Learn how to suppress appetite with these easy to follow 10 tips
If you overeat at mealtime or with snacks throughout the day, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that millions of people overeat and the number continues to grow. When you overeat, your body’s metabolism can’t keep up and causes weight gain. Therefore many people want to know how to suppress appetite in order to lose weight and get healthy.
However, there is even more to be concerned about including heart, stomach, intestine, and colon complications.The first step to stop overeating is to learn the best ways to curb appetite and commit to them. This will be a lifestyle change, so every small step helps.
Learn how to curb appetite with these 10 easy steps
1. Snack smarter
That’s right: It’s okay to snack! Curb your appetite by snacking smarter and using food to your advantage. Snacking on the right kinds of foods will keep you satisfied while helping you avoid overeating when mealtime finally rolls around.
However, this will backfire if you do not choose the correct foods to snack on. Stay away from sugary snacks full of empty calories.
Apples are perhaps one of the best snacks to eat either an hour before or after a meal. Apples contain soluble fiber, which makes you feel full and hold onto that feeling for a longer period of time.
If you find yourself becoming tired of plain apples, add a small scoop of almond butter or cinnamon to them for added benefits.
Another great snack is pine nuts; these are perfect for those who are always on the go. While some nuts are avoided because they’re considered to be high in fat, pine nuts are high in an omega-6 fatty acid that has been found to increase the volume of the hormones released in your body that tell you you’re full.
They contain the healthy fat that your body needs, but keep in mind that they should still be consumed in moderation. Eat a handful of them and allow them to do their work before going for more.
Also look for snacks that are high in protein and fiber. Here is a list of great snacking ideas to curb appetite:
- One apple, with an optional tablespoon of almond butter
- One handful of pine nuts
- Two hardboiled eggs
- Half a cup of rolled oats (add some cinnamon and blueberries for taste)
- Half of an avocado on whole-wheat toast
- Greek yogurt
Don’t forget to include portion control while snacking. Even if you’re snacking on healthy, filling foods, eating too much of it will backfire.
2. Make mealtime work
Mealtimes are the times when people most often overeat. When you have too hearty of an appetite, you’ll overeat during meals, which will continue the vicious cycle of always feeling hungry. While snacking in between meals will help avoid overeating and curb that extra hunger, there are some great ways to trick your mind and body into filling up on less food.
Start by creating a routine and, if possible, eat with family at the dinner table. Try to eat around the same time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead of eating on the couch in front of the TV, eat at the table with your family.
Eating with family can help you be more conscious about how much food you are eating and forces you to slow down. Eating too quickly often results in overeating.
Mind over body; it may be a cliché, but studies have found that suppressing hunger can be as easy as convincing yourself that you’ve had enough to eat.
Trick your mind into thinking that you’re eating more than you actually are by using a smaller plate and cutting your food into smaller pieces. Studies have shown that these tricks curb your hunger and help you eat less.
3. Drink up
How to curb appetite includes drinking more water. The majority of people do not drink enough water. You should be drinking at least a half-gallon of water per day. Drinking water will help suppress your appetite while hydrating your body.
The best way to ensure that you’re drinking enough water is to buy a 24-oz. water bottle. You should have to fill it at least 3 times a day, so set daily goals for yourself for each refill. For example, drink the first full bottle by 10 a.m., the second full bottle by 3 p.m., and the final full bottle by 8 p.m.
You should also drink water when you’re feeling hungry in between meals. You may think you’re hungry, but you’re actually dehydrated. Dehydration leads to the body feeling tired, which makes the body believe it needs energy from food.
This is how a dehydrated body tricks you into thinking you’re hungry. So instead of reaching for a snack, first drink a large glass of water. Even if you weren’t dehydrated, your body always needs more water and it’ll fill your stomach so you don’t over-snack—so that glass of water has some hidden benefits.
To curb appetite during meals, drink an 8-oz glass of water about 20 minutes before your meal. This has several benefits for your body, but one of them includes curbing your mealtime appetite. It fills your stomach a little so that you’re not starving when you start eating.
If you’re not crazy about water, consider adding some natural flavor to make it more enjoyable. If you’re not enjoying the water, you’re less likely to drink it. Make it enjoyable so that you’ll crave it and drink more of it throughout the day.
Try adding some fresh lemon or any other fruit. You can also add your favorite 100% fruit juice – just try to keep it minimal. If using fruit juice, try not to add more than a few tablespoons per 8 ounces because they still contain natural sugars that you don’t need to be loading up on all day long.
In between your water drinking, try some green tea. Green tea has tons of benefits, one of which is that it contains a nutrient called epigallocatechin gallate which increases the release of the hormone in your body that makes you feel full. Green tea can be consumed hot or cold.
This may be a great option for those who get the mid-afternoon munchies. Try a cup of green tea before heading to that snack drawer.
4. Pump the protein
Adding more protein to your diet will make you feel fuller longer, which will suppress appetite longer. Foods that are high in lean protein stay in your stomach longer than other foods.
