A new study by scientists at Unilever has said that a liquid lunch may be the best way to beat off the pounds..
The scientists found that bulking up the volume of food with certain gases or water can make you feel fuller than otherwise, and reduces the amount you eat afterwards.
In a study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Geneva, scientists from Unilever's research laboratories tested on 24 people a full milkshake-like meal, and a half-sized version bulked up with gas similar to that used in aerosol whipped cream.
It turned out that the gas-filled meal actually reduced appetite more than the standard one, according to the research.
"What was really surprising was that satiety (feeling full) was maintained for 1-2 hours or even longer. We know that the problem for some is that satiety is often lost after 15 minutes or so, so this was a pleasant surprise," Sergey Melnikov, who is a research and development project leader on weight management, told AFP.
He explained that for many who are attempting to lose weight, it is the maintenance of the weight-loss regime that is difficult.
"There is often a problem with satiety," he added.
Therefore, food types that can keep a person feeling full could have an effect in helping people eat less.
However, not all gases would work.
Carbon dioxide, such as in carbonated drinks, for instance, does not do the job.
"It has to be gases that can be stabilised in the food so it doesn't leave the body before it reaches the stomach," said Melnikov.
As for why such gas-filled liquid meals work or whether the same effect could be had on solid food, Melnikov said his team has yet to find answers.
"We need more evidence. But this is certainly just a beginning of the journey," he said.