A Cup of Coffee – Sensory Specific Satiety

Welcome back! Last week we talked about overeating. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.

This week, we are going to talk about Sensory Specific Satiety. Wait, what? What’s that? I know, right? That’s what I said too! We have a lot of work ahead of us…so read on my friend.

First, let’s define the term.

Sensoryspecific satiety is a sensory hedonic phenomenon that refers to the 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 flavor or food.

Now, let’s learn to pronounce satiety properly:

Ok, now we have a working definition and we can pronounce what we are learning about. That’s a great start.

So how about we break it down so it’s relatable? The basic premise is this: If you only eat one type of food with a single type of flavor profile, then you will get full faster. Eating a new type of food with a different flavor profile will renew your desire to eat. This is why after eating dinner, you have room for ice cream.

Have you ever noticed that if you go to a movie theater, and only buy popcorn, you not only don’t crave candy, but you can’t finish the popcorn? This is a great example of Sensory Specific Satiety. Once you crack open the milk duds and start going back and forth between the popcorn and the candy, it’s on like Donkey Kong. You can’t stop. Before you know it, it’s all gone. All of it.

Fats + Carbs + Salt + Sugar = junk food. Lots of calories. Lots of weight gain. Salt + Fat + Satisfying crunch = food designed to addict. Don’t be fooled.

Don’t combine fats and carbs. That signals the body that “winter is coming” and it’s time to gain weight. Even combining “healthy” fats and carbs can signal this event. There is relatively little difference between a Subway Sandwich and a Big Mac. Both combine fats and carbs.

Don’t add a bunch of seasoning. Oh NO! WHY?! Because if something tastes good, then you are eating it for the wrong reasons, and if something tastes good, you will most likely overeat. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

Minimize the variety of food you eat. Eating plant-based food may seem boring, but it will fill you up faster and last longer than say, a sandwich, chips and a soda.

The last thing I found in my research, was that when you eat, you need to sit down, focus on what’s going into your mouth, and think about where you are at on the “I’m full now” scale. If you eat standing up or working at your desk, you won’t pay attention to your senses and overeating becomes much easier to do.

This video runs 30 seconds. Just 30 seconds! You can do it! Click the triangle…or arrow..or whatever that thing in the middle looks like to you.

Thanks for reading us. We really do appreciate you. Until next week, take good care of yourself and each other.

2 Comments


  1. Charles Ross DO

    I do not see or hear carbs in the video. When you mention carbs in this blog…I suspect that you mean simple carbohydrates (the more correct terminology would be highly processed carbs or carbs eaten when stripped away from their natural fiber.
    Complex carbohydrates ( those found in in their whole natural state like potatoes, rice, beans, fruit and veggies are actually healthy choices and provide us with the fiber we are deficient in and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in our microbiome.
    Without clarifying this issue..people avoid all carbs and that leaves only fat and protein to eat leading to the consumption of animal products and more clogging of the arteries; like heart disease (our number one killer in the US).
    So let’s continue to be very clear with our explanation about simple and complex carbs as we encourage people to eat more WHOLE plant foods (foods found in their natural state and not highly processed) for individual health and the health of the world.

    Good morning Dr. Ross. As always, thank you so much for your comments. Much appreciated. This blog was more focused on not combining carbs. The research showed that when you combine carbs with sugar/salt/crunch, it leads to an inability to know when one is full, thus leads to overeating. They noted that this applied to good carbs as well as bad.
    I hope that clears this up for you…

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