8 ways to stop overeating and meet your weight loss goal

One of the biggest challenges when trying to lose weight is to stop overeating. While it is absolutely essential to eat enough food to maintain your energy, there is no reason to be stuffed. So how do you know when you've had enough? Follow these eight tips to reach your weight-loss goal!

1. Eat every four hours. Instead of eating large meals three times a day, eat small meals or snacks like fruit or a small handful of unsalted nuts every four hours to stave off extreme hunger. Eating regularly maintains blood sugar and energy levels, which in turn prevents overeating out of starvation, explains Prevention.

2. Eat breakfast. Setting your alarm just a few minutes earlier to enjoy a proper breakfast can have monumental effects on your weight-loss goals, says Prevention. People who eat fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the morning tend to choose smaller meals for the rest of the day. To make it easier, prepare a yogurt bowl with fresh fruit the night before.

3. Start dinner with a salad. It's not just because greens are good for you (they are!). Greens have a high water content, which helps fill you up before you get to the calorie-rich main course, explains Prevention.

4. Always eat a protein. Prevention reports a study from Purdue University that found that women who ate 30 percent of their calories from protein were more satisfied and less hungry than those who ate 18 percent of their calories from protein. The argument, therefore, is that you should always include a protein in your meal. For dieters, eggs, fish and chicken are the best, leanest sources of animal protein. Nuts, beans, lentils and tofu are great vegetarian options.

5. Keep a food journal. Mind Body Green recommends writing down what you eat and how you feel after eating. Doing so will make you more mindful of your food choices and will likely result in the breaking of such bad habits as overeating. Just be sure to be honest!

6. Sleep. There is a strong connection between how late you stay up and how much you eat, concludes a study published in the medical journal Sleep. It turns out one bad habit can lead to another. Do yourself a favor and improve your health all around. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and get eight hours of shut-eye, and you will inevitably eat less and lose weight.

7. Slow down. Eating slowly and mindfully can increase digestive function and send signals to your brain letting you know you are full before you overeat. This is important because it takes around 20 minutes after eating for your brain to register you are full, says Mind Body Green.

8. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Ditch the frozen dinners in favor of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Processed foods can lead to overeating, warns Mind Body Green.