Hurrah! It’s a brand new year and you can’t wait to diet! What, you’re not looking forward to giving up your favorite foods? Here are a few tricks to help curb food cravings and appetite without feeling (too much) the pangs of denial…

The nose knows: Smell each bite of food quickly five times before eating. Fast sniffs send food messages to the brain—this decreases hunger and works to satisfy the appetite without consuming excess calories.

Fresh-cut strawberries exude odor molecules that travel directly to the limbic system of the brain (which deals with emotional behavior). From there, the molecules activate the hypothalamus (the brain’s satiety center) and trick it into believing that you’ve eaten more than you have. So seek out the most fragrant variety of organic strawberries you can find this time of year, slice up some on your plate and sniff away!

Hot foods rule: Choose to eat hot foods…warm oatmeal, soups, vegetable stews. The heat and steam from the food send flavor molecules up the back of the throat and into the brain’s satiety center faster than cold foods.

Acupressure to the rescue: Whenever you crave something decadent, massage your philtrum (the indentation between your upper lip and the bottom of your nose) by drawing tiny circles with your index finger. After about 10 seconds, your energy channel that links the brain, pancreas and spleen will have balance restored, and your craving for sweets will be repressed. It also might relax you! Earlobe squeeze: Another acupressure technique is said to diminish one’s appetite. Whenever you’re feeling hungry, squeeze your earlobes for one minute. If you can stand the pressure, clamp clothespins on your lobes and leave them there for 60 seconds. Do clip-on earrings help make a woman thinner? Hmmmmm…

Thanks to Alan R. Hirsch, MD, neurologist, psychiatrist and founder of The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, for help with this tip.