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Cris Johnson often found himself under the spell of comfort food five years ago, after his father-in-law fell ill and later died of cancer. Johnson, 41, of Niagara Falls, a 5-foot-7½-inch hypnotist, ballooned to 230 pounds. He’s used a combination of mind control and healthier eating to drop nearly 50 pounds since, and now helps others lose weight and stop smoking at his business, the Niagara Falls Hypnosis Center (NiagaraFallsHypnosisCenter.com).

What are the staples of your diet?

A lot of vegetables, a lot of chicken and really not a whole lot else. I’m personally not a big fan of fruit. There’s very little bread or starches in my diet, very little ground beef, very little red meat at all. I try to cook a good, healthy meal every night. … I do most of the grocery shopping, because I enjoy cooking. That’s been probably the biggest mental shift in my mind. I enjoy the process of cutting up the vegetables, of reading the recipes and discovering new things, new tastes, and mixing together the sauces and spices myself. I use a lot of rosemary and thyme in my dishes, a lot of ginger, a lot of garlic. I have as many fresh ingredients in my food as possible.

– Scott Scanlon

email: refresh@buffnews.com

On the Web: Learn more about Cris Johnson’s work and a Monday weight loss seminar at blogs.buffalonews.com/refresh