How your nose can boost your dieting willpower

We are only a little over halfway into February, yet, according to average statistics, most of us have already broken or given up on our New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t beat yourself up. You are certainly not alone, and nowhere does it say you can’t try again.

Making changes to your lifestyle is just not easy, no matter how much you want to exercise more or eat better, or both, because you know those things will make a significant difference in your health and your future.

But that smell…

How many times have you planned to order a nutritious healthy salad and salmon dinner, when the waiter walks by with a big, juicy hamburger and French fries for the person at the next table… and that enticing scent causes you to throw all your best-laid plans right out the window?

Well, I’ve got good news for you.

There is now a scientifically-proven way to beat all of those food cravings that happen when you smell something yummy that’s on your do-not-eat list….

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Breathe in cravings and exhale the temptation

Just breathe in deep.

In fact, embrace it. Just go ahead and smell those sizzling fries to your heart’s content. Revel in it for a couple of minutes, even.

Because a new study published in the Journal of Marketing Research has found that just the scent of food can directly satisfy your rumbling belly.

You see, your brain doesn’t necessarily differentiate one source of sensory pleasure from another. So, while your stomach may want the taste of that burger and fries, your brain can actually be satisfied just by the smell of them.

As lead author of the study, Dipayan Biswas, Ph.D., a marketing professor at the University of South Florida College of Business says, “Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods.”

But, time counts…

What do I mean by that?

Well, the research team discovered a direct connection between how long you’re exposed to the smell of the food you want but shouldn’t eat and whether or not you’ll actually indulge.

The researchers conducted a series of tests using a nebulizer that gave off the scent of either a healthy or an unhealthy food item, such as cookies vs. strawberries or pizza vs. apples.

And, they discovered that if you smell food you crave like cookies for less than 30 seconds, you’re more likely to want it. But, if you wait and continue to smell it for longer than two minutes, the craving goes away and you’ll be more likely to choose healthy foods like strawberries instead.

They found the results were the same when it came to the pizza and apples too.

That means that if I had just waited two minutes before grabbing that slice of pizza, I could have easily stuck to my keto diet and would have most likely eaten the chicken and avocados I had planned to eat for supper before my husband walked through the door with that pizza.

So, the next time you crave something unhealthy, try taking a big whiff of it and waiting for two minutes. It’s likely that your craving will pass and it will be easier to make a better choice, stick to a good eating plan and lose weight.

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  1. Fighting the crave for fattening food? Just surround yourself in its scent — University of South Florida (USF Innovation)
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.