Appetite is both a psychological and physical phenomenon. Sometimes we eat when we’re bored, stressed, or just because it’s “time” to eat, even though we’re not really hungry. By eating extra-filling foods, drinking a variety of beverages between meals and keeping stress at bay, you can decrease your appetite and stay on track for speedy weight loss.
Change Your Daily Habits
Eat slowly. It helps using smaller spoons. You need about 20 minutes from the beginning of a meal to get the full feeling (this is how long it takes for the brain to send the signal of content). If you eat fast, you end up eating a lot in 20 minutes.
Avoid sugary foods. In many people, especially those who are already prone to obesity, large amounts of sugar will quickly spike your blood sugar, leaving you tired and hungrier than before.
Exercise. Both aerobic exercise and weight training change your body’s hormone levels in a way that temporarily suppresses appetite, but aerobic exercise is more effective because it affects two of hormones instead of just one. However, there is a tendency to compensate with later food intake following exercise.
Brush your teeth or use mouthwash. Most people don’t feel like eating right after they do this, especially since it makes many foods taste bad.
Find something else to do for 20-30 minutes. Get away from the kitchen and immerse yourself in something that interests you. Most hunger pangs will pass during that amount of time. Then find something else to do (eating can be a way to cope with boredom).
Imagine yourself eating something that’s repulsive to you.
Do something repulsive, like cleaning the toilet or the litter box.
Look at an image of something that is unattractive/gross to you. Footage of medical or surgical procedures, for example, will take most people’s minds off of eating.
Put a blue light bulb in your fridge or use a blue plate. The color blue naturally decreases appetite, verses the colors yellow or red, which increase appetite.
Smell something putrid. A whiff of a dumpster will usually do the trick. So will passing by someone with terrible body odor. For some folks, even just a very strong perfume or cologne can make their stomach turn.
Get enough sleep. A shortage of sleep lowers level of leptin in your body, with the result being that you feel hungrier.
Manage stress. Eating because you’re sad, angry, or just stressed out is a great way to kill any diet. Stress causes the body to overproduce hormones that make you feel hungry, which is why the idea of reaching for cookies and ice cream to deal with bad news has become a cultural cliche. Manage your problems with meditation, exercise, and therapy so you won’t turn to sugar and starch.
Eat Filling Foods
Eat lean protein in the morning. Another great breakfast choice is some sort of lean protein – eggs, lean meat or yogurt. Eating lean protein in the morning will help you stay satisfied throughout the day. Studies show that eating lean protein at other times of day doesn’t have quite the same effect, so be sure to eat it for breakfast.
- When it comes to protein, don’t go totally fat-free. Eating healthy fats like olive oil and avocados will keep you full longer than eating fat-free meals.
Start your day with oatmeal. Eating either rolled oats or steel-cut oats (not quick oats) is a great way to suppress your appetite until lunchtime. Oatmeal is low on the glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a hunger-inducing blood sugar spike. Eating a serving size of oatmeal topped with almond milk and some cut apples or grapefruit is a healthy choice for appetite suppression.
- The benefits of oatmeal are counteracted if you top it with brown sugar or maple syrup, which can cause a blood sugar spike and make you hungry long before lunchtime.
Eat fibrous vegetables and fruits. Most vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and water, both of which keep your stomach feeling full. Each of your meals should be mostly composed of vegetables and fruits along with portions of both protein and fat.
- Apples are particularly great for appetite suppression, so go ahead and have one per day.
- Leafy greens are satisfying and packed with nutrients. Choose spinach, collards, mustard greens, kale, or chard over lighter greens like iceberg lettuce.
- Potatoes have a chemical component that counteracts ghrelin. Eat baked, boiled or lightly sauteed potatoes, but avoid french fries and potato chips.
Add raw flaxseeds to your diet. You can sprinkle them on foods like yogurt,smoothies, salads and vegetables. Flaxseeds are high in fiber, which keeps your blood sugar from rising too quickly, thereby suppressing your hunger.
Eat nuts. Research shows that people who eat a serving size of nuts, especially almonds, on a daily basis feel less hungry than those who don’t. They contain a filling combination of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat.
Enjoy dark chocolate. When you feel a craving for sweets and fruit just won’t satisfy, eat a few pieces of dark chocolate. Unlike milk chocolate and other candies, the intensity of dark chocolate’s flavor naturally tells our bodies when enough is enough. Try dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao – you’ll see it’s difficult to consume more than a few squares!
- Make sure you check the label when you buy dark chocolate. Many brands label their chocolate as “dark” when it contains much less than 70% cacao.
Drink Healthy Beverages
Drink green tea. Green tea has been used as an appetite suppressant for centuries, since it contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a nutrient that increases production of the hormone that makes you feel satisfied instead of hungry. Drinking green tea on a daily basis also helps prevent fat storage from occurring.
Drink vegetable juice. Juicing kale, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, and other vegetables results in a vitamin-filled beverage that will keep you full for hours. The same is not true for fruit juice, though, since fruit contains a lot of sugars.
Drink water or (unsweetened) herbal tea. Do this throughout the day.
Make low-calorie soups or organic broths to suppress your appetite. If you pick a low-calorie chicken noodle soup, you get the added benefit of protein from the chicken, while the broth fills you up.
Avoid alcohol, except wine. Most alcoholic beverages – beer, cocktails, and so on – are loaded with calories, and since they lower your inhibitions, you’re more likely to break your diet when you drink. Red wine, however, has been shown to help suppress the appetite by making you feel full. Limit yourself to one or so glasses a day.