Slimming down your waistline means slimming down your portions. But while you’re counting calories, your stomach is growling, begging for more sustenance than a simple salad can give. Sooner or later, you’ll give into your stomach only to regret it later. So how can you satisfy your hunger and slim down at the same time? By following these 10 tips that will help you to suppress your appetite naturally.
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that people who chew gum early in the day are more likely to consume fewer calories at lunch. Those who participated in the study also didn’t snack later in the day to compensate for those lost calories. Researchers believe that the act of chewing tricks the brain into telling the stomach that it’s eating and is, therefore, satiated.
(To learn more interesting facts on chewing gum, see The Surprising Health Benefits Of Chewing Gum.)
Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day because it helps to jumpstart your metabolism and it sets the pace for your appetite throughout the day. In other words, if you eat the right foods for breakfast, you’ll be less hungry later in the day.
The best foods that you can eat for breakfast are bacon, eggs, yogurt and other foods that are high in protein. Protein is a nutrient that fills you up, and by eating it for breakfast, you’ll actually feel fuller longer than you would by eating it for lunch or dinner. Combine that protein with some carbs and a little bit of fat and you’ll have the perfect hunger-kicking trifecta.
(If you want to hear more about the benefits of eating breakfast, read Top 10 Benefits Of Eating Breakfast.)
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think that avoiding fat is the best way to go, but in reality, fat can actually curb your appetite. The trick is to consume healthy, unsaturated fats that are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts and avocados. When unsaturated fats are ingested, they turn into a compound that triggers the chemicals in the brain that signal satiety. Of course, with all fats, moderation is key, so eat only a handful of nuts or a quarter of an avocado as a snack or with a meal.
Studies show that by just by smelling certain foods your brain can be tricked into thinking that you’ve eaten. In one study, participants who sniffed the scent of peppermint every two hours cut about 2,700 calories from their diet in a week. Other studies show that chocolate, vanilla, bananas and green apples can produce a similar effect.
Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that trigger the pleasure centers in the brain. By releasing these chemicals through exercise, you’ll be less likely to seek the pleasure of a snack later in the day. Exercise also suppresses appetite-inducing hormones in the body, so it can take up to two hours for your body to even feel hungry after you work out.
Those who eat six small meals a day instead of three big meals have an easier time keeping their appetites at bay. By eating every three to four hours, the body’s blood sugar level doesn’t have time to dip to hunger-inducing lows. Eating smaller portions every few hours also eliminates the urge to snack throughout the day.
It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain that it’s full. So if you’ve been thinking about having dessert, wait a full 20 minutes after eating your meal. If you don’t feel hungry after those 20 minutes, then dessert will have to wait for another day.
You may feel like breezing through the bakery for a look-see, but it may lead you down the path of temptation. If it’s not time to eat, try to avoid places that sell food or where people eat such as food courts, cafeterias and break rooms.
Many drinks can keep you satiated and suppress your appetite at the same time. The best thing to drink is, of course, water. It not only hydrates your body, but it flushes out toxins and can rev up your metabolism. Drinking one full glass of water before eating can fill up your stomach so you eat less during mealtime. Coffee and tea are two other beverages that act as natural appetite suppressants and can make for a great snack replacement in the evening.
This will not only bolster your daily intake of fruit, it will also decrease your daily intake of calories. Studies show that people who eat half of a grapefruit before a meal not only ate less, but lost an average of 3.6 pounds in three months. Researchers attribute these results to grapefruit’s ability to lower the body’s level of insulin, which regulates the body’s blood sugar and fat metabolism.