I've started reading a book by Deepak Chopra called Perfect Weight, and it's interesting so far.
It starts off talking about how the body is such a well run system, but how we have learned to look to external cues, instead of internal ones, to decide how and what we're eating. So the first lesson is to work toward self-referral, ie. directing attention to follow the internal cues of hunger. He also provides a number scale to reference how hungry/full you feel with a range of 0-8.
The first assignment is, for the next two weeks, to start eating only if you are in the 0 or 1 range, no matter what time or how often you end up eating in a day. Then, when eating, to take your time and eat only up to about a 6 on the scale. He also recommends keeping a simple chart to record the times you eat and the hunger level.
This isn't a long term way of eating, but an exercise to allow your biological rhythms to readjust and to refamiliarize yourself with your body.
To me, this really speaks to trying to be more mindful about what you eat, when you eat, and the actual physical experience. I think, particularly for someone like me who has dieted on and off for the majority of the last 20 years, this is really a challenge. You get so used to eating what your "supposed" to eat, whether or not it satisfies or tastes that good. Plus, with our busy lives, we get holed into eating at a certain time whether or not we're hungry. And ignoring hunger when it's not "time" to eat. Instead of examining why we're hungry (was my last meal not balanced and filling or am I hungry so soon because I've been exercising more), hunger becomes a bad thing, when it's really just your body telling you that it needs some more fuel. Assuming we examine the hunger and it is hunger, not a craving.
Especially during this 2 week experiment, I will continue to have a glass of water when I feel "hunger" in case it's really thirst and my choices for fuel will be only real/whole foods that are actual fuel. I will put my fork down between bites and chew enough to really break down my food. If I don't like the taste, I won't force myself to eat it.