TODAY   |  January 02, 2014

5 ways to manage food cravings

NBC diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom advises that you can curb your food cravings this year by delaying eating a few minutes when you feel hungry, distracting yourself with a non-food activity when you’re bored, and keeping food out of sight.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right. we're down to the final wieek of --

>> we're back with melvina and kathy . two viewers who let us follow them through the holidays to help them to stop them from packing on the pounds.

>> and today after five weeks, they will be weighed in to see how they've done since thanksgiving. welcome them to "today."

>> is it time?

>> i think it's time.

>> this is our sixth week. did they cut the creep. that is not gain any weight over the holidays. that's the kind of weight that sticks with you the whole weight.

>> getting weighed on tv is not an easy thing.

>> so this is after. this is in between christmas and new year's. you look great.

>> she doesn't know.

>> she doesn't know the results.

>> the results are -- drum roll .

>> now drum roll is you are up 3.5, but before you are astounded, think about this. overall, you have lost 0.1 pound. so you did cut the creep.

>> here's what happened. overall she's down. overall, she's down one-third.

>> but what did you say before even you came in?

>> congratulations.

>> it's not about the weight loss . it's about keeping this off. tell us one thing you said.

>> this is great because i'm not going to go into the new year with an extra three or four pounds because i kept it even. so it just will spur you on more. you have the right mind-set. you kept it off and you are energized to do some more.

>> what was the thing that did it for you? the eggnog or.

>> why don't you step up?

>> it was definitely the eggnog. all the traditional meals my family usually cooks during the holidays.

>> and you can hop on now.

>> kathy is up. and then your grand total is you are down 0.5 pound. so your total, though -- total. do you know what your total is? you are down 4.3.

>> okay.

>> isn't that great?

>> i'm okay with that.

>> great.

>> the thing is also melvina had fluid shifts. you were slow and steady, so everyone is different.

>> there you go, kathy .

>> tell us what the lessons are for everyone at home.

>> you have to set realistic goals. you have to be honest with yourself and find out what your barriers are. for melvina it was liquid calories. kathy , the baking.

>> are you going to stay on that course?

>> you have to stay on this course because not gaining and losing are about the same because, remember, it takes about 3500 calories to lose a pound. what does that mean? if you are a hurry, 500 calories saved a day is about a pound a week. if you want to do it slower, take 100 calories and it's a pound a month. it's more about being in control and not the pounds.

>> are you glad you took part in this?

>> oh, yeah. i feel great.

>> we're so glad you did. thank you for playing with us. we appreciate it.