Stare at This to Eat Better

Just glancing at the fruit bowl can help increase your self-disciplineJust glancing at the fruit bowl can help increase your self-disciplineWhat you see is what you eat: When you're trying to clean up your diet, looking at a waistline-friendly food (like an orange) may help keep you from reaching for an unhealthy snack, according to a study in the journal Eating Behaviors.

Researchers at The University of Leeds studied 13 dieters and 21 non-dieters. On two separate occasions, they exposed each group to one of two foods-chocolate or an orange - to compare how participants reacted to tempting food afterward. After seeing and smelling one of the two foods, each group was invited to snack on an assortment of oranges, chocolate, and cereal bars for 10 minutes.

More: Decode Your Food Cravings

When dieters were shown the orange, they ended up consuming fewer calories and 60 percent less chocolate than when they were shown the chocolate. By contrast, the non-dieters ate a similar amount whether they glimpsed the orange or the chocolate beforehand. When you're already trying to eat healthfully, just eyeing a piece of fruit cab prime you for better decision-making, say the researchers. "Being exposed to diet-healthy food is an instant reminder for dieters to stick to their diet plans," says Nicola J. Buckland, research student at The University of Leeds and lead author of the study.

To keep from falling off the healthy-eating wagon, Buckland recommends keeping a piece of fruit "in highly visible places," like on your desk or kitchen counter. If you're heading out and you know you'll be tempted to cheat, pack an apple in your purse or some baby carrots in your clutch. Every time you open your bag, you'll be reminded of your healthy-eating mission, says Buckland.

Plus: 15 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

--By Amary Wiggin, Women's Health

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