Meals are experienced through all the senses. Your ability to see, touch, taste, and smell makes each meal a multisensory experience. The senses make a meal more pleasant but they can also trick you into overdoing it. Avoid overeating by following these simple tips to control your senses and eat better naturally.

Smell: Food smells strongest and tastes the best when you’re hungry. But as you fill up, scents and tastes of food dulls. Take a whiff of your plate. Are you still enticed by the aroma? Keep eating. If the food’s smell no longer makes your mouth water you should stop eating because you may already be full.

Sound: Many restaurant consumers tend to order more food and drinks when music is playing, research shows. Don’t let the awesome tunes distract your from noticing your hunger cues. Focus on paying attention to how you feel and how high your hunger level is. If they are cranking great music just skip the extra drinks and hit the dance floor.

Sight: A recent study in Obesity Research showed people ate up to 24 percent less, but felt just as satisfied, while blindfolded. Diners use their eyes instead of their stomachs to gauge the amount of food they eat, resulting in bigger portions and more items. Close your eyes briefly mid meal and assess your hunger. When you’ve had enough you will feel it.

Touch: When given the option of eating peanuts or peanut butter, subjects who ate equal calories of both felt fuller after eating the nuts. Selecting chewier, crunchier foods, like an orange over orange juice. These foods spend more time in your mouth and digestive tract and are more filling. Eating foods that take longer to consume because of their texture leads to a more filling experience.

Taste: People don’t naturally crave high-fat foods. According to a study in Appetite, when women dieters ate fewer high-fat foods over a six-month period, they began to prefer slimmer fare. You can retrain your taste buds to love lean foods by trying a skim latte, swapping fries for a baked potato or picking minestrone over creamier soups.

All of your senses combined make eating a joyful experience. However, when you allow them to take over without regard to your stomach you will end up overeating. During your meals pay attention to your hunger level and give that feeling priority. Just cueing in to your hunger level will help ward off unhealthy eating and overeating.

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