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May 25, 2012 at 1:18 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Want to Lose Weight? Eat Smelly Food

By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the FitChatter Blog Series

This week in the news: new research shows that the more intense a food’s aroma, the smaller the bites you take!

I’m all about finding tricks to help me eat healthy. Last week it was tips on how to eat healthy for cheaper than junk food; before that, it was about using photos to trick yourself into eating healthier.

This week, it’s all about your nose.

It has long been known that smell has a big impact on how we perceive taste. But new research has shown that it also has a big impact on the size of the bites you take. Specifically – it makes those bites smaller.

For the study, researchers fed participants vanilla custard while piping a cream aroma into their noses at varying intensities. The results were clear: the stronger the smell, the smaller the bite.

To take that further: the smaller the bite, the slower you’re probably eating. The slower you eat, the better you are able to recognize when you’re full – so the less likely you are to overeat.

Granted, this was a very small study. But to me, these results make sense. Think about it: it’s hard to gorge yourself on anything that’s too rich; that’s why we’re usually able to limit ourselves to a couple truffles or one piece of cheesecake. And if a great deal of what we think of as taste is actually smell, it stands to reason that foods with a stronger smell will be perceived as more rich – therefore shrinking our bites and trimming calories.

So with the knowledge that spicy foods can potentially fight heart disease and shrink your waistline, what are you waiting for? Instead of wolfing down huge servings of bland pasta, why not try small aromatic meals such as these curries:

Spicy Peas Curry

"Considering it’s short list of ingredients and ‘express’ cooking methods, it’s very tasty and flavorful. As the spice mixture or masala is cooking in oil, the whole house will smell heavenly. Here soft sweet green peas are perfectly combined with a fiery hot gravy to make a lip smacking curry.This does not take more than 15 minutes to make if you are using frozen peas so once again this is your perfect weekday solution! Serve hot with some rotis, rice or some good crusty bread and you are sure to be one happy soul." Recipe HERE!

Zucchini Chickpea Tomato Curry

"The zucchini, yams, and tomato complemented each other perfectly. And although I hadn't used all these recipe ingredients before, namely turmeric or fenugreek, it was a great crash course in using new spices to give vegan dishes life." Recipe HERE!

Thai Curry Vegetables

"The sauce, made creamy with coconut milk, and gently spicy with the curry paste, is flavorful yet soothing. The vegetables, which are simply dropped into the sauce, and gently simmered for about 12 minutes, turn out tender, not soggy. The vegetables blend slightly, but when you bite into the eggplant, or the sweet red pepper, the vegetable — and its identity — are intact. As Ms. Faulkner has conceived this popular dish, it is startlingly simple." Recipe HERE!

Spicy Vegan Potato Curry

"It was rich and creamy, and not overly saucy, which I like because it means that you don’t necessarily have to eat it with rice. This was even better the next day for lunch, as all the flavors had a chance to meld together." Recipe HERE!

What’s your favorite aromatic dish?

Have you noticed a difference in how much you eat when your meals have a strong smell?

Sources: 1 | 2 (Spicy Vegan Potato Curry) | 3 (Thai Curry Vegetables) | 4 (Zucchini Chickpea Tomato Curry) | 5 (Spicy Peas Curry)

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1 Comment

  • Yes. One or two bites of Kimchi and I'm done. Sometimes I don't need to eat any, just smell it, to not be hungry any more.

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