Trap #4: Multitasking Meals
Whether it's at your computer, as you talk on the phone, or when you're standing at the kitchen counter preparing your baby's bottle, munching while doing something else is an easy way to inhale calories mindlessly. Even just listening to a TV program can be distracting: According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 41 women ate 300 more calories while listening to a detective story than they did when they ate in silence. Moreover, on-the-go calories can be dissatisfying on an emotional level; you may not feel like you've eaten, which is an important component of satiety. Then you'll seek that fulfillment by eating more later, says Stettner.
Food fix: When you're at home, schedule at least 20 minutes for eating without the television on or a book in front of you. (Twenty minutes is the time it takes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you're full.) The aim: to make less more by focusing on the food in front of you and savoring every morsel. The one exception to this is breakfast. "Most people don't overeat at that meal," says Bauer. So go ahead and have your oatmeal while watching The Today Show.
As for on-the-go meals, like that nutrition bar you scarfed en route to the pediatrician's office, acknowledge them. "Say to yourself, 'This is half of lunch,'" Bauer says. When you have a piece of pizza while fixing your baby's bottle (and it's your dinnertime, too), say, "That was my main course." You get the idea.