Woman's World

Help for winter carb cravings!

Dark days and long nights dial down appetite-taming hormones, leaving you seeking comfort in carbs. The easy strategies that will keep you feeling great without gaining weight...

- Brenda Kearns

Take the stairs

When cookies or brownies call your name, try walking up a set of stairs before you answer. According to University of Texas researcher­s, even a short burst of intense activity kickstarts the production of appetiteta­ming hormones, killing a sugar craving in 30 seconds!

Phone a friend

Pasta, pizza, mashed potatoes…comforting carbs are so enticing when it’s cold outside. But before you go back for seconds (or thirds!), call or text a pal to chat. Researcher­s at Georgetown University say that interactin­g with friends revs the production of oxytocin— a mood-boosting neurotrans­mitter that quashes the urge to overeat, often as soon as you’ve said “hello”!

Sniff a grapefruit

You’ve finished a healthy stew for dinner…but now your brain is clamoring for a slice of chocolate cake you know will make you uncomforta­ble. Research in Neuroscien­ce Letters suggests that taking six slow, deep sniffs of grapefruit (either the fresh fruit or the essential oil) could shut down a dessert craving in one minute. Says study co-author Jaio Shen, PH.D., limonene— a grapefruit compound—makes your brain more sensitive to the “full” signals coming from your stomach. Rub your ears Do you spend winter evenings fighting the urge to raid the pantry? So do one in three of us! The good news: Four studies suggest firmly massaging both ears for one minute can cut munchies by 75% for one hour. That’s because stimulatin­g nerve endings in your ears prods your brain to release serotonin—a calming, appetite-taming hormone. —

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