Imagine you’re a prairie woman in a town in the wild west, and since I suck at history and estimating centuries, let’s just say the time of Jesse James, so 1700s? 1800s? Whatever.
Anyway, imagine you head to town for some … flour? A rake? Twenty pounds of brown sugar? A dress with puffed sleeves?
You are walking through town when a man standing atop a wooden box on the side of the dirt road begins calling to the lady townsfolk and says things like, “Gather ’round, ladies! Gather ’round! Are you tired of being fat? Are you tired of the constant pain in your side from your corset? What if I told you that in this little box right here is a magic potion, a simple sprinkle of which onto your food will help you get as thin as the town tramps?!”
You’d be all, “Pshaw!” right? I know I would be.
So you can imagine why I’m all PSHAW and [quack!] at this:
Alan Hirsch is a doctor who has been researching the sense of smell for 25 years. He said 90 percent of what we describe as taste is actually smell.
I refuse to believe that. If I have to eat salmonloaf and I hold my nose as hard as I can, I still taste WAY more than 10% of that nastiness. But I’m not a doctor, so maybe I’m wrong.
Hirsch is the director of the Smell and Taste Institute in Chicago. Channel 4 Action News’ Michelle Wright reported he developed a new weight loss program called Sensa. People following the program sprinkle crystals called tastents on whatever they eat. The crystals are supposed to satisfy your sense of smell, which satisfies your appetite more quickly, helping you lose weight.
Sensa sounds as quacky as Alli, which if you recall is a pill that will give you the runny poops if you eat more than 14 grams of fat in one meal.
Hirsch offered Wright three other tips for using your nose to help you lose weight:
- Eat slowly and take the time to smell your food for more satisfaction
- Improve your workouts by having a bowl of strawberries or buttered popcorn nearby as the scent brings energy.
- Have fewer smells on your plate, which means less variety of food.
Let me address these one by one:
1. I understand the eating slower thing is scientifically accurate, but for me? If you put a plate of General Tsos chicken in front of me, it doesn’t matter how fast or how slow I eat it or if I sniff each bite before I put it in my mouth, I will eat it all.
2. If I put a bowl of strawberries or buttered popcorn on my fireplace mantle while I exercise, all that will happen is I will finish my workout as fast as I can so that I can eat some popcorn and strawberries.
3. Well that’s just stupid.
Honestly, the only way I can see something like this actually working is if the stuff you sprinkle on your food makes your food taste and smell like poop.
I’m going to be SO RICH. And thin.