The latest diet fad to hit the Internet claims to help you lose weight by tricking the body into feeling fuller than it actually is. In a report titled "Empty calories and phantom fullness" in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of Dutch researchers found it was possible to pull off this trick by increasing the viscosity—or thickness—of a food.
The small-scale study set out to test the theory that one's satisfaction with a meal is often directly correlated to their level of fullness following it, and to determine if there was a way to mimic the feeling of being fuller without added calories. To test this, researchers gave 15 men milkshakes with two different levels of thickness.
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Results were dramatic: A thick milkshake containing just 100 calories made participants feel fuller than a thinner shake containing 500 calories. After drinking the shakes, the participants ranked their fullness level after 40 minutes; the higher-calorie shake's score was 48 out of 100, in comparison to the low-calorie shake, which had a response of 58 out of 100.