Food For Thought. November 22, 2011.

Researchers at Yale University decided to see how your thoughts affect your body’s response to food.

The study, published in the online journal Health Psychology, focused on ghrelin levels in the body.

So we’re on the same page, ghrelin is also known as the “hunger” hormone. It sends a signal to your brain that makes you want to eat.

If your body’s ghrelin levels are high, you’ll tend to overeat… even if you are already feeling full.

Likewise, low ghrelin levels are associated with feelings of satiety and not needing to eat more.

One more thing – ghrelin levels typically increase before meals and decrease after eating.

The researchers recruited volunteers and divided them into two groups:

Group 1 – received a milkshake that they were told was a 620-calorie “indulgent” shake.

Group 2 – received a milkshake that they were told was a 140-calorie “sensible” shake.

In reality, both groups got the same exact shake, which came in at 380 calories.

So what happened?

After drinking the shake, both groups had their ghrelin levels measured.

The group that thought they were having the nice, fatty-shake had a dramatic and steep decline in their ghrelin levels.

The group that thought they were being healthy had a neutral ghrelin response.

“This study shows that mindset can affect feelings of physical satiety. The brain was
tricked into either feeling full or feeling unsatisfied. That feeling depended on what people believed they were consuming, rather than what they actually were consuming,” said Alia J.Crum, the study’s lead author.

“What was most interesting,” Crum added, “is that the results were somewhat counterintuitive. Consuming the shake thinking it was ‘indulgent’ was healthier than thinking it was ‘sensible.’ It led to a sharper reduction in ghrelin.”

The mere perception of what you’re eating has a direct effect on your body.

How’s that for “food for thought?”

So next time you embark on a diet, try to see if you can get yourself to change the perception of what you’re eating . . . and then see how it makes you feel.

Stay Strong and Healthy,

Peter Holmes


That Gym Guy Personal Training and Fitness

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