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Thursday, September 28, 2006

4 Great Weight Loss Secrets #3

Get Off Temptation Island

The spa: Structure House, Durham, North Carolina

The strategy: Eat three healthy meals per day for weight loss -- at the same time each day -- and cut out snacks. "Regular snacking can 'program' you to feel hunger at certain times," warns clinical director Lee Kern. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same hour every day, and you'll lose weight, he says.

But if you usually munch on candy or chips at 3pm, you've trained yourself to feel a mid-afternoon craving -- and snacking may get out of hand. Still have cravings? You may be feeling psychological hunger -- for comfort, entertainment, or stress relief, rather than for nourishment.

Even if you stick to the three-square-meals plan, there will still be pitfalls, such as restaurant eating. To stop yourself from ordering the burger-of-the-day, don't even open the menu, Kern advises. If your favorite restaurant serves grilled fish and a green salad, order that without looking at the other choices. If you're going to a new place, pick up a takeout menu in advance to check the options. In grocery stores, shop the perimeters (produce, dairy, etc.), where the food is fresh rather than packaged and high in calories. Bonus: Stick to the edges, and you'll never see the cookie aisle again.

Make Low-Fat Luscious

The spa: Golden Door, Escondido, California

The strategy: Turn low-calorie food into appealing fare by adding colors and focusing on the taste, says Michel Stroot, longtime executive chef. Because meat and fish cooked with minimal fat can dry out, serve them with a moist condiment, such as grilled onions on burgers or, for salmon, a yogurt-dill sauce (made with 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt, 1 teaspoon horseradish and 1 teaspoon minced dill).

If you're a texture lover, fend off your potato-chip cravings by baking crunchy tortilla chips: Lightly spray cut-up 6-inch whole wheat or corn tortillas with vegetable oil; toast for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F until golden. Sixty calories per serving of 6 chips.

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