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6 Ways to Control Your Cravings

Whether you're trying to diet, lose weight, or stay in shape, use these smart strategies to watch what you eat and avoid food temptations.

By Jessica Girdwain

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Ice cream
Andy Lyons
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There's a two-for-one sale on your favorite ice cream.

Fight back: Rather than stocking up, buy a smaller amount of your not-so-favorite flavor to keep in the fridge for guests and kids (a pint is cheaper than a quart anyway). The key is keeping around a tiny portion that doesn't entice you as much.

Why it works: "Think of this as a vaccine against cravings -- exposure to a small amount will help you overcome the big problem," says Ayelet Fishbach, PhD, professor of behavioral science and marketing at University of Chicago.

Fishbach's research has found that making a temptation available renders it, well, less tempting. Over time, you'll build self-control and have a decreased desire for the food. And if you do end up giving in, you can't go totally overboard.

Bonus tip: Stash the pint in the back of the freezer, so you won't see the mint chip whenever you reach for frozen veggies.

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