How to Kill Off the Cravings: Your Nose Knows

I must confess. I eat a lot of fast food. I work 3 jobs, and I am not home often to fix meals. I am good at resisting French fries, and “mega sized” portions of anything, especially those loaded with carbs and sodium. That makes me unique, because in case you didn’t know, those foods are often created to be ‘hyper palliative”, irresistible to the taste buds, which tell your brain you can’t eat just one.

Now comes new evidence from the University of South Florida that your nose may be the key to resisting the lure of unhealthy, fast food. Researchers say that 2 minutes of smelling things like pizza and cookies, may actually help you resist them, and prompt you to choose healthy options like fruit.

In one experiment, scientists exposed 250 people for 30 seconds to the smell of either a cookie or strawberries, and asked them which one they would choose to eat. About 1 in 2 said they would eat the cookie. But when those same people smelled the same scents for 2 minutes, only 1 in 5 said they would eat the cookie, instead of the strawberry.

The theory is that a delicious smell can trigger a craving, but over time, can actually satisfy it, and keep you from eating it.

So next time you catch a whiff of those fries, or pizza, cinnamon rolls, donuts or fresh bread, inhale longer. You just might find the willpower to say no. (Here’s a little secret… restaurants know this too. That’s why many put their ovens right by the door, and leave the hood off.)

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