When you are looking at shredding those few extra pounds, you’ve probably investigated a number of strategies, including eating a balanced diet and becoming enough physical exercise. But based on research, the scents you smell every day may also make a huge difference with regards to weight loss.

A study published within the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery had over 3,000 overweight participants smell different blends of scents through inhalers during the period of 6 months whenever they felt hungry. The aim ended up being to see if doing so could curb cravings and suppress their appetites. What scientists found was that during that half-year trial, those subjects who were regularly using their inhalers lost an average of five pounds, or two percent of their bodyweight, per month – plus they maintained that amount of weight reduction within the entire study. Out of all of the different scents tested, apple and mint ones were considered the most effective.

What’s the bond between smells, appetite, and weight loss? Certain scents trigger the olfactory bulb, an organ that transmits signals from the nose towards the brain to signal fullness. Once your brain gets those messages, it releases hormones throughout the body that signal to prevent eating. Quite simply, scents suppress our appetite in this roundabout way, which in turn causes us to be less hungry and less likely to overeat. There’s other promising new research that hypothesizes that scents could also affect weight reduction by regulating fat cell function and maintaining a healthy metabolic rate, though scientists continue to be considering to ascertain if that connection is due to similar mechanisms.

And why are scents like apple and mint so effective? Researchers continue to be piecing that together, but they believe that these stronger and much more aromatic scents trigger specific neurological and hormonal reactions of satiety. Additionally, scents like banana, strawberry, raspberry, garlic, onion, and cocoa may be similarly strong and therefore effective at sending those “I’m full!” signals to your brain. This is often as easy as smelling essential oils or running them via a defuser when hungry. You could also think about using items that naturally have these scents during the day – such as utilizing a minty shampoo.