Bits of this and that. . .
From Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Newsletter:
"Try putting on some slow, soothing music during meals. That might not only slacken your pace but also make you less likely to go for second helpings. Lively, fast-tempoed music, by contrast, may make you eat more. Researchers found that out by counting the bites of food people took at meals while listening to various songs."
Why not try "turning on" as soon as you get home from work? Perhaps it will slow meal preparation pace and make the whole process more enjoyable.
Also from Tufts:
Haagan-Dazs has concocted a new frozen yogurt dessert that fits more comfortably into a low-fat diet. It comes in five flavors, ranging from 120 to 150 calories and 3 to 5 grams of fat per 3 ounce serving (slightly less than 1/2 cup).
From the Harvard Health Letter:
"Natural licorice -- usually an imported product -- can raise blood pressure, sometimes significantly. It contains the chemical glycyrrhizin, which causes the body to retain sodium (and therefore fluids) and to lose potassium."
Researchers also note, however, that "domestically produced licorice candy is generally made with artificial flavor, and the red stuff commonly called licorice really isn't."
This is good news since both red and black licorice are non-fat treats that may help to satisfy a small sweet craving without all the fat calories of chocolate.
From Food Insight:
"Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, reviewed results from 45 studies that examined the effects of sweeteners on hunger and appetite. She concluded that the mass of evidence shows low-calorie sweeteners do not increase appetite and may help dieters pass up fattening foods by providing good-tasting alternative foods."
More good news, many folks appear to be happy with a diet sofdrink or other artificially sweetened hot and cold beverages and non-fat yogurts. Be aware, however, that if you use all the calories you saved on brownies and ice cream, you're not likely to lose weight.
Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore and director of Eating Together in Baltimore.