How to suppress your appetite naturally
One of the hardest things about sticking to a diet is keeping a raging appetite under control. There is nothing more frustrating than being hungry and not being able to eat as much as you’d like. Here are some natural techniques to suppress your appetite and reinforce compliance. As this focuses on hunger, click here if you would like to learn how to curb your cravings.
1- Give it three weeks
You might find that you are extremely ravenous during the first week of your diet, but eventually your stomach will shrink to a smaller size and you will adapt to your new food intake. Although it might seem hard at first, it won’t take longer than three weeks for you to fully adjust and get used to your new eating habits. Remind yourself that the first few weeks are the hardest and that eventually it’ll become part of your daily routine.
2- Eat protein at every meal
Protein has a high rate of thermogenesis (which means it boosts your metabolism) and is digested slowly by your body. This is simply because it takes a long time for your body to convert protein into fat. As a result, protein makes you feel fuller for longer. Eating protein at every meal or as a snack will help you feel full for up to several hours and help control your hunger pangs. Learn more about the role of protein in your body here.
3- Eat your meals slowly
Make sure you take at least 20 minutes or longer to finish your meals. Eating slowly allows you to enjoy each mouthful and eat significantly less than finishing your plate in a few minutes. Studies have shown that it takes at least 20 minutes for the brain to register that you are full.
4- Make sure your diet includes healthy fats
Cutting out healthy fats from your diet would trigger a blood sugar crash in your bloodstream. Healthy fats help regulate our blood sugar levels which is essential for fat loss and a healthy body. Disrupting the regulation of blood sugar levels would leave you feeling hungry, irritable and unable to follow your diet. If you have been feeling this way, it might be an indication that you need to increase your servings of healthy fats. Learn more about healthy fats here.
5- Keep yourself busy
Sometimes hunger might be more psychological than anything else. If you feel like you are getting hungry, do something to keep yourself busy and distracted. Focusing your mind and energy into an activity might eventually make you forget about food to begin with. You may find that after 30 minutes of doing your activity that you are no longer hungry to begin with.
6- Drink coffee or green tea
Coffee and green tea contain caffeine which helps to suppress your appetite. Have some in the morning before or after breakfast to keep your hunger pangs under control throughout the day. Make sure you only use low-calorie sweeteners. The best type to use is the natural sweet herb called stevia.
7- Drink enough water
Make sure you are properly hydrated throughout the day and replenish your body with water after physical activity. Dehydration can increase your hunger and make you feel weak in general. Sufficient intake of water will help you feel full and help control your appetite.
8- Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep will reduce the levels of the leptin which is the hormone responsible for fat loss, appetite control and hunger. Studies have revealed that many obese individuals do not get enough sleep at night. If you want to build a lean physique, allow your body to recuperate after your training and keep your hunger under control with at least seven to eight hours of rest.
9- Brush your teeth or gargle with mouth wash
The powerful minty aftertaste of toothpaste or mouthwash can naturally help curb your appetite when you are feeling hungry. This will also help you cope psychologically as food never tastes good if you eat after brushing your teeth.
10- Chew mint flavored sugar-free chewing gum
Studies have shown that mint-flavored chewing gum helps you suppress your appetite when you are feeling hungry. This does not apply to everyone though, as some people have reported that it actually increases their hunger. I have personally tried this technique and have discovered that it really does work. If I’m ever feeling hungry, mint chewing gum gets rid of my hunger completely. It is important to note that your chewing gum should be mint flavored in order for it to be most effective.
11- Make sure you are eating enough calories
If you go from being in a caloric surplus to being in a negative energy balance, or from eating sweets to cutting them out completely, it will be normal to feel hungry during the beginning stage of a diet. However, if you are feeling ravenous all the time, even after your meals, this might be a sign that you aren’t eating enough to begin with. A highly active person who does a lot of exercise will need a sufficient intake of calories to fuel their workouts. More food and more exercise always boosts your metabolism more than less food and less exercise. Click here to estimate how many calories you should be eating. Avoid low-calorie diets like the plague.
12- Think of something repulsive
Visualizing something you find repulsive, such as someone throwing up or cleaning the toilet has been shown to naturally help you lose your appetite. Focusing on something that is unappealing will take your mind off wanting food you should not be eating. If that doesn't work, smelling something repulsive will do the trick.
13- Stick through it and think about the results
Sometimes focusing on WHY you are doing this will help you not want to eat more food to begin with. Imagine yourself in a new pair of jeans or with a six pack and that extra biscuit might just become meaningless to you. Focus on what you want in the long run instead of right now. The beginning is the hardest, but it only gets easier from that moment on.
14- Take a nap
Sometimes you might be hungry because you are feeling weak or tired and a quick nap would help restore your energy levels. Besides, a nap really is an amazing appetite suppressant!
15- Eat wholegrain carbohydrates and food high in fiber
Wholegrain and foods that are rich in fiber will take longer to digest and help you feel fuller for longer. These foods should always be included in your diet and should never be eliminated.
16- Avoid eating a lot of sugar, white carbs and refined foods
Eating abundant amounts of sugar, white carbs such as white bread, pasta and rice, or anything that is processed will cause an insulin spike and increase your hunger. Enjoying these foods in moderation, such as once a week as a cheat meal, will enable you to enjoy your indulgences without feeling hungry or having any cravings.
17- Always eat a salad before your main course
Eating something light before your main dish, such as a salad, will help you feel full faster. By the time your main course is finished, you will feel satiated and will be less likely to worry about hunger.