It’s important to note that the secretaries who ate less chocolate did not necessarily have more willpower or a stronger desire not to eat chocolate. They had an environment that helped them eat less chocolate.
The best way to avoid mindless eating is to come up with mindless solutions, so that we aren’t tempted by big bowls of tasty, readily available food and don’t have to make hundreds of daily eating decisions. Taking small steps, such as keeping candy dishes out of your office and stocking your kitchen with small bowls, plates, and glasses, is a good place to start. Using smaller serving spoons, and keeping serving bowls in the kitchen and off the dining table can help, too. When serving a meal, place only the amount of food (with a measuring cup, if necessary) that you want to eat on your plate. When you’ve cleaned your plate, you’ll know you’re done.
In general, to alter eating habits permanently, it is best to take small, easy steps and not gargantuan leaps. The key thing is to start. Given time, small steps achieve large success.