Almost every day without fail, I tend to get hungry at about 11am. It’s an awkward time to get hungry because it’s too late for morning tea, but too early for lunch. So if you don’t want to give in and go and buy a very large piece of cake, what can you do?
According to a new study there is actually a very simple way to trick yourself into feeling full. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that drinking a thick beverage, regardless of calorie count, is the best way to stay fuller for longer.
Researchers asked volunteers to drink four different smoothies (one high-calorie and thick, one watery with low calories, one thick with low calories, and one watery with high calories). All drinks were of the same size.
After volunteers consumed the smoothies, the researchers scanned the volunteers’ stomachs with an MRI machine and asked a range of questions about how full the volunteers felt. In the end, the researchers found that drinking a thick smoothie, no matter how high the calorie count, helped participants to feel fuller, a phenomenon the researchers named “phantom fullness.”
“Our results show that increasing the viscosity is less effective than increasing the energy density in slowing gastric emptying. However, the viscosity is more important to increase the perceived fullness,” the researchers wrote.
In simple terms, if you are looking to fill the gap until your next meal, it’s better to opt for a thick smoothie, rather than a smoothie that has a lot of calories.