Why You Crave Thanksgiving Dessert (Even When You’re Beyond Full) – Health Digest
You’ve eaten your fill of mashed potatoes and gravy. Your belt has become undone, and you’re basking in the glory of a stomach filled with fantastic food. However, when you hear the word dessert, your interest is piqued due to sensory-specific satiety. Professor Len Epstein explained this phenomenon to Live Science: “Part of the reason why people stop eating a meal is that they’re tired of the food … But if you introduce a new flavor, smell or even texture into the mix, it’s easy to overcome that feeling of ‘Oh, I’m full.'”
A study in Original Research Communications of obese and nonobese women found that when you provide people with the same food every day, they become bored and eat less of it. Additionally, a study in Appetite found greater food variety correlates with eating more. Therefore, you can easily overcome that stuffed feeling you had just a few minutes ago to partake in a little fresh-out-of-the-oven pumpkin pie.
This phenomenon is still being researched, but theories attribute it to getting a good mix of nutrients in our diets and meals. You also get a nice hit of dopamine when you eat dessert, which helps to make them more tempting. To combat this in everyday life, Barbara Rolls, director of Penn State’s Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior, told Live Science, “Keep a good variety of healthy, low-calorie [dense], nutrient-rich foods readily available that you enjoy.” And on Thanksgiving, enjoy.