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Chewing Gum can pack on Ponds

A new study from Ohio State University revealed that using gum to curb your cravings is a terrible trick if you're trying to lose weight. Researchers speculate chomping on gum could not only trigger thoughts of eating (because your mouth is moving), but it also gets your digestive juices flowing, making you hungrier. Even worse, any menthol or minty flavor in your gum tends to make fruits or vegatables taste "off," so you're more likely to reach for junk food and put on pounds. Not sure what to do to avoid eating chips, candy and cookies? Try one of these easy, proven tips instead.

1. Turn off the TV.

Lying back in your comfiest easy chair or on the couch can lead to mindless munching and overeating, and studies have reported that people eat a whopping 40 percent more food when watching TV than during other activities. So it's that simple: Flip off the tube when you pick up your fork.

2. Get enough sleep already.

In a fascinating new study from the University of Colorado, when people got just five hours of sleep each night for a week, they gained an average of two pounds. Although links between lack of sleep and overweight are not new, this study is unique because of its tightly controlled experimental design and setting. Keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible: the later you stay up, the more vulnerable you are to midnight snacking. And stick to a routine helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol—the less stressed you are, the less likely you are to overeat.

3. Skip supersized drinks.

Often, ridiculously oversized soda and "energy" drinks sneak in as many as half a day’s calories and are loaded with sugars. Research also shows that calories from sugary drinks may be lead to diabetes and other major health issues. Instead, try green tea, milk, or water with a spritz of citrus.

4. Spice it up.

An easy way to help raise your metabolism and burn more calories is to adding hot peppers to your meal; the added kick helps slow down your eating. In general, spicy food forces you to eat smaller bites less quickly; and eating more slowly and more mindfully is a good weight-loss strategy.

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