You may know that scenario when you are at a party, restaurant or a buffet and you find you cannot stop eating.
You even tell yourself time it’s time to stop, but keep nibbling away anyway even to the point of discomfort and spectacularly overindulge (this can even happen even when the food isn’t even that good).
Or just finished your main, you feel full and eaten a mountain of food already....but still find room for dessert. 🍧🙈
-the waiter comes over and asks if you want to see the dessert menu. "Oh I am stuffed" you say, and you are but our brains light up with the thought of that sticky toffee pudding or cheesecake (you look around the dinner table hoping someone else says yes).
To your delight someone else says they do, then you all get extras even though you are full and know you are being a bit glutinous, belly is bulging and you don't need more food.
Why overeat even when full? 🤔
It turns out when there is lots of food variety it has a strong influence on the amount of calories we consume. The more variety of food there is the more we will eat (notice even when stuffed, there is always room for dessert or a few more nibbles from the buffet!).
💥 Sensory Specific Satiety-
This is when we eat a specific food type, feel totally full up but still find room for other types of foods- savoury, sweet, fatty, salty etc. We get a declining satisfaction generated by the consumption of a certain type of food and the consequent renewal in appetite resulting from the exposure to a new flavour or food.
Just ate my main, I feel full but could still go that sticky toffee pudding and ice cream. We are no longer hungry for savoury foods but can go some sweet foods. Or the saying "always room for dessert!"
At the buffet it is so easy to pack away many calories as we get new sensory sensations with each new bite of different foods and new flavours.
🤗 Our genetically programmed brains......
There is a theory that our brains evolved when food was scarce and we are genetically programmed to eat whenever food was possible. Our brains evolved to seek out high calorie foods-
Foods high in fat, salt and sugar and this elicits pleasure centres in the brains to be stimulated, they feel highly rewarding and make us crave more.
However back when we were hunter gathers we never had all you could eat buffets and highly palatable, high calorie foods available 24/7.
The foods were not highly processed with many foods having fat and sugar combined, thus creating high calorie foods with little food volume that we have now. We would also have to expend a fair amount of energy to seek out those foods, hunting and gathering, not take the car to the shops or get them delivered to us.
💪Tips on how to help overcome the buffet effect.🤞
Jamie Miller- Personal Trainer
UK Fitness Personal Training