What Affects Your Sense of Hunger?
Salon magazine has a decent interview on your sense of smell, and how it affects what you want to eat:
I began to realize that increasingly smell was for sensing the flavor of food. It goes almost unrecognized as we eat our food because we think it all comes from taste in our mouths. The more research that I did on flavor, the more I realized that the sense of smell was the dominant sense in flavor — and that we are almost totally unaware of it.
The whole article is interesting, although someone familiar with this topic won’t find too much that’s new.
Smell and Taste Work Together
But understanding the link between your perceptions of food and what you eat is important. Your body forms “set points” and “triggers” for how much it wants to eat based on sensory input, and these signals are quite strong. Without realizing it, you’re exposed to these different sensory inputs throughout the day, which switch your hunger, cravings, and fullness on and off.