Think yourself slim. To curb an afternoon snack attack, try thinking back to what you had for lunch. Study participants asked to recall their last meal before doing a taste test ate about one-third fewer cookies than those who were asked about their morning commute, finds a study in Physiology & Behavior. “Remembering what you ate activates your brain’s hippocampus, which may play a role in decision-making to help you say no to consuming extra calories,” explains Suzanne Higgs, the lead study author from the University of Birmingham in the UK. To tame your appetite, jot down a detailed list of everything you had for lunch (no cheating!), then review it before your afternoon vending-machine visit. You may decide you don’t need that super-sized candy bar after all.
Relieve bloating. Eating salty foods like hot dogs and chips can make you look and feel puffy, but you can trick your body into letting go of excess liquid by noshing on natural diuretics. For a triple dose, try tossing half of a sliced cucumber with ¼ cup parsley and 1 Tbsp lemon juice, says Jackie Keller, a celebrity nutrition expert who has worked with stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie, and Charlize Theron.
Eat fish to burn fat. Put more fish on your dish to get more out of your next sweat session. Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that gives salmon, shrimp, and other seafood its pink color, may boost fat burning and exercise endurance. In fact, mice who ran on a treadmill lasted 20 percent longer and burned about 7 percent more fat when taking an astaxanthin supplement compared to those who didn’t, discovered researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan. It wards off oxidation in the cell’s energy powerhouse, known as the mitochondria, to increase endurance and fat burning, speculates Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, author of The Good Mood Diet. Kleiner says to eat 6 ounces of wild salmon at least three times a week to max out your exercise.