5. Fill up on fiber first. Loading up on high-fiber foods like vegetables helps you feel full and can prevent you from overdoing on higher-calorie fare later. Start the meal with salad, a broth-based vegetable soup, some fresh fruit or a vegetable side dish.
6. Slow down. It takes about 20 minutes for “I’m full” signals to reach your brain. If you’ve inhaled an entire meal in 13 minutes, those satiety messages haven’t had enough time to signal that you’ve eaten four portions. So put down the fork or spoon between each bite. (Some people find that eating with smaller utensils—like a teaspoon instead of a soup spoon, or chopsticks—helps them stay on a slower pace.) Chat with your dining companions—or if you’re alone, take some relaxing breaths.
7. Listen to your body. Think of your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “ravenous” and 5 being “stuffed.” Stop eating when you’ve reached about 3 or 4 on the scale—that point where you’re comfortably satisfied, but you could still eat a bit more.