Easier to lose weight with a simple trick?
If you want to lose weight and have trouble controlling your consumption of chips or greasy foods, there is a simple trick that will make you less hungry for such unhealthy foods.
The University of South Florida scientists found in their current study that inhaling and smelling greasy foods for two minutes is enough to keep people from eating such a high-calorie meal. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Marketing Research".
Smelling food can make losing weight easier
When we smell and breathe in high-fat foods, it initially stimulates our appetite. However, researchers have now found that prolonged contact with the smell has a far-reaching effect. This could be a new way to give people a healthier diet. The effect of these initially appealing aromas is sufficient to trigger a reward in the brain, which then satisfies the consumer. The effect is almost as if we had eaten something delicious, but without consuming calories.
Fragrances can affect what we eat
The ambient smell can be an effective way to resist the cravings for delicious foods, says study author Professor Dipayan Biswas of the University of South Florida. In fact, subtle sensory stimuli, such as scents, can affect children's and adult food choices more effectively than restrictive measures, the expert adds.
This is how scientists influenced the nutrition of test subjects
By using so-called aroma diffusers in a school canteen and a supermarket, the scientists have found that smells from healthier foods (pizzas and biscuits) increase the likelihood of a healthy diet. This enables unique new ways to influence people's diets. Children could be exposed to the sweet aroma of baked cookies in a supermarket for two minutes to motivate them to buy and eat fresh fruit. In the participating school canteen in the United States, where around 900 children ate lunch, the number of unhealthy foods consumed fell to 21.43 percent due to the flavors of pizza. If, on the other hand, the smell of apples was spread, this value was 36.96 percent and reached 36.54 percent if no flavors were used at all.
A brief impression of smells had the opposite effect
The results of subsequent laboratory tests corresponded to the original findings and at the same time showed that a brief impression of smells had the opposite effect: Those who were only briefly exposed to the smell of biscuits chose an unhealthy food option about twice as often compared to subjects who did exposed to the smell for more than two minutes. It is almost as if a short smell of greasy aromas affects the brain in such a way that those affected are encouraged to try, whereas prolonged smelling has a similar effect to eating the food. For the moment, this is just a hypothesis of what is going on in the brain, but other studies have also shown that our different senses can influence each other and that taste and smell are closely related.
Do smells affect the reward center in the brain?
This could be the case because smells associated with enjoyable food satisfy the reward circuitry in the brain, which in turn reduces the urge to actually consume luxury foods, the study authors explain. If reward structures and areas that represent craving in the brain can be satisfied with olfactory inputs rather than eating unhealthy foods, the experts can add healthier nutrition. (as)