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Mind Over Matter

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Calorie perception shown to affect intake at later meals

Has your mind been playing tricks on you?  Well, when it comes to hunger cues and food portions, it may be!  Research presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in September suggests that how filling you think a meal will be can affect how much you eat later in the day. 

Researchers fed 26 participants breakfast on 2 occasions.  Each time they were told that they were eating either a two or four egg omelet, but in reality, every omelet was made with three eggs.  Feelings of fullness, lunch consumption, total daily calories and a hunger hormone called ghrelin were measured afterwards. 

Participants reported to be significantly hungrier and consumed more calories at lunch (and throughout the day) when they thought they had a two egg omelet for breakfast.  Ghrelin levels behaved the same after each breakfast, suggesting that physical response to food was trumped by perceived memory for prior consumption.  Meaning, that our expectations of how full we should feel after consuming a meal, are an important factor in food choices we make throughout the rest of the day. 

The good news is that fruits and vegetables are always a good option to help you fill up without filling out.  Try our Turkey Vegetable Soup with Red Pesto to help make those turkey leftovers disappear!

Published November 1, 2017 

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