The Science of Smells

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been contemplating a coaching question I received during the holidays. It’s on a topic I’ve never really talked about before, which is surprising, considering how much it affects all of us. Watch to hear my thoughts.


Comments

  1. Manda

    This is a timely vlog about smells, Susan. I moved a few months ago to Burlington, Wisconsin, which calls itself the “NMF City, USA.” because of an NMF factory here. The whole city often smells strongly of one of my favorite NMF’s when the factory is making/baking its product. Simply walking out my door can expose me to this smell. It’s ironic and funny that I live in an NMF city. I’ve decided to smile and laugh to myself when I smell it, at the silly absurdity of me – a BLEer – living here. (: So far it hasn’t been too triggering, but I’m definitely being mindful and curious about how it’s affecting me.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Oh my, that’s got to be tough, Manda. But you are UNSTOPPABLE! 🙂

      Reply ·
  2. Rhonda

    This is just my personal input, I find the vlog introductions extremely annoying. The previous ones were too, but this is even worse. I cringe every time I have to listen to it. How about just a normal regular voice and introduction?

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    1. kathleen E Dalton

      Rhonda, I agree. I have to mute the vlog for the introduction. very annoying

      Reply ·
      1. Carmen

        Ronda and kathleen i agree also. I rarely listen to the whole way through. I jump ahead so i can get to the point.

        Reply ·
  3. Linda

    This explanation is great and really right on. I wonder if smell is a real primitive warning system to us? Anyway, I’ve noticed this issue for me and I try to avoid being around too much (like bakeries). I laugh remembering visiting a Hershey Chocolate Factory years ago, and the smell in the parking lot was intoxicating –my mouth watered anticipating the samples.
    Thank you Susan.

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  4. Larry Kessler

    Just an interesting note: the olfactory nerve is the only nerve that directly connects the sensory receptors in the nasal passages to the brain. All other nerves have synapses–gaps that link segments of nerves–that transmit the information from the receptors to the designated areas of the brain for processing. These synapses slow down the signal since the signal has to stop, cross the gap, then reorganize on the other side to travel along the next segment to the next gap, and so on. But the sense of smell is direct and fast without any gaps.

    Reply ·
  5. Billie Mazzei

    I was just thinking about all senses and remember many years ago being taught by Catholic nuns who used the term “custody of the senses” meaning that we can control our senses by paying attention. I don’t need to look at NMF, or go places intentionally that hook my smeller, and so on. Just noticing is so helpful to me. Thanks for the science behind this situation. I have said for years, “I just look at food or smell it and the scales go up.”

    Reply ·
  6. riad

    that was good

    Reply ·
  7. Jo

    That happened to me last weekend when I went with a group to a restaurant that has very little BLE compliant food and the smells of frying NMF were over-whelming. I noticed that my desire for what was on my neighbors plate was almost irresistible and wondered why. I had trouble with cravings for the next two days.

    Reply ·
  8. Stefi

    Great vlog! what about just thinking about XY & Z of NMF’s ? I find I can provoke things( saboteurs ) that way too. Would love to know if there’s science on that ! Thanks Susan 😌

    Reply ·
  9. Sheila

    This is my story. I just recently joined BLE and I’m in my right sized body. This morning I questioned why was I spending the money to join. This Vlog helped me to remember what happened during the holidays. I ate pumpkin pie and See’s candy, I realized that I need the support of BLE in order for me to maintain this body and to keep it healthy. I am a sugar addict. Grateful to be here. Presently working on the “get started” section. Thank you, Susan for your Vlog today.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      We’re so happy to have you here, Sheila. Have a BRIGHT day! ☀️

      Reply ·
  10. Helen

    This was such an informative vlog!! Powerful (for me) information….

    Reply ·
  11. Linda

    I found this interesting on one point how your brain will register when you are doing something that has to be done. I always thought if I have to have an operation they will have to medicate me to get me to fast the24 hours prior. When it did come and I needed an operation I was very surprised I even went grocery shopping with my husband. It was amazing that my brain allowed me to do these things without even a twinge to have a bite to eat

    Reply ·
  12. 4waystoyummy

    I think Susan is brilliant and so clear about why we respond to foods the way we do. I love science. Thank you! I hope someday you can explore the subject of texture as that is often a big game changer to whether we will like the taste of food. I’ve written a children’s vegetable cookbook because I am passionate o help young people and families eat healthier. Change is sometimes slow but it does happen and we can all improve our diet.

    Reply ·
    1. Fiona

      What a wonderful idea!

      Reply ·
  13. Barbara

    Great blog. I have a idea fir another topic.
    Why when we are sick does our appetite
    diminish? Whats going in brain with that? Why cant they bottle it
    and sell it. LOL

    Reply ·
    1. Fiona

      Hi Barbara,

      Remember the old “feed a cold, starve a fever” axiom? I find that to be very true for me. If I have any kind of temperature my appetite switches off completely. If I have a cold or am coming down with one, I want to eat significantly more than usual. I trust the wisdom of our bodies to know what functions to prioritize when we are sick. Sometimes when we are sick we are told we “have” to eat, when in actuality it may be the last thing we need to do in order to get better at that time.

      Reply ·
  14. Michelle

    Very thankful for this explanation as I passed a Culver’s 2 times today and I oddly got shivers. My body was talking to me in way that I think was calling me to stop. I am praying this “restaurant control” continues to fade as I feel less drawn to these places. I feel strong, and thankful for the information you are sharing with me…in “just the right time” discussions.

