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The No-Diet Diet

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Eat More Slowly

It's tough to know when to stop eating. Sometimes we scarf down food so fast we don't give our bodies time to catch up. "It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you have eaten enough, so remember to take your time," says Quillian Wolever. Pay close attention to each bite you take, noting what you're feeling. You may be surprised to discover that you're ready to stop eating even when there is still food on the plate. (In my experience, cinnamon-swirl coffee cake, barbecued chicken, and three-cheese pizza all challenge this theory.) And don't forget: The leftovers will still be waiting for you in the morning.

Slimming Strategy: Take a "break" from eating by setting your fork down between each bite. In restaurants walk to the restroom between courses or periodically stretch your legs under the table. Once you notice the early signs of fullness (such as decreasing pleasure in the food or a slight pressure across your abdomen), stop eating. Take the rest home or just have the waiter take it away. "Overeating is just as wasteful, in a far more damaging manner, as throwing away leftover food," says Pachella.

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