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Tips to help you control your appetite

December 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
When researchers conducted a study on social eating habits, they found those who stand at least 16 feet and away from the buffet table, ate several hundred calories less than those who stood close by. That suggests that the more you see, the more you want to eat.If you're having a tough time controlling your appetite this holiday season, there are some things you can do.

Noshing throughout the day can be beneficial to curb cravings and cut calories. But make sure you acknowledge what you eat by using a plate every time you dine. It helps monitor the amount of food eaten throughout the day.

British researchers suggest you visualize then write down a detailed account of your last meal. They say those who did ate significantly less in the afternoon than those who didn't focus on their previous meal.

Believe it or not, getting enough sleep helps control cravings. Sleeplessness lowers the levels of the satiety hormone leptin while raising gherlin, an appetite booster. In one study, those who lost at least four hours sleep had a 45 percent increased craving for cookies or chips.

Here is a formula for smart snacking if you are having a party or big meal at night and your stomach is growling after lunch:

  • If it's an hour until dinner, have 100 calories - like an apple
  • Two hours until dinner, have 200 calories - an apple and tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Three hours until dinner, have 300 calories - apple, peanut butter and 5 crackers
  • Four hours until dinner, have 400 calories - all of this plus a cup of skim milk

The 100 calorie rule of thumb allows for a good balanced snack so you're not ravenous.

Finally, experts say if you're going to eat something decadent to sit and saver. Not just focusing on taste, but appearance, smell, even the texture of the treat; using all your senses to enjoy food.


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