It is no mystery that the sense of smell is a very important part of our experiences in life. A single fragrance can bring back an entire world of memories within a matter of a split second.
Scents are associated with positive feelings, unpleasant sensations, and can make us very hungry – such as when a loaf of bread is baking. That said, it has recently been discovered that just as the smell of tasty food can make us hungry, there are some scents that can help us to keep our hunger under control.
This recent study suggested that regularly smelling peppermint can help to reduce the sensation of hunger to the point that it can be quite helpful in reducing daily caloric intake. This is very good news for people who are looking for ways to boost their efforts to cut back on calories to shed those extra pounds.
The study was conducted by researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University. They instructed volunteers to begin smelling peppermint oil every day for five straight days, once every two hours. Following the study, the volunteers consistently reported that they were experiencing lower levels of hunger. Moreover, over the period of the complete week, they also recorded that they consumed an average of 3,485 calories less than normal.
There are some theories as to why the simple smell of peppermint could have this kind of effect. One is that the scent is quite a powerful one and it could be distracting enough that it could steer a person’s mind away from his or her appetite.
The findings follow closely on the heels of other studies that have been conducted which indicated that after smelling peppermint, athletes feel an increased level of energy and motivation.
The key to making this work is that peppermint oil must be smelled quite regularly, or the scent needs to be drawn in through an inhaler. The study subjects who used the inhaler method were the ones who experienced the greatest hunger reduction. Therefore, simply chewing gum or smelling a mint candy every now and again won’t likely be enough to have the kind of impact that most dieters are hoping to experience.
Still, if this study is verified and its results are replicated, it’s certain that the weight loss industry will soon be taking advantage of the fact that simply smelling peppermint – which is common and inexpensive to produce – could be added to genuinely effective products.