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Does Sensa Really Work?

These days Sensa is on the news, TV talk shows, in big-time newspapers.

So what is Sensa?

It’s a patented blend of crystals you shake onto your food. The purpose: to lose weight.

How does Sensa work?

Here’s the idea … It works with your sense of smell. Certain smells are known to turn off your body’s “hunger switch.” Shake Sensa onto your food … and the crystals’ aroma makes your body react as if you’ve eaten more than you actually have—one hamburger instead of two, for example. Use Sensa on everything, the company claims, and you can lose up to 30 pounds in six months—all, of course, “without dieting” or "changing your lifestyle". The mechanism: tripping the satiety center of your hypothalamus gland.

But will these miracle tastants actually work for you?

Our body is a miracle of adaptability. While this is usually a good thing, in the case of Sensa, it’s not. Your body gets used to the same scent very fast. And that’s why any such quick fix will stop working for you. Mark I. Friedman, associate director of Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, pointed out that while the sight, taste or smell of food may result in the release of insulin and an increase in metabolism, “those kinds of effects are short-lived. If you constantly smelled something you would adapt to the odor, and you wouldn’t smell it anymore.”

Sensa's website points out that their weight loss claims can be backed up by a research study. There was, however, only one study, and it was done by the company founder. Their conclusion is that the smell approach "may be helpful for use in connection with a program of nutrition and exercise to facilitate weight loss reduction." Hmm, if you add a program of nutrition and exercise, I promise you will lose weight even without Sensa.

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Even if it works, is it safe?

But even assuming such a product could work for a long time successfully suppressing your appetite, eating less is only part of the issue, for you need to eat highly nutritious foods. When you reduce calories, every calorie counts. So with Sensa, you have a false sense of safety, for if you start eating less but without paying attention to what you eat, you might become deficient in some essential nutrients and serious health issues could develop.

Sensa contains several artificial scents and flavors. It also contains maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, silica and soy and milk ingredients. All are USDA-approved ingredients, “generally recognized as safe”—GRAS is the government and industry code for this—in food. A point the manufacturer makes much of: No MSG. No salt. No sugar. No calories. But all of the Sensa ingredients are processed ingredients, and several of them—milk products especially—won’t be digestible by some.

Then there’s the cost. You’ll need to pay $59 for a one-month’s supply or $289 for six month’s worth on the company’s website or TV shopping networks. So even if the product helps you lose weight – with no side effects, to keep the weight off you will have to keep paying these costs indefinitely, if you really want to avoid changing your lifestyle.

And “no side effects” is far from guaranteed. If you check out public forums and message boards about Sensa you will run across some unhappy customers. Reports of headaches, nausea, stomach pains. And plenty of claims that it just doesn’t work, even caused some to gain weight. Of course, claims for either side are hard to gauge from internet reports.

How to make the smell-mechanism work for you.

There is a legitimate idea underneath Sensa—somewhere. But why spend the money? Why use a product you might find unpalatable and that might make you feel sick? Why use a product that contains highly processed chemical ingredients?

Lose Weight the Right Way, Go Raw

Truth: There’s another whole category of products out there that can work for you better than Sensa, will save you the cost, let you avoid processed ingredients, and which are far safer, far more satisfying. They’re the products of nature. Several scents—apple, banana, mint, lavender, rose, peppermint—can indeed reduce appetite. In fact, if you smell your fresh salad or other raw food dish before eating, you’ll get the same effect, plus a boost of nutrients. No point wondering whether Sensa really works when raw foods and vegetables will give you all the calcium and silica you could want, and offer a lovely range of natural scents you’ll find stimulating and satisfying. Check out my video, "Lose Weight the Right Way Go Raw", for more info about losing weight by following the raw food diet.

Go for low calories, high nutrient content.

Why mess with suppressing your appetite for “standard”—which is to say, bad—food? Instead, let your appetite run free with fresh fruits and vegetables. You might already be on your way to a vigorously healthy all-raw diet. Or you might be vegan or vegetarian. Or you might just be a person keen on losing weight. Wherever you are, there’s nothing Sensa can do for you that you can’t gain better, cheaper, and more healthily than by upping your intake of fresh fruits and veggies. There’s no sense in Sensa, I say. Instead, go natural! If you are new to raw foods check out my first book: Your Right to Be Beautiful, where I discuss my journey in discovering the raw food diet and as a result reaching the pinnacle of health and gaining amazing anti-aging results.

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