There's A Scientific Reason Why You Always Have Room For Dessert

Whether we've just tucked into a salad, a plate of greens or a burger and fries, most of us still have a little hankering for dessert when we get to the end of a meal.

It's the reason why we always scan the sweet menu even if we don't even feel particularly hungry. It's also why some people say they have a second stomach reserved for all things sweet. But, as it turns out, we kind of do.

(via giphy)

(via giphy)

As Time explains, there is actually a scientific reason behind this irrepressible urge for pudding – and it's not necessarily related to greed.

The phenomenon in question is called sensory-specific satiety and it basically comes down to the fact that we all need great variety in our diet.

We all know that it's important to find a balance of proteins, healthy fats, carbs and plenty of various vitamins. Knowing this, our trusty bodies are hardwired to remind us not to stick to one source of food but to look for an assortment of different flavors, colors, and textures.

But the problem is that we are no longer in the Stone Age and we don't have far to look for diversity. Faced with an overabundance of different foodstuffs, it's quite difficult to control our basic instincts which then leads to us piling on the pounds.

Sidenote: this also explains why it's pretty much impossible to eat reasonably at a buffet.

To make sure we don't overeat, Time advises retraining our brains to make "smart choices" (e.g. ordering dessert instead of a savory starter) and giving ourselves plenty of variety on the plate to begin with.

So there you have it: the next time you're reaching for the chocolate minutes after complaining you're full, you'll know it's just your brain looking out for you. Thanks, brain...

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