Sensory Specific Satiety: What is It and How Can You Use it To Your Advantage?

The most recent group online coaching meeting hosted by Dr. Tro’s Medical Weight Loss & Direct Primary care centered its discussion around Adjusting to the “New Normal” and Emerging from Quarantine – and How One Can Best Navigate and Prepare.

Dr. Tro Kalayjian, DO, and Health Coach Amy Eiges also spent a significant portion of the call discussing the issue of sensory specific satiety and strategies one can employ to avoid losing the battle against cravings.

The group meetings are held every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

The more than 50 participants on the Zoom call listened to Amy and Tro mix practical advice and tips with scientific studies that demonstrate how and why our bodies crave certain foods. They explained how we can use this knowledge (the same knowledge that food companies and restaurants constantly use against us) to allow us to stand up to or eliminate these cravings.

Sensory specific satiety is a sensory 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.

On many occasions, Tro has discussed the fact that food companies take advantage of this phenomenon as they engineer foods to stimulate their customers’ appetites. “Restaurants and food manufacturers are well aware of the science behind what drives people to eat, and they spend large amounts of money creating foods that will stimulate our appetites,” said Dr. Tro. “We have to use that same knowledge to our advantage if we want to succeed with our health and nutrition goals.”

As always, participants had the chance to ask questions (directly on the Zoom call, in advance via email, or through Zoom chat), and Amy and Dr. Tro took turns responding.

Some important takeaways included the following:

  • It’s not always about whether a food is “good” or “bad”. Sometimes the more important question to ask is whether a food is better than the food you’re replacing. For example, if you eat a keto-friendly dessert instead of a plate of brownies, that could be considered a win. The dessert may not be ‘perfect’, but it may still help you reach your goals.
  • What governs how much you eat? It’s often not a matter the amount of calories. The body is looking for a taste profile. You have to learn strategies to get past these cravings.
  • Products like flavored seltzers can be effective weight loss or weight maintenance tools, because they provide an appealing taste and can help fill you up. At other times, non-fat Greek yogurt with Swerve or a bag of celery may be the solution. Tro and Amy gave several other examples of how to navigate past cravings.
  • The medical literature shows that simply adding a condiment to a meal will drive intake. You can use this knowledge to your advantage, as you make your food choices. This doesn’t mean that you have to make your meals unappealing, but you will definitely have greater success if you understand the process.
  • Studies have shown that an effective way to encourage weight gain in an anorexia patient is to give many small meals with different flavors. This further makes the point that understanding how the body works with respect to appetite and cravings can be used to your advantage.

The following studies were shared during the meeting:

July 14 Group Coaching Meeting Topic:

The topic of the July 14 meeting is Resisting Temptation vs Replacing. Dr. Tro and health coaches Amy Eiges and Brian Wiley will lead the discussion. They also plan to talk about the following:

  • Substituting low-carb versions of foods
  • Replace what you can’t resist
  • Why this is a long term, sustainable strategy

Health Coach Brian Wiley has also written a useful blog post detailing his experiences with cheat meals and cheat days. This will also be discussed during the meeting.

Here’s how to join the Group Coaching Program:

You can sign up for the Group Coaching program now for just $10 per month. For a one-time cost of $150, first-time members will benefit from an introductory 1-on-1 session with a health coach, and receive a general plan and a scale. Upon signup, you will receive access to the weekly online teleconferences, and all the benefits of working with our experienced, knowledgeable, and certified group coaches.

About the Health Coaches:

Amy Eiges is a health coach and reformed chronic dieter who is passionate about helping others recover from the diet-binge-gain-shame cycle she struggled with for years. Since discovering a ketogenic and low-carb lifestyle, she has lost over 180 pounds and has both reversed pre-diabetes and resolved lifelong depression. “When I was just starting out, facing 200 pounds to lose seemed insurmountable, and the idea I would ever be where I am now was unfathomable. Know this: I am not extraordinary. I just finally got the right advice, put one foot in front of the other and didn’t look back. I know now that it can be done, but after battling this war for 40 years I had lost hope that it was really, truly possible. I am living proof that it is.”

Read more about Amy’s story and struggles with food addiction and chronic dieting (“I Am Not Broken”). She also recently wrote a blog entitled “Weathering the Perfect Storm“.

Amy was the featured guest of Episode 84 of the Low Carb MD podcast, and more recently starred in Episode 136 of The Adventures of Keto Woman, a podcast with Daisy Brackenhall.

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who has struggled with food addiction and battled with obesity for most of his life. Being advised with mainstream approaches as his solution, along with the standard, “eat less, move more” resulted in minimal, or no success with eventual regain. In 2009, he reached his highest weight of 265 pounds. His doctor advised and encouraged him to take medications after his blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol reached dangerous levels at the age of only 35.

His commitment to a low carb lifestyle resulted in a 100-pound weight loss, and he was able to reverse his abnormal health markers improving his heart health and avoiding type 2 diabetes. Brian has maintained his weight loss for the last 11 years. “I see people everyday on social media and in real life and they’re struggling. They’re going through the same struggles of food addiction, unhealthy eating patterns, and unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful. It is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution.”

Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer. Brian was a featured guest on Episode 29 of the Low Carb MD podcast. Recently, Brian was featured in an interview on the Diet Doctor website. The interview was a follow-up to an interview published in 2017.



Article by Chris S. Cornell

Chris S. Cornell is a writer, photographer and editor who works with organizations and businesses to help them create and curate articles, images, and videos in ways that help them educate, engage, and positively impact their audiences. Cornell is VP of Digital Marketing at Westchester, NY based WOW Production Services. At age 51, Cornell weighed 278 pounds. On a low-carb diet, he lost 85 pounds and has sustained the weight loss for the past 18 months. Now 55, Cornell lifts weights and runs. He is a cancer survivor.