1. Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need.
2. Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.
Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. “It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food,” says chef Laura Pansiero, RD. You’re also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that’s not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. 3.
3. Consider whether you’re really hungry.
Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it. When you’re done eating, you should feel better — not stuffed, bloated, or tired. “Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably,” says Michael May, MD.
4. Be choosy about nighttime snacks.
Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. “Sitting down with a bag of chips or cookies in front of the television is an example of eating amnesia, where you mindlessly eat without being hungry, but out of habit,” says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Malena Perdomo, RD.
5. Enjoy your favorite foods.
"I think putting your favorite foods off limits leads to weight gain because it triggers ‘rebound’ overeating," says Sass. Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag. "You can enjoy your favorite foods, but you must do so in moderation," says Sass.
6. Enjoy your treats away from home.
When you need a treat, Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, suggests taking a walk to your local ice cream parlor or planning a family outing. “By making it into an adventure, you don’t have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house, and it is a fun and pleasurable way to make it work when you are trying to lose weight,” says Krieger.