Understanding Satisfaction: Is “Being Full” a State of Mind?

Is Feeling Full Psychological? Understanding Satisfaction

Most of us have been there: we open some chips while binge watching our favorite show and before we know it, we’re staring at an empty bag and a bloated belly. So why does our body allow us to keep eating, when clearly, we’ve had enough? Is feeling full psychological?

Turns out, you may not be as gluttonous as you think — at least according to a new study which reveals why we our minds may be to blame for chowing down even when we feel physically full.

How is Feeling Full Psychological?

British researchers have found that despite eating exactly the same breakfast, those who believed that they ate less ended up consuming more calories throughout the day solely because their minds believed they had eaten a smaller amount.

In the study, presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology, researchers told participants they were eating either a two or four egg omelet for breakfast, when in reality, both of the omelets actually contained three eggs. Those egg-eaters that believed that their portion was smaller claimed to be significantly hungrier after a short time and ended up consuming more calories throughout the day than the participants who believed they were eating a larger omelet.

What’s more, after researchers analyzed hunger hormone levels in each participant, they found that the reasons behind the differences weren’t due to actual physical hunger – but instead had to do with the thought they hadn’t eaten enough earlier in the day. “Memory for prior consumption, as opposed to physiological factors, may be a better target for investigating why expectations for a meal have an effect on subsequent feelings of hunger and calorie intake,” explained lead researcher Steven Brown.

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