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Smell can play an extremely powerful role in stimulating a craving, as we all know, but did you know that smelling certain scents can help you lose weight? A new study done by the German Research Center for Food Chemistry found that just smelling extra virgin olive oil can lead to feeling fuller. Study participants consumed fewer calories when eating yogurt that had an aromatic extract and had a better blood sugar response compared to participants who were given plain yogurt with no added extracts. These same participants also had higher increases in serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. EVOO is a potent substance that is loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids, the same fats that help blast belly fat!
There are other scents besides EVOO that can lead to feeling fuller and cutting pig-out sessions in half, garlic is one. Generally, strong aromas cause you to take smaller bites of food. If you want to lose weight, look for spicy foods with bold flavors like chilies or onions, or even red chili pepper. Green apples and bananas can suppress hunger just by taking a whiff. A study done at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation showed that when overweight people smelled bananas or green apples when they were hungry lost more weight than those who didn’t. Smells that are considered “neutral” can curb appetite, so you can also try sniffing vanilla or peppermint.
Grapefruit is a vitamin C and lycopene-loaded citrus fruit that is a favorite of dieters. It has the qualities to boost weight loss efforts if you sniff it before you dig in to eat it. Research done at Osaka University in Japan found that exposing rats to the smell of grapefruit oil for 15-minute intervals helped to lower their appetite and weight. Researchers believe that it could have something to do with how the smell interacts with liver enzymes.
Who knew that a few common smells could be a step towards weight loss? With the summer months just around the corner, these tips are great to have under your belt. Add a little sniffing to your diet and exercise routine and get to losing weight!