Take a look at this “Hunger Scale” provided by writer Bob Greene from Oprah.com. This tool will help you avoid eating mindlessly. The more in touch you are with your hunger, the less you need to count calories.
First, decide how you’re feeling:
10: Stuffed. You are so full you feel nauseous.
9: Very uncomfortably full. You need to loosen your clothes.
8: Uncomfortably full. You feel bloated.
7: Full. A little bit uncomfortable.
6: Perfectly comfortable. You feel satisfied.
5: Comfortable. You’re more or less satisfied, but could eat a little more.
4: Slightly uncomfortable. You’re just beginning to feel signs of hunger.
3: Uncomfortably hungry. Your stomach is rumbling.
2: Very uncomfortable. You feel irritable and unable to concentrate.
1: Weak and light-headed. Your stomach acid is churning.
You should eat only when you’re feeling 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Put your fork down at 5 or 6 and wait until the next scheduled meal or snack.
If you’re trying to lose weight, stop at 5, the point at which you’re eating a little less than your body is burning.