Mind Power

June 8th, 2011

IF YOU want to lose weight, convince yourself that everything you eat is highly calorific. It could lower your levels of a hunger hormone, potentially suppressing your appetite.

Alia Crum at Yale University and her colleagues gave 46 healthy volunteers the same 380-calorie milkshake but were told it was either a sensible, low-calorie choice or an indulgent, high-calorie one. The team also measured levels of ghrelin – a hormone released by the stomach when we are hungry – before and after participants drank the shake.

Ghrelin levels have been shown to spike half an hour before mealtimes and return to normal after eating.

Volunteers who thought they had indulged showed significantly greater drops in ghrelin levels than those who thought they had consumed less. The authors suggest that merely thinking that one has eaten something unhealthy can quell hunger pangs and perhaps help curb overeating

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