eating eggThe mind is a powerful thing, we know that by now. Countless studies have shown that both our actions and our feelings are greatly influenced by what happens in our brains and by the activity of hormones.

The importance of psychology with respect to weight loss (or weight gain) has been once again proven by a study demonstrating how we can trick the mind into thinking we are satiated.

As such, it appears that humans feel they are full and that their hunger was satisfied if they believe they ate a large portion of food, even if they didn’t. The study conducted by the University of Bristol focused on a group of people who was led to believe they were eating larger portions of food than they were actually ingesting. When asked if they felt full, they agreed they were.

At the same time, the same researchers showed that the effect of a certain food will be the same when we eat it again, at a subsequent moment. Their conclusions were that the nutritional properties and size of a certain food course are not always the only factors influencing hunger and satiety – previous encounters we had with that food course are just as important.

It seems that if at some point a certain food made us feel full, subsequently eating the same food after some time will probably have the same effect, even if the portion size is smaller. Consequently, the respective scientists recommend mentioning “satisfying” or “hunger relieving” on the labels of such foods.

On the other hand, another study claims that labels on food products reading “healthy” has negative effects on how satiated we feel. Dr. Ayelet Fishbach and Stacey Finkelstein from the University of Chicago conducted this study. Their findings showed that people who were given foods pre-denoted as “healthy” said they still felt hungry after having eaten them.

At the same time, people who were given exactly the same food, but which was described as “delicious”, “tasty” or similar terms said they felt completely full after ingesting it.

So, once again, what we need to do is either train or trick our minds. Exercise, watch what your eating, but also be aware that your brain may be playing tricks on you!

RSS Trackback URL 28. February 2011 (09:12)
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1 Comment»

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