1) Treat rich, calorie-dense foods as you would condiments-a few bites are all you need to enjoy the flavor. Unfortunately, we are not like gas tanks. Our bodies do not tell us to stop because we have eaten so many calories. The size of the portions you eat and who you eat them with have a direct effect on your intake. When you are served larger portions, you're likely to finish it and then some. The presentation of portions can also influence the amount of food you eat. Many of us are likely to eat considerably more than usual at a buffet. In other words, you really do eat with your eyes. If you eat with friends or co-workers, you are likely to model the amount you eat based on their plates. So, you may actually eat more when you are in the presence of someone who eats heartily.
2) Make a game plan and stick with it-if eating out, tell yourself, "I am going to eat just an appetizer, a bowl of salad and half of the entrée." And don't deviate from the plan.
3) Fill up on whole grains, fruits and vegetables-the high fiber content of these foods help slow digestion. Consider the size of the stomach, about the size of closed fist when empty but can expand to the size of a football when full. That is the equivalent of three pints of food. Fill the stomach too quickly, and your body won't have time to recognize messages from the hormones that help regulate appetite. It takes about 20 minutes for food to be digested enough that glucose gets to the bloodstream and the hormones start working. If you have already consumed most of a meal in 20 minutes' time, your brain will receive satiety signals too late to slow your eating.
4) Eat plenty of protein-it is the nutrient proven to have the strongest influence on satiety.
Although the environment is a powerful factor that drives people to eat, certain nutrients - most notably protein, fiber, and water - can help tilt our internal scales toward "full" before we overindulge. Protein is the most satisfying nutrient. There is something in protein that tells our bodies to stop eating it after a while.
5) Scale down - Sometimes it helps to rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5. Stop and think about how you feel at the moment. If the answer is "stuffed to the max," save that dessert for another meal. Carbohydrates are the next most satiating foods. Whole grains, along with fruits and vegetables, tend to be filling because they contain higher levels of fiber. Fiber is not digested; it adds bulk to foods which helps fill the stomach, slowing the rate at which food is digested. The result: You notice feelings of fullness sooner. Fruits, vegetables and grains also have another satiety-related benefit: Because these foods contain high percentages of water, they generally have a lower energy density. This means that you can eat more of them without the consequences that high-calorie foods can bring. While fat's palatability certainly provides satisfaction, it isn't technically "satiating." Fat fulfills desire but is not satiating. Satiation is a physiological process.
6) Splurge wisely - and enjoy special occasion foods in moderation. At parties, don't eat the pretzels, potato chips or other foods that you can have anytime. Go for the foods that make you feel like you are enjoying a special occasion.
All this information yields a plate containing a small amount of fat, a lean source of protein, and a variety of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains which is pretty much how we should be eating, but it also helps with satiety. This may be a new way to encourage people to practice good nutrition.