Constant hunger pangs can be a nightmare, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or commit to healthier eating habits. A fluctuating appetite can also negatively affect your mood.
An appetite suppressant is a food, supplement, or other methods that stop a person from feeling hungry.
Luckily, there are ways to tame even the most brutal of appetites. What’s more, all of these are 100% natural.
7. Drink more water
Research shows that humans often confuse hunger with dehydration, which could lead to unnecessary snacking.
The solution? Drink plenty