Real Simple (yep, Martha Stewart) has an intriguing article on how to break bad eating habits, including snacking between meals—which can lead to overeating pretty quickly. Here's what they suggest as an alternative:
"It's when you snack in place of eating real meals that you're more likely to lose track of how much you're eating," says Tara Gidus, R.D., an Orlando, Florida-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Of course, what you eat matters, too. Typical snack foods (chips, cookies, pretzels) aren't that nutritious or satisfying, so it's easy to overdo them. The Fix: To keep your energy up and hunger at bay, allow yourself two snacks a day of 100 to 300 calories each. "Rather than a cookie or a candy bar, opt for something that feels like real food -- half of a small sandwich, whole-grain crackers with cheese, a handful of nuts, baby carrots with hummus, or yoghurt sprinkled with cereal," says Gidus.
The trick seems to be going for calories that will count for something.