While we are all prone to cravings now and then, overeating over a long period can raise the risk of obesity and associated diseases. To deal with this, here are a few helpful tips from nutrition experts:

1. Slow down the pace

Your brain takes up to 20 minutes to let you know that you are full. Understandably, you will realize it too late if you are gulping down your food too quickly — that is, among other problems linked to speed-eating.

"Rushing through a whole meal will cause you to miss those signals, whereas if you were to slow down, you’d give your brain enough time to receive those signals and stop once you realize that’s all you need," says Dr. Amanda Foti, a senior dietitian at Selvera Weight Management Program.

2. Do not skip breakfast

While fasting diets are gaining popularity, long-term health consequences stemming from it are not yet clear. Restrictions are not easy to stick to and they can be downright harmful in some cases.

For instance, one may consider skipping breakfast to reduce how much they eat in a day — but this can backfire as their hunger will spike and lead to overeating. In general, take care when looking up health advice on the internet which is often littered with uninformed recommendations. It is best to speak to a registered dietitian before making a big change to your eating pattern.

3. Portion out your food

The tendency to clean up your plate can override satiety cues, especially if you are distracted by the television or an engaging conversation while eating. Instead of piling food onto your plate, opt for a smaller portion size which you can refill with a second serving as needed. This can reduce the risk of overeating and also prevent food wastage.

Kristin Kirkpatrick, a wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, recommended splitting popcorn, trail mix, and other snacks into smaller sandwich bags when storing them. "That way, you won't be tempted to sit on the couch with the entire bag and overeat."

4. Drink enough water

It is possible to mistake thirst as a sign of hunger, as noted by Dr. John Higgins, a professor at the University of Texas. When you are not hydrated, organs like the liver do not function effectively, thereby affecting your energy levels. As a result, you may start craving food when what you actually need is water.

If the body is not able to break down glycogen, you may find yourself craving sweets. In addition to increasing your fluid intake, moderate your alcohol intake if you are prone to heavy drinking or binge drinking.This can help by reducing dehydration levels as well as your sugar calories.