How does SENSA work? Also known as the “sprinkle diet”, it promises you a “natural weight loss system” that is “clinically proven” and lets you reduce weight “quickly and easily”. Really?
Sprinkle, Sprinkle, Little Star
SENSA is a diet supplement that promises huge results in weight loss. I’m not even sure if I should call it a supplement, as it’s more like something you sprinkle on your food if you want to lose weight. And, as usual when I see something that promises results of weight loss with ease, I am very skeptical, and you should be as well.
First of all, for a whopping $289 for a six month supply, you can expect these people to have a huge PR department and market their product very well. And they do:
But, of course, just because the product is very well marketed it doesn’t mean it’s good for you and you should go ahead and try it. I’ve read a lot of different reviews as well as case studies that they provide you on their website, but I am the type of person who is able to look beyond the fancy info and decide for my self using my favorite tool of all times: common sense.
What is SENSA?
The following info is taken from their website:
SENSA contains a patented blend of scented sprinkles – also known as Tastants – that are designed to help you feel full faster without changing the taste of your food. All ingredients in SENSA are 100% FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) and can be found in foods you commonly keep in your kitchen pantry.
You’ll also find three pretty pictures that demonstrate the ingredients used in SENSA:
- Corn is in the first and below it you can find the explanation that is stands for maltodextrin. This is an artificial carbohydrate made from corn starch, that chemically is a complex, but digested as fast as a simple carbohydrate. Maltodextrin is commonly found in cereals, canned fruits, salad dressings and instant puddings.
- The next pretty picture is of something that looks like orange juice and the name of this ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, which is a calcium supplement commonly found in dairy products, candy and jams.
- The third picture shows beautiful green leaves that look like healthy lettuce. The ingredient it depicts is called “silica”, which is essential for performing metabolic functions. Foods high in silica are leafy green vegetables, onions, rice, whole grains and barley.
How Does SENSA Supposedly Work?
The company tells us:
The scientific principle behind SENSA® is remarkably simple. As you eat smell and taste receptors send messages to your brain which release hormones that tell your body it’s time to stop eating. This is a phenomenon we call Sensory Specific Satiety. By enhancing smell, SENSA® Tastants were designed to help speed up the process and trigger your “I feel full” signal, so you eat less and feel more satisfied. Because SENSA® works with your body’s natural impulses, rather than against them, there are no feelings of hunger or intense cravings.
My Thoughts On This Holy Grail
If you are a person who doesn’t know much about nutrition, then this supplement will look like a holy grail, especially from all that beautiful marketing that the company has put together. But if you actually take a closer look at the product your thoughts about might go a bit differently.
When I see something that says “FDA GRAS” I wonder: what does that mean, “generally recognized as safe”? To me, generally recognized as safe means that for the most part it’s probably safe, but it’s not 100% guaranteed safe.
Another thing that strikes me is that some of the ingredients are commonly found in your kitchen pantry, if you eat a lot junk food. Call me crazy, but in my kitchen pantry I was never able to find maltodextrin nor tricalcium phosphate – maybe because I don’t buy junk food cereals, canned fruit, instant puddings, candy, jams or dairy, nor do I recommend for anyone to buy them. As far as silica goes I’m pretty sure if you are not eating your silica directly from the leafy vegetable then it may possibly not have the same effect.
No Side Effects?
That being said, I also have to point out that here may be side effects from tricalcium phosphate. If you look at the SENSA website you will not find any info o this available, but if you search the web, you will find a list: nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, dry mouth, increased thirst and increased urination.
The first thing I thought after reading the side effects list was: “Ah, this is how it works with your body’s natural impulses!” Of course, if you feel nauseated and constipated, then naturally you’ll want to eat less. But if that’s the case with SENSA, then why spend 60 dollars, if you can get same results spending 3 dollars on one of those Chinese herbal teas? You get the point.
The company does offer a free trial, but after doing some research on reviews I found out that the free trial is not really free, because if you want to return it, you will have to pay for shipping and the used up product.
If SENSA Works, Will It Last?
But let’s say you got this product and it helped you lose weight (which, according to very bad reviews the SENSA book got at Amazon is questionable). What happens when you stop using it? As soon as you do, your hunger could go berserk on you, you will feel completely out of control and gain the weight back. After all, SENSA did nothing to change your eating habits and that is what has to be taken care of, if you want to keep your new weight for the long run. The yo-yo effect happens because people go ballistic on controlling their eating for the time of their diet and then do what they did before.
If you teach yourself good habits, learn a bit about nutrition and not look for an easy way out, you will fight hunger the real way, without the need for magic sprinkles. That is the most natural way to trigger your “Sensory Specific Satiety” naturally.
Picture courtesy of Dubravko Soric.