Want to Eat Less? Smell Your Food

choc chip shortbreadAre you trying to eat less, but those pounds just aren't coming off? Maybe you should be eating smellier food. Researchers (my favorite people to quote) are saying that when people eat food with a strong smell they tend to eat less of it. So maybe it's time to get to know some stinky cheese, indulge in asparagus, or some chopped liver. Oh what, that's not your cup of tea? (Ooh, tea smells...)

Well, no worries. Apparently this works on delicious smells, too. The study focused on vanilla custard, which if memory serves is wonderfully creamy and decadent. But that makes no sense! Why would something that smells amazing make you eat less of it?

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I mean, if you bake your own brownies or chocolate chip cookies, and you fill your home with the swoony smell of chocolate, does that mean you'll indulge in less of that treat? Because that would kind of be an incentive for me to bake more -- in a totally twisted way.

What about bacon? Sizzling bacon is one of my very favorite smells. So that makes it kind of safe, maybe (I'm deluding myself, right?). In fact, now that I think of it, anything you cook yourself is probably going to have a stronger scent while you're eating it because the cooking smells will be lingering in your kitchen. Otherwise, foods with naturally strong smells are super healthy, anyway -- I'm thinking oranges, fish, herbs.

I wonder if you could take this a step further: What if taking time to really smell your food would make you eat less of it? Or at least keep you from wolfing down too much. It's probably worth a try.

Do you notice the smell of your food much when you eat?

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Image via neil conway/Flickr

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