I mentioned in a recent Hormonology tip that I’m very scent-driven.
I love to sniff everything–and have been known to even sidle up to certain people just to breathe in their aroma. (Seriously, one particular landscaper I’d hired once smelled so strongly of sweet vanilla, I would follow him around the yard like a lost puppy just to get a whiff–which, surprisingly, research shows is more about my genes than his actual aroma, but it still was delicious nonetheless.)
Anyway, if like me, you have a serious scent fetish, you may like to know that your sense of smell peaks during Week 2 of your cycle as you approach ovulation thanks to high estrogen, according to various studies (such as this one, this one and this one).
As a result, you’re able to detect more aromas as well as more subtleties in scents than during other weeks of your cycle.
However, there’s an interesting exception to this rule that occurs during your Week 3:
During this phase–which starts right after ovulation in the middle of your cycle–your nose becomes more sensitive to the scent of fatty food, reports a 2013 study in the journal Physiology & Behavior.
As a result, you’re more likely to crave–and indulge in–foods with a higher fat concentration. Think doughnuts, French fries, potato chips and avocados.
It may be that a rise in progesterone is triggering this change as a way to get you to consume more calories in case you got pregnant during ovulation and are now eating for two, researchers speculate.
So, what’s the takeaway here?
If you’re trying to limit your doughnut consumption or curb your guacamole habit, you may want to steer clear of bakeries, Tex-Mex restaurants and anywhere else the scent of fatty foods wafts in the air.
However, if you’re perfectly happy downing doughnuts, guac, fries and other deliciously fatty favorites, you’ll enjoy them even more during this phase of your cycle!
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