Recalling what was eaten at a meal today, relative to yesterday, reduces subsequent food intake. We explored one cause of this effect by examining how this memory manipulation affects food specific (desire/how much you would eat) and general (hunger) motivation to eat. Participants rated hunger before random assignment to either recall their last meal (experimental) or lunch yesterday (control). They then judged specific motivation to eat a set of palatable foods (as pictures), followed by hunger ratings and a measure of dietary restraint. Specific motivation to eat was significantly lower in the experimental group, even though hunger ratings increased following exposure to food images in both groups. Dietary restraint was negatively correlated with specific motivation to eat in controls, but not in the experimental group, and these two relationships significantly differed. We suggest an explicit cognitive process akin to dietary restraint inhibits specific motivation to eat following last meal recall.