Healthier snack options at movie theater 

'The Hunger Games" may provide you with a good moviegoing experience, but if you're trying to maintain or achieve a healthy weight, feeling hungry can be a game-losing strategy. That's why we say: Aim to shed a pound a week, and make sure you eat five to nine servings of fruits and veggies every day. You'll change your eating habits for a lifetime, and your weight won't bounce up and down, something that's hard on your metabolism, insulin regulation and cardio system.

Here's info from the Institute of Food Technologists on controlling your hunger and binge eating:

1. Become a lean-protein pro. Add one serving of protein (a poached egg, three egg whites or 3 ounces of lean chicken or tuna) to breakfast and snack on one serving midafternoon.

2. Get 100 percent whole-grains: These tasty carbs digest slowly, contain lots of fiber and help stabilize blood sugar levels.

3. Go nuts! Snacking on 12 walnut halves (with heart-friendly anti-inflammatory omega-3s) or 23 almonds (they equal 1 serving) protects your brainpower, quells hunger and improves your love life.

4. Hummus a happy tune: chickpeas, as well as lentils and dried peas and beans, are fiber-rich and packed with protein; it's one more way to help tamp down cravings.

Now you can head to the movie theater and just say "no" to sugary, fatty concessions!

TIME TO CHECK OUT ... THE CHECKOUT

IM-pulse buys (think Instant Messaging) are sent your way whenever you wheel a grocery cart into the checkout lane or stroll up to a cash register to pay for a gallon of gas. "Hey, Sugar Brain, pick me! Pick me! You know you want me!" And the message is getting through. No wonder the quick-snack business is a billion-dollar industry. One business analysis firm found that the typical American woman (men are worse) devours more than 14,300 calories in grocery store impulse purchases annually, packing on an extra 4.1 pounds each year.

No wonder the Center for Science in the Public Interest points to the snack-food industry as a major contributor to North America's obesity epidemic.

Smart steps: When you're shopping, make it a habit to bring a healthy snack (fruit or nuts) for you and your kids. Keep it in hand as you head for the register. Offer your child sitting in the cart a book to read (distraction is good) and repeat "I'm not IM-pulsive anymore!" Then you'll avoid those extra 25 pounds.

CPAP DOESN'T HAVE TO CRAMP YOUR STYLE

In "The Mask," mousey Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carey) discovers his inner flame and wins the heart of the luscious Tina (Cameron Diaz). Seems his ghoulish green mask didn't interfere with his love life at all; in fact, it improved it! Well, the same can be said for CPAP -- the continuous positive airway pressure device used to relieve sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the throat relaxes, allowing fat and sagging muscles to obstruct the airway. This causes breathing to stop and start throughout the night. Sleep apnea can cause or aggravate heart disease, high blood pressure and liver problems, and damage brain cells. Erectile dysfunction affects up to 64 percent of men with OSA. (OSA affects about 24 percent of men; 4 percent of women.)

Enter CPAP! If you use it, you can help prevent or reduce those health threats. Combine CPAP with weight loss, smoking cessation and avoiding excess alcohol and drugs, and you'll see huge health improvements.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Dr. Michael Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.sharecare.com.

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