    Reply ·
  15. Lynne

    Susan,
    I love when you get ‘scientific’ on us. It’s what you do so well and really makes BLE stand so far ahead of the other lifestyle food plans. Knowing that I need to work in unison with my mind and body makes so much sense. So thank you from someone that always needs to know ‘why’ to be successful at change. So glad to have you here to walk this line…

    Reply ·
  16. Celia

    I was going to ask this question in a coaching call. For years, I have found it a source of pleasure to just smell a NMF, especially when trying to lose weight. I wouldn’t eat the food, I just wanted the enjoyment of smelling it, would then put it down, not eat it, and go about my business. I wondered if this was okay. I am in my second week of boot camp, and wondered if this would negatively impact my brain healing from food addiction. If I am understanding correctly, I need to just leave NMF alone, and move on! Thanks so much for this timely vlog!

    Reply ·
  17. Monica Dean

    This vlog really resonated with me today. I had an aha moment. Lately my saboteur has been out in force, even though I’ve been in a right size body for four years now. It help me to realize what has been happening, the smell that triggered it all, and why. I like the tool presented to help me get back on track and quiet my brain. Thank you Susan.

    Reply ·
  18. Claudia Brauer

    Oh, how true! I have been so lucky with BLE going smooth for me but in December i went on a large friends and family long train ride and i almost go crazy with the snells, i was crying in the bathroom, isolating myself in a different car and just miserable fir 16 hours! The smells of all the NMF everyone had brought to share with each other almost make me break my otherwise so strong bright lines! Thanks to the support i got from BLE facebook individuals who so generously accompanied me online and helped me overcome the urge to eat NMF, i am still s crystal vaser but i know i do not expose myself to smells. Period. I now plan for smells wherever I go, just as i write my food plan.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Oh no, Claudia! That sounds like such a trying experience. We’re glad you made it through by reaching out for support and using your tools for success. 🧡

      Reply ·
  19. RL Lamson

    I lost 6 pounds on the 14 day challenge I will try to keep eating this way to see if I can loose more. I was never hungry between meals and I got more than enough food for my meals.

    Reply ·
  20. Don B

    Another very helpful vlog. Thank you so much for improving my lifestyle!

    Reply ·
  21. Vicky

    I’m doing the 14 day challenge currently and I work in a bakery. This vlog is my life in a nutshell, smelling all the NMF day in, day out, and honestly most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but then I hit a day after a long stretch of days on shift and it all suddenly becomes very appealing. That emergency escape plan gets used often, let me tell you!

    Reply ·
  22. Sarah E

    Ooo, now that you’ve shared this, Dr. Susan, the recent struggles I’ve had getting through the holidays make sooo much sense! Recently, I’ve been wearing a beautiful essential oils diffuser necklace thatvmy niece made for me. If I’m in an area where there is NMF smells, rather than trying to ignore it, I’ll acknowledge it and purposely and consciously smell my necklace instead. Dunno if that will help, but I’m excited to try it!!

    Reply ·
  23. Catherine Johnson

    ok am now confused! I’ve been back on the program for a few weeks…huge weight loss first week (biggest ever!) and then hardly lost anything despite being pretty on point. I live with someone who is NOT doing BLE and continues to eat NMF constantly in front of me…lets just say he is constantly eating…..could the smells of HIS food be causing me not to lose weight? even when my lines are bright??? what’s the answer? move out??? (thats a joke, but what do I do?).

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Catherine! For guidance on your program and weight loss trends, we’d urge you to reach out to our support team. Visit https://support.brightlineeating.com/ and scroll to the bottom then click the big yellow button that says Click Here to Contact Our Support Team. Have a BRIGHT day! ☀️

      Reply ·
  24. Ramona Thompson

    So your side point regarding the adiposity setpoint peaked my interest in that particular issue – suddenly you quit losing even when you are on the plan. Your brain says enough, I guess. What is the solution to that? I’ve never gotten to goal weight for that reason. I’m on BLE since 10/2015.

    Reply ·
  25. Dylan

    There’s also been a lot of study on the smells that curb and even put an end to your sweet tooth cravings and that is Grapefruit & Peppermint extracts smelled every 2 hours durng the day (alternating scents each day) and whenever you have a strong sweet craving. You’re supposed to breath in the extract in each nostril 3 x’s. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard it can really work.

    Reply ·
  26. Pam

    This was a super terrific vlog! Thanks so much – I’m a lot like Dee, working with this from a (now) right-sized body but also not feeling the free part. And the smell sensors is a big deal – learned a lot here – appreciate it and you.

    Reply ·
  27. Cheryl

    Yes, Pure essential oils can help. As an aromatherapist I use oils for therapeutic issues. Every thing Susan is explaining is how we explain the use of Pure essential oils. Th e key is to use pure oils not synthetic oils that you find in the stores. They are not pure. Maybe Susan can address her thoughts on Essential Oils. We use them for flavoring foods also. Not always to replace real spices but to enhance them. Yes our nose can derail us but we are strong. Loved this blog.

    Reply ·
  28. Jenna C Reed Livingston

    This makes a lot of sense to me. Certain smells have always been gateway drugs for me—like the smell of freshly-baked pretzels at the mall. It’s like a siren song, calling me over…

    I’m glad to hear there’s science behind why that happens so I don’t have to feel so bad about this happening every.single.time. with certain foods.

    Reply ·
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