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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Smart Ways to Beat the Munchies

Janice Taylor’s new book—All Is Forgiven, Move On: Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville (Viking Studio, 2008; $19.95)—is chock-full of unusual stay-slim tricks. Try these three strategies to beat the “call of the Cheeto,” that late-afternoon siren song from the vending machine.

Grab your iPod. Music activates the same pleasure center of your brain that food does. Click on something with a catchy rhythm, and you’ll forget your hunger fast.

Get some rays. Twenty minutes of sunlight (wear sunscreen, of course) can kill a powerful food craving—and lift your mood. In contrast, staying cooped up all day in a windowless office may actually boost the urge to snack on high-sugar, high-refined-carb foods, according to University of Texas mood expert Michael Smolensky, PhD.

Breathe deeply. Stressed? That’s when you’re most likely to give in to a junk-food craving. Deep breathing can kill the urge to snack by calming you down.

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