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Smells Can Make You Eat Less

The smell of good food coming from the kitchen always makes us hungry, but scientists now say these smells can actually make us eat less. Dr. Alan Hirsch, who has invented fragrance crystals to sprinkle on food, says the smell "fools your brain into thinking you've eaten more and thus you eat less. You can eat whatever you want to eat. You eat whatever you normally would eat. You'll feel full faster, you'll eat less."

Dieter Donella Banks says, "I was actually shocked because I've been trying to lose weight?ever since I was in high school?so when I started losing weight, I couldn't believe it. Sometimes you don't even get to finish the entire meal. It's not by choice, you know. Once you sprinkle and then you start eating, then you're full."

It's known that people who lose their sense of smell also lose much of their sense of taste. Hirsch says this is because the olfactory nerve in the nose is directly linked to the part of the brain that tells us we're full. He says, "By smelling the smells, their brain perceives: 'I've smelled it, therefore I've eaten it, therefore I better stop eating it. I've overeaten.'"

He wants to market 12 different crystals, which either smell sweet?to put on sweet or neutral foods?or salty, to put on everything else. The sweet crystals are cocoa, spearmint, banana, strawberry, raspberry and malt. The salty crystals are taco, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, ranch dressing flavor, horseradish and onion. The crystals are not yet for sale, but you can get the same effect at home by putting garlic, onion and spices on your food.

Hirsch says that after six months of using the crystals, 108 overweight patients lost an average of 34 pounds. "It's possible that it had nothing to do with the sprinkles," he says. "Maybe the sprinkling reminded them not to eat. Maybe instead of making the food taste better, it made the food all taste the same, so they lost interest in the food."

If you've lost hundreds of pounds, like singer Carnie Wilson, it changes you spiritually as well as physically. Learn all about it on this week's Mysterious Powers!

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