This Is How To Eat Less, Using These 7 Proven Tricks

by Leigh Weingus

For me, there's nothing quite as depressing as curling up in bed after a long day with a good book and a bowl of ice cream and thinking back on everything I ate that day.

Breakfast was good. I had greek yogurt and a little bit of oatmeal. When 11 am hit my stomach was growling, but it was definitely too early for lunch.

So I ate a handful of the Jolly Ranchers someone cruelly left in a little bowl on my desk, which made my stomach hurt and also made me more hungry.

Instead of eating the kale and quinoa salad I'd dutifully packed the night before, I decided to get a huge turkey sandwich with cheese and avocado because, well, why not? Plus, avocado is a vegetable!

No savory meal is complete without something sweet to finish it off, so I bought a huge chocolate chip cookie as well. Then my 4 pm snack attack rolled around, so I sensibly reached for a granola bar. An hour and a half later I was home with a kitchen full of delicious food.

I ate quite a bit of said delicious food -- a handful of pretzels here, a slice of toast there. I had salmon and kale for dinner, though! So that's something.

Are you getting the picture here? This isn't every day, but on some days, I eat a lot more than I know I should. It makes me feel bad, it makes me look bad and it's kind of expensive.

If you relate to my typical day of eating, I've done some research that can benefit all of us. Here are seven science-backed tricks to stop you from eating so damn much.

Eat breakfast.

I know, I know. You've heard this one before. But you hear it so often because breakfast is indisputably an extremely important meal.

If you're someone who's not hungry in the morning and sees breakfast as extra, unnecessary calories, consider this: Breakfast kick starts your metabolism (and everyone knows a fast metabolism is a good thing) and will leave you feeling less hungry throughout the day.

In other words, starting your day off with a hearty breakfast is a surefire way to make sure you eat fewer calories overall.

Take 15 minutes to check in with yourself.

Weight Watchers subscribes to something called the 15-minute rule. Say you're in the middle of a really boring task at work, and suddenly your mind wanders to that enormous plate of delicious cookies sitting in the kitchen.

Instead of impulsively getting up and stuffing your face with them, wait 15 minutes. First of all, are you actually hungry? Or is this your boredom talking to you?

If you still don't know, think about thisL Do you want an apple right now? How about a handful of baby carrots? If the answer is "yes," you're probably hungry.

If not, you just got hit by a snack attack. Tell it to take a hike.

Drink water.

Want to eat less? Drink more.

I'm going to stop you right there. I see you reaching for that bottle of wine.

By drink more, I mean more water. Oftentimes we mistake thirst for hunger, so the next time you're feeling hungry, drink a big glass of water and reevaluate the situation.

Added bonus: Water is really f*cking good for you and will make your skin glow.

Eat fiber and protein-filled foods.

A calorie may be a calorie, but the calories in your delicious doughnut will not keep you nearly as full as the calories in scrambled eggs and avocado with whole wheat toast.

I get the doughnut tastes good, but eating one for breakfast will leave you starving and sluggish by lunch, leading you to reach for tons of unhealthy snacks throughout the day. Eating fiber and protein-rich foods will keep you full for way longer and keep your energy levels up, leaving you way less likely to reach for a bag of chips come 3 pm.

So stock up on the good stuff. Eat almonds, eggs, avocados and raspberries. Want more protein and fiber-rich options? Check out this list of high-fiber foods.

Clean up your kitchen.

Sure, it sounds weird. But according to a small, new study, people eat more when their kitchens are cluttered than when they're tidy.

So if you've been putting off that spring cleaning, get a move on. You don't want your messy kitchen to be the reason you aren't confident in your bikini, do you?

Eat soup more often.

Here's why soup is such an awesome thing to eat on the regular: It's delicious, it's full of nutrients, it's usually low in calories and it fills you up.

On top of that, it takes a long time to eat. Have you ever eaten a giant bowl of soup in three bites? I didn't think so.

Whether you start eating it for dinner or order it before your meal at restaurants (which will cause you to eat less of your main course), soup is always a good idea.

Take the color of your plate into account.

Another weird one, I know. But according to research, people eat less when there's a high contrast between the color of your plate and the color of your food.

So if you're having pasta for dinner, eat it off a dark blue plate. It makes sense if you really think about it -- the easier it is to see your food, the more likely you are to be conscious of how much you're actually eating.

And on that note, eating off a smaller plate is always a good idea as well. When you use a smaller plate, there's less room for piling on the portions.

On a scale of one to 10, how not hungry are you right now?