5. Let Hunger Be Your Guide
The last tactic I recommend might seem counterintuitive. After all, hunger is precisely what drives you to overeat, so how can you rely on it to resolve the issue?
The truth is, more often than not, cravings, not hunger, are what cause overeating. The difference is that hunger is the physical sensation you experience, driving you to consume calories (4). In contrast, cravings tend to occur because of external factors, leading to a desire to consume a specific food, often in excess (5). For example, you might see a Youtube ad for a local fast-food restaurant and feel the urge to order a couple of greasy burgers.
Unlike hunger, cravings tend to pass quickly, especially when you occupy your mind with something else. Sure, an ad might bring an appetite for a greasy burger, but the urge will likely pass if you start working on something, hit the gym, sit down to read a book and make yourself a tea.
Paying attention to your hunger might seem like a vague tactic, but learning to do so is essential if you ever hope to feel comfortable around food and maintain a healthy weight. Your alternative is to jump from one diet to the next, celebrating small wins and becoming frustrated each time you go back to square one.
Start by listening to your body when having a meal. How do you feel in response to eating, and when does satiety occur? We often distract ourselves while eating and miss the point when we should stop.