There’s always a new easy way to lose weight
and I thought I’d take a bit of a look to a product called Sensa – also called tastant crystals.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting wash board abs or a 24 inch waist line – but it takes work to get it. Its not just a status symbol – its actually really good for your chances at longevity if you have a strong body, especially around the core – or belly area. And the quest for the beautiful body never wanes. Before we can develop that wonderful sexy body though, we have to burn off the fat – or at the very least do both things concurrently.
Nutrition science is advancing quickly and it’s those advances that have led to thedevelopment of Sensa, or what some people call the sprinkle diet. Sensa is said to have the ability to curb hunger, and therefore the amount of food that a person eats – because of this it seems as weight loss occurs without you even trying.
Wondering what Sensa is?
It is is a powder supplement which contains corn extracts, and artificial flavorings which you sprinkle over your food. Apparently it is the combination of smell, and flavor which has what is called a chemosensory stimuli – a high falutin way of saying- it’s the combination smell and taste that does the trick. But in addition to this, apparently Sensa, or tastant cyrstals also leave you feeling full – as if you have had a large meal. Some claim this method is the easiest and shortest way to weight management control because all you have to do is to sprinkle a few granules of this so called ‘fairy dust’ and voila you are eating less, burning calories (aka fat) and getting thinner with each meal. It all sounds too good to be true, so let’s look at the facts and see what there is to find.
How does SENSA work?
The primary proponent of this weight management and control method is Dr. Allan Hirsch, a well renowned neurologist and an authority in his field, he believes that a well balanced mixture of aromas, and flavors in the food naturally turns on the satiety signals. Of course when satiety happens, hopefully we quit eating. If we get the satiety effect sooner, then it stands to reason that we would eat less and therefore lose weight. Of course a question to consider is that you will have to substantially cut the size of your meals to lose weight at a rate that make you happy. If you cut 100 calories a day you will lose weight, but it’ll take a while – so you really need to cut your calories by 500 per day, just to see one pound of weight loss. What this works out to in quantity of food depends in large part on what it is you are eating. So, that’s something to consider too. It might work great for you if your favorite foods include starchy fatty meals. You are supposed to sprinkle Sensa over every part of the food. Just a thought here – when do you quit eating a great tasting food simply because you’ve had enough. I’m guessing many overweight people don’t do this – that the urge to eat something delicious caves to feeling full. If portion control were not an issue there wouldn’t be the problems that we have for many of us. Just an thought……. I decided to take a look on the SENSA site and you won’t believe this, they actually say that people react differently to tastants and so you might infact eat MORE – but – you are probably going to consume less calories overall because you are having smaller meals more frequently! Well – that’s a bit of double dutch. You might eat more – but you will eat smaller meals more frequently. And here is what they say : this leads to an increase in metabolism. Well so it does…..and you could eat smaller meals more frequently without SENSA and get exactly the same result. Not only does it bood metabolism, but here’s something they don’t mention. Eating small meals frequently also keeps insulin levels steady and lower insulin levels mean less weight gain.
Sensa is a blend of artificial flavoring and colors -apparently the coloring is Carmine which is a substance that comes from dried ground bugs – ewww – dried ground beetles! The SENSA site claims the ingredients are ‘patent pending’ and include ‘coloring and flavoring’. The other ingredients are soy, milk, silica, tricalcium phosphate and maltodextrin. I’ll get to maltodextrin in a minute, but I just want to say – that I don’t know about you but this dried ground beetle thing grosses me out. I guess I don’t really want to sprinkle dried ground beetles on my food. It’s meant to be kosher and since Kosher foods prohibit bugs, then I guess its just not really kosher. Not in my book anyway – I’m guessing not in anyones book. Just FYI, I’m not jewish……but I’m with the Kosher crowd here – I just don’t want to eat bugs. And I sincerely hope that if any Jewish people are using SENSA that they investigate this claim for themselves.
I wondered if this claim might be made up – and in fact it might be just an ugly internet rumour – because the SENSA site doesn’t list Carmine in its ingredients and here is what I found. Foods that contain carmine don’t have to be listed in the ingredients. So- that for me does it right there. No Sensa on my plate. (Apart from the fact that I really doubt that it works).
The main ingredient in SENSA is maltodextrin.
There have apparently been some weak studies suggesting that it contributes to weight loss. Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide – a chain of starch molecules. Its found in starchy foods like rice, and corn. The maltodextrin in SENSA comes from corn. It is mostly there as a filler. Maltodextrin has a sweet flavor, and can be used in foods to sweeten them, yet still be claimed to be sugar free – because technically its not a sugar. It has a high glycemic index though – usually we associate high glycemic index foods as contributing to weight gain, not loss. So – go figure. We have a high glycemic food, mixed with ground beetles, and coloring, sprinkled on our small and frequent meals – it may cause us to eat more because of the effect of the tastants, but we will eat lose weight because we boost our metabolism.
Personally I think that if SENSA works for weight loss, its just the placebo effect.
On their page of FAQ, they suggest weight loss might not be occurring because you aren’t in tune with your satiety signals and are not stopping when you should. Well – to me that’s just a no brainer as to what we all should do. If not being in tune with satiety signals is your problem – then SENSA isn’t going to fix it – and they almost admit that by saying stop when you are full and learn to be consistent and recognize your signals.
The bottom lineThe right way to lose weight isn’t always the easy way. That mantra applies to a myriad of things in life, weight loss included. No diet plan out there is full proof, but in the end it’s all about investing time and effort in exercising and eating right, no magic oil, pill or in this case powder can help you shed those pounds. The tried and true: eat right and exercise and while there are some supplements that can support your weight loss efforts, in my humble opinion, SENSA isn’t one of them.