Scientists, ever on the hunt to find ways to keep us looking slim and trim, have done a new study and discovered a revolutionary new way for us to trick ourselves into taking smaller bites. No, it's not by simply saying to yourself, "Why don't you take a smaller bite this time, friend?"—that would be too easy, silly goose. No, instead it involves a very simple procedure where you eat all of your food through a tube and have smells piped into your nose. Seriously, guys, this new diet is going to be THE BEST.
So here's how you get yourself bikini-ready for summer: you somehow get your hands on this special tube that the scientists conducting this study used. It even has a button to squirt more food into your mouth when you want it. You might think that having to go to all that trouble to get calories into your piehole (and having to eat only things that fit through a tube) would be enough to slim you down super fast on its own. But there's a whole other level: The most amazing part of this new "diet" is that there's another tube that runs into your nose (fun and looks great when you're out on a date!) that wafts in a boosted version of the smell of the food you're eating. I know, I could hardly believe how practical it was myself.
This study, which was conducted by Dutch scientists and appears in the journal Flavour, used vanilla custard as their sample food-in-a-tube. They had ten lucky people between the ages of 26 and 50 eat from the tube while also wearing the nosepiece. Researchers could adjust the strength of the aroma being piped up into the nose, in this case the tempting scent of vanilla custard. As they modified the level of aroma being sent into the subject's nostrils—which varied between no smell, weak, and strong—the person could press on that magical button to control how much custard was being extruded into their mouth. (Think anyone got a little trigger happy and ended up with custard running down their face?)
What they found was that the stronger the aroma going into the person's nose, the smaller bite size they took. Interesting, but does eating something from a tube even technically count as taking bites? Things are so complicated in this brave, new world. Anyway, according to their findings:
This study suggests that manipulating the odor of food could result in a 5-10% decrease in intake per bite. Combining aroma control with portion control could fool the body into thinking it was full with a smaller amount of food and aid weight loss.
So very clever—your body will never figure out what you're up to, mostly because it will be too busy asking itself, "Why am I so hungry, and what is that damn smell?"
Sure, there is the problem that these findings might not hold at all when you're actually eating solid food off a fork, spoon, or spork instead of having globs of custard dribbled into your mouth. And, yes, having to somehow bottle the smell of your food and get it into your nostrils at precisely the right level does seem to fall somewhere short of being attainable in the average home kitchen. But there are ways around this.
You can just eat everything through a straw, and you can constantly adjust the distance between your face and your plate (from which you hoover everything up with your straw) to make sure you're getting as much aroma as you can. Or better yet, just start eating incredibly pungent foods that overwhelm you with their powerful odors so much so that you can only stand to eat a few small bites before you have to go lay down. Actually, now that we're really getting into it here, it's occurred to me that there's no real advantage to making your food smell aggressively good. Yes, you might "enjoy" it more, but wouldn't it be better from a weight-loss standpoint (which, let's face it is the only point of eating) to make your food smell like actual, literal shit? That way you won't want to eat bites of any size. OMG, you guys, I think we might have just happened upon the next big thing in dieting—the next South Beach, the next Skinny Bitch! We've gotta hurry up and write the book so we can skip to the being rich part. Let's call it something clever like Eat Shit and Die. Man, can't you feel in your bones how big this is going to be? Before you know it people are going to be saying stuff like, "Gotta run. I'm meeting a friend for lunch at the new shit-scented pudding served in a tube place downtown." So great. Really great.
Image via Laurin Rinder/Shutterstock.