No-Calorie Seasonings Help Lose Weight
'Sprinkle Diet' Study Suggests New Ways to Let Dieters to Feel Full More Quickly
The Sprinkle Diet: Men vs. Women
At the end of the six months, the flavorings group lost an average of 15% of
their initial body weight.
Of those in the flavorings group, "men lost it more quickly and women
initially lost it slower," he says. "Postmenopausal women tended to
lose as the men did."
''The more they liked the taste [of the seasoning or sweetener selected] the
more they used it and the more weight they lost," Hirsch says.
"We don't know what happens beyond the six months," he says.
"Some [participants] have used them for over a year and sustain or continue
their weight loss, but that is anecdotal."
Also unknown, he says, is if the flavorings will work as well in those who
are overweight but not obese.
While those in the study lost an average of nearly 15% of their body weight,
the loss might be less in those who have less to lose, he says.
The sprinkle diet may not work for those who have lost their sense of smell,
The Sprinkle Diet: Enjoying Food
Those in the study who used the flavorings may simply have enjoyed their
food more, says Connie Diekman, RD, director of university nutrition for Washington University in St. Louis, who
reviewed the study for WebMD.
"We typically have said that enjoyment is a key component to know when
to stop eating," says Diekman, former president of the American Dietetic
Association. The flavoring may simply have made the foods more enjoyable.
"When you eat foods that trigger those senses [taste and smell] the brain
begins to think in terms of 'I'm good,' 'I'm happy,' 'Stop eating.'"
"The magic may not be in the flavorings but in the enjoyment of the
food," she says.
However, she cautions, there is another camp of weight loss research that
has found the more diversity of food and flavor available, the more people tend
to eat. So having many flavors available may prove tempting.
Hirsch says he has launched a line of calorie-free flavorings based on his
study results. Already on the market are calorie-free sweeteners and low or
Or, he says, you can focus on increasing the sensory characteristics of food
-- smell and taste -- by simple measures yourself, such as sniffing your food
before you eat it.