Candy in a bowl

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

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The "Right" Way
Count your calories (or carbs or sets or reps), stick to the formula, and you'll lose weight—that's the left brain approach; ah, if only it could seal the deal. But it's the right brain that sees the bigger picture and looks for meaning, which is crucial in tackling a goal like this, says Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. "To effectively change a habit, you must hook your individual steps to a larger purpose that you can keep coming back to," he says. Pink suggests using your right brain's skills to pay attention to moments when you feel most alive and fully engaged. You may notice that bad habits like indulging in a candy fix relieve tension and give the illusion of a lift "but don't provide any deep fulfillment," he says. Once you see that, it's easier to change. Pink isn't the only one talking about awareness as a health tool: The U.S. government is funding a study on whether mindfulness techniques can help you lose weight.

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