Minimize Flavor Variety

I'm not talking about limiting flavor. Flavor is good. But variety?
Does less variety mean more satiety? 

Because I love frozen yogurt so much, I couldn't resist reading when I stumbled upon Glamour's The Dos and Don'ts of Frozen Yogurt.  In it, Carolyn Brown (M.S., R.D.), Rachel Beller (M.S., R.D.) and other nutrition experts give great advice involving cup size, toppings, flavors, and more, but the one that most caught my attention was slide 7: Don't Mix Flavors.

"Sure, swirling your two favorite flavors sounds like a great idea,
but there's a good reason to resist. 
'We have a limit to where our taste buds start fatiguing on a certain flavor,' Blatner says.
'If you pick only one topping and flavor, you actually feel more satisfied
than if you were picking multiple things.'" 

Hm.  Interesting.  I thought about this for a while.  I've done both ends of the spectrum; I've swirled 4 flavors into my single cup at 16 Handles, and other times I've gotten one solid flavor (like plain old tart) at Red Mango or Pinkberry.  I also get single flavors when having more indulgent desserts, like frozen custard or ice cream.  Am I generally more satisfied (physically, mentally, however), when I get only one flavor? 

16 Handles

... Maybe.  I'm usually far more satisfied with my one-flavor Red Mango cup than my multicolored 16 Handles (where I'm known to look sadly into my empty cup and ask "Can I go refill?").  Does this just mean I like 16 Handles better?  Again, maybe... but maybe not.  Maybe having only one flavor (and perhaps one topping) allows me to better enjoy and savor the flavors and feel like I've had enough.  I might need to experiment.

More overboard than I usually go
But I ran a race that day.

But then I got thinking even more about satisfaction with enough of one good thing, vs. feeling unsatisfied with just a drop of everything.  This need not apply only to frozen yogurt; what about a salad?  What about a buffet table?  What about hobbies and activities? 

  • Salad: Do you make salads with a zillion different items, or limit yourself to a few?  When I do the former, I get sad when I run out of whatever my favorite item was, so why not only include my favorites, in greater quantity?  Don't get me wrong; I'm not talking about having just lettuce plus one item, but rather just not having, say, 10 different things in one salad. How about 4 or 5 as a limit?  Or maybe when you order a salad from a make-your-own menu, don't feel compelled to get four different vegetables just because you're allowed to without being charged more.  Maybe get three different vegetables, and double up on your favorite. 
  • Buffet: Endless options make us want everything, but taking a bite or two of ten different dishes might only leave us wanting those flavors that appealed most.  (And then, we're more likely to get up and have a second helping.)  A better plan might be to survey the entire buffet first, select two or three items that we want the absolute most, and stick to only those. A single appetizer, entree, and dessert might leave us more satisfied, because we get more of what we enjoyed.
  • Hobbies: Ever fall in the halfway-there trap?  Have so much on your to-do list that you tackle it all at once and then nothing gets done?  f I am forever in the middle of reading a book, writing a blog post, cleaning out my closet, and creating a scrapbook, but don't complete any of them, will I feel satisfied?  It may be more fulfilling to devote all of our energy to only one or two items, just like it might be more fulfilling to satiate our taste buds with only one or two flavors at a time.

Perhaps it's better to truly enjoy less than to go overboard on flavors without really becoming satiated. I might try this "less is more" approach and see how it works.  

What do you think?  Do more flavors inhibit our satisfaction? 

In what other ways might less variety lead to more satiety

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