There’s even more science behind it. When you eat protein-rich foods, your body makes a chemical called phenylalanine to break down that protein. Studies have found that this chemical also triggers the hormones that curb appetite. This makes increased protein a double-whammy against unwanted hunger.
Include protein in both your meals and your snacks to ensure that you’re getting enough throughout the day.Some great high-protein options are:
- Greek yogurt
- Whole grains
- Cottage cheese
- Whey protein
- Steak—top or bottom round
- Chicken breast
- Peanut butter
5. How to curb hunger with fiber
Fiber-rich foods such as beans, lentils, and whole grains slow the rate at which your stomach empties itself and increases the release of the hormones in your body that make you feel full.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. While both are healthy for you and you should make it a point to include both in your diet, soluble fiber is the type that will slow down your digestion.
Soluble fiber makes you feel full longer and suppresses your appetite, while insoluble fiber moves more quickly for healthy bowel movements—which is also important.
The best sources of soluble fiber are:
- Black, kidney, and navy beans
- Whole grains
- Fruit (all kinds, but especially apricots, grapefruit, mangoes, and oranges)
- Vegetables (all kinds, but especially Brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes, and asparagus)
A sneaky way to add fiber to your diet is to use flaxseeds. Add them to everything; your sandwiches, yogurt, drinks, soups, casseroles, etc. They add no taste, just a bit of a different texture, but they include the benefits of fiber and are easy to include in just about everything.
6. Put down the shake
Those who are attempting to curb hunger and lose weight often opt for those delicious and convenient weight-loss shakes.
While these shakes often include beneficial ingredients that seem like they would suppress hunger, such as high amounts of protein and fiber, studies have found that the act of drinking food was less effective for hunger suppression than eating real foods.
These studies found that people who drink shakes instead of eating snacks end up snacking later on, or overeat when it is meal time.While they are tempting and convenient for those on the go, opt for snacks that are real food, and never replace a meal with a shake.
Here are some ideas for on-the-go real-food snacks. Any of the following snacks can be prepared ahead of time and stored in plastic bags or containers for grab-and-go convenience.
- Any variety of fruits and veggies, cut into bite sizes
- Cheese cubes, especially Swiss
- Dried fruits—prunes, apricots, bananas, apples
- Trail mix: almonds, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips
- Prepackaged bars such as KIND bars
- Protein Bites
- Kale chips
- Roasted chickpeas
7. Stay active
A great way to curb hunger is to distract yourself from thinking that you’re hungry. Many who snack during the day aren’t necessarily snacking because they are hungry; they snack as a habit or to keep their body busy.
If you’re snacking because you’re bored or snack out of habit, get your body moving. Exercise has also been found to reduce the levels of the hormones in your body that make you feel hungry.
If you work at a desk, you should be stretching your legs every half-hour anyway, so take a few quick laps around the office before grabbing a snack. If you’re offered longer breaks, utilize them to go for longer walks instead of using them to fill up on a mid-afternoon snack.
8. Avoid social media triggers
Pinterest and Instagram are bursting with photos of delectable, beautiful, hunger-inducing food. Remember the “mind over body” cliché? Your mind is a powerful thing. When you see pictures of food that you want to consume, your body naturally reacts with feelings of hunger.
A recent study found that simply looking at foods that we would enjoy increases levels of the hunger hormone called ghrelin.Pinterest and other social media sites have become the go-to’s to pass time during 15-minute breaks or to relax after work.
However, if you’re finding that you become hungry during these times, it’s a good idea to avoid them. Try other ways to relax such as mediating or coloring in one of the popular adult coloring books. Don’t let your mind become tricked into being hungry.
9. How to suppress appetite with essential oils
When used properly, essential oils have been found to curb cravings and suppress appetites. Our sense of smell is more powerful than we realize and can be used to our advantage when attempting to avoid overeating and snacking.
You can use essential oils either in a diffuser, adding them to lotion and applying it to your skin, or by wearing jewelry made to hold the oils. Some oils can also be added to water to be ingested. Make sure to check the oils’ labels for information on how that specific oil can and should be used.
The most highly suggested oil to use is peppermint oil, but since every person’s cravings and body is different, experiment with different types of oils to find which kinds work for you.
Suggested oils are:
- Ylang ylang
10. Use an herbal appetite suppressant
Herbs have been used throughout history to heal ailments and keep healthy. Adding herbs to your diet is a safe, natural, and sneaky way to suppress your appetite.
While some herbs act as diuretics, certain herbs have been found to make you feel full for a longer period of time – similar to the way the different types of fiber work. The key is to discover the herbs that work in your favor.
Some herbs that have been found to be successful appetite suppressants are:
- Aloe vera
- Licorice root
- Dandelion root
- Green tea
- Evening primrose
Suppressing your appetite is easier than it sounds if you take simple steps to changing your lifestyle. These top 10 tips should be a great starting point in your journey to a healthier body.
Remember that it is a process and don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall off the bandwagon. If you overeat on an indulgent weekend, jump back to your new routine and keep at it.
Eventually, these tips will become a habit in your life and you won’t have to even think about how to suppress appetite anymore.