When it comes to shredding those few extra pounds, you’ve probably looked into a number of strategies, including eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. But smelling certain scents on a daily basis could also make a difference when it comes to curbing appetite.
Your sense of smell is important.
What’s the connection between smells, appetite, and weight loss? Certain scents trigger the olfactory bulb, an organ that transmits signals from the nose to the brain to signal fullness. Once your brain gets those messages, it releases hormones throughout your body that signal to stop eating. In other words, scents suppress our appetite in this roundabout way, which in turn makes us less hungry and less likely to overeat.
There’s other promising new research that hypothesizes that scents may also affect weight loss by regulating fat storage and maintaining a healthy metabolic rate, though scientists are still looking into to see if that connection is due to similar mechanisms.
A study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery had over 3,000 overweight participants smell different scents through inhalers over the course of six months whenever they felt hungry. The goal was to see if doing so was able to curb cravings and suppress their appetites. Scientists found that during a half-year trial, those who were regularly using their inhalers lost an average of five pounds per month, and maintained that amount of weight loss over the entire 6 months of the study.
Certain scents are more effective in helping to curb appetite.
Out of the different scents tested, apple and mint were considered the most effective. Why was this? Researchers are still piecing that together, but they believe that stronger and more aromatic scents trigger specific neurological and hormonal reactions of satiety. . This can be as simple as smelling essential oils or running them through a diffuser when hungry. You could also think about using products that naturally have these scents throughout the day — like using a minty-smelling shampoo in your morning shower.
While scents alone won’t necessarily help you lose weight or sustain any weight loss for the long term, it’s good to know that just a little sniff could help curb your appetite.