It sounds preposterous right? How can the sweet smell of doughnuts and the savoury and flavourful scent of pizza be the reason behind the numbers creeping up on the weighing scale? The next time someone places a plate of creamy pasta before you, run away as fast as you can before the rich flavour of the cheese hits your olfactory senses and triggers weight gain because certain studies have pointed towards olfactory senses playing an important role in influencing the brain to either store or burn fat. We already know that visual triggers as well as olfactory stimulations of food can increase the appetite and make food more appealing; however, it has been reported through research on lab mice that the sense of smell can actually influence brain to either burn or store extra calories as fat. When a group mice with super sense of smell were fed a high-fat diet, they gained weight, but when researchers blocked the sense of smell in obese mice and fed them high-fat diet, they still managed to drop their weight! New research done in this area points that food that you can’t actually smell gets burnt off instead of getting stored, while food that stimulates your senses (smell to be specific), will likely get stored as fat and add to existing weight. So, weight loss or weight gain is not actually solely dependant on maintaining a calorie deficit (though it’s the most important factor), there are a whole lot of factors (adequate sleep, stress for example) that can affect weight loss.
Additionally, the sight and smell of yummy food can actually trigger appetite and that’s why watching cooking shows and scrolling through food-related social media posts stir a sudden need to bite into something. In fact, the sense of smell is always high before a meal and reduces considerably once you are full.
Coming back to the studies done on mice, and how fat burning gets enhanced when the sense of smell is suppressed – it happens due to an increased sympathetic nerve activity, which in turn increases circulating levels of adrenaline, which in turn helps in burning more fat. This hormone specifically activates burning of stored brown fat (11 Ways to Activate Beige Fat to Lose Weight). It is believed that when the sense of smell is reduced, insulin resistance can be lowered too.
Summing up, if you can’t smell your food, you would most probably store it, but on the downside, it’s not wise to give up sensory pleasure of smell related to food just to lose weight when there are much more healthier and doable weight loss strategies that help in melting away extra layers of fat and you can find them all on the Rati Beauty app, do download the app for more details.