Remember that delicious meal you had for lunch? Good, because apparently this memory can help stave off hunger for the rest of the day!
A study conducted at the University of Bristol found that subjects who were shown a picture of a large bowl of soup (compared with subjects who were shown a smaller portion size) before physically consuming soup reported reduced hunger 2-3 hours post meal time. This was found to be true irrespective of how much soup the subjects had actually consumed at lunch after the images were viewed.
The findings suggest a strong link between cognition and the control of hunger and appetite. This is supported by other research too! A previous study conducted in 2010 and published in Science found that those who imagine eating their meal before physically eating it tend to eat less and make better nutritional choices for their meal.
Personally, thinking about food (and writing about it for that matter) just makes me hungry!
Brunstorm JM, Burn JF, Sell NR, Collingwood JM, Rogers PJ, Wilkinson LL, Hinton EC, Maynard OM, Ferriday D, Episodic Memory and Appetite Regulation in Humans, PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(12).