How many of you have given up on your diets mid-way because you just couldn't control those cravings of yours? Well, there's no need to feel guilty because we've all been there. Sometimes you just can't say no to cravings. So, what if we told you there was a way to enjoy those calorie inducing foods without putting on the calories?
A new study has found that just taking a whiff of your favourite food can directly satisfy your belly. As odd as it might sound, apparently it works because your brain is unable to tell the difference between the sources of sensory pleasure. This means that it isn't aware whether you're eating the food or just smelling it.
“Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods,” said lead author Dipayan Biswas. “In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children’s and adults’ food choices than restrictive policies,” added Biswas. To figure out just how much of an effect smell could have on helping one control their diet, the lead author conducted a study to figure out the relation between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge.
He used an inconspicuous nebuliser that gave off scents of healthy versus unhealthy foods. What he found was rather interesting. When a person was exposed to the smell of cookies for about 30 seconds, he started craving for cookies. However, if the scent lingered on for about 2-3 minutes, the person no longer craved cookies and when offered a healthy alternative like strawberries, he chose to eat the strawberries. This proves that the smell was enough to make him feel satiated and he no longer craved for the unhealthy food.