Occasionally I am asked to test out a product so crazy weird that I simply can’t resist saying yes. Some bloggers get to try out cool stuff like hawt Danskin clothes (aside to Danskin: pick me, pick me!!) or powdered peanut butter. Me? I get pinhole glasses. The concept was bona fide nutsville – something about curing my terrible myopia by wearing sunglasses where you can only see out of little holes – and yet how awesome would I look in these bad boys?
And so it was with this fresh in my mind that I agreed to try out Sensa. At first blush it sounded as insane as the glasses and I had a brief rush of panic when the package actually arrived. After all, this was a 6-month comittment. But then I started reading their promo materials and became genuinely intrigued. At the very least it fell under the “can’t hurt to try it” category.
What Is It?
Sensa is marketed as a weight loss product. Except there is no diet and no exercise. It’s not even a pill. Usually that screams quackery. But the gist is this: our taste is influed greatly by our smell. Surely you all remember that “taste test” you did in 6th grade where you had to close your eyes, plug your nose and open your mouth to see if you could tell the difference between an apple and a pear? Okay so you were probably distracted wondering if your lab partner would follow the directions or put pencil shavings on your tongue but the point of that middle school mayhem was that you can’t really tell. Our sense of smell is our sense of taste.
Research has shown that our sense of smell helps our body determine satiation. And so the doctor behind Sensa came up with a way to influence, or rather enhance, our sense of smell by sprinkling what he calls “tastants” on your food. The idea being that enhanced taste and smell will bring on satiation quicker without feeling deprived or hungry.
Does it Work?
The Sensa people claim their product is based on 25 years of independent research. They even ran their own study on (the weirdly precise number) 1,436 men and women. The results, if they are true, are rather astonishing:
– The average weight loss of people using Sensa after 6 months was 30.5 pounds
– A control group of 100 people using a placebo lost 2 pounds
You are supposed to sprinkle the “tastants” (they look like salt) on everything you eat. Since the tastants are calorie-free, sugar-free, salt-free, msg-free and everything else-free, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. Immediately I discovered one reason why it might be a useful weight loss tool: just the act of having to sprinkle it on every bite of PB&J, sneaked-from-my-cupboard chocolate and lick of pancake syrup really made me aware of what I was eating. But seeing as the placebo group didn’t experience significant weight loss, there has to be more to it than just that.
They say the tastants are virtually tasteless. You can taste them if you lick them right out of your hand but you aren’t supposed to be able to taste them on your food. I, however, can. There are two types: sweet and salty. For some reason I can taste the sweet tastants – and they are not unpleasant – but not the salty. I wonder what that says about me. Anyhow, aside from the fact I feel like kind of a nut hauling around my little box of sprinkles wherever I go, it really is quite easy to use.
So far, after using them for one week, no weight loss yet but in a stroke of marketing genius (or pure evil, I can’t decide) the company explains that while men often see steady weight loss right from the get-go, women often see nothing until month 3 and then lose rapidly after that point. So I’m on the hook at least through month 3. I’ll let you know what happens.
If you are interested in trying it out yourself, the Sensa people have offered my readers a 15% discount. Just go to www.trysensa.com and type in ROCKETXL as the coupon code. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not being paid to review this product nor do I recieve kickbacks from any sales generated. I get the product for free to try out and that is the sum total of my involvement.
Any of you heard of this? Tried it? Think I’m brainwashed? Think it’s a bad idea for a girl with as many food issues as I have to try a weight-loss product? Tell me how you really feel!