The human memory is truly amazing. It helps us learn and interact with others as well as bring out feelings associated with an event we've experienced whether yesterday or years ago. Also, according to a recent study, it can even help us feel fuller! The memory of a large meal can stave off hunger pangs hours after the actual meal itself, reports.

Jeffrey Brunstorm and colleagues from the University of Bristol conducted a study that showed volunteers images of either a small or a large portion of soup just before lunch and then manipulated the actual amount of soup consumed by means of a hidden pump. This pump could either refill or empty the bowls without the participants noticing.

After the meal, their level of hunger was recorded, and it appeared that the participants’ hunger levels were proportional to the meal they had consumed. However, two to three hours after lunch, volunteers who were shown images of a large portion of soup said that they were less hungry than the people who were shown the small soup portions. 24 hours later, the volunteers who had seen the bigger portions believed that the actual portion of soup they consumed for the study satiated their hunger.

The results of this study showed how memory could affect a person’s level of hunger after a meal. Our bodies can be manipulated into believing it isn’t time to eat from memories of fullness associated with a large and satisfying meal. "This study is exciting because it exposes a role for cognition in the control of hunger--appetite isn't governed solely by the physical size and composition of the meals we consume," Brunstorm said.

So eat a full, healthy meal thrice a day, and when you feel your stomach rumbling in between, think of how much you’ve eaten prior to that. This may help remind you that you’ve eaten just enough to last you a few more hours.

(Photo by jeffreyw via Flickr Creative Commons)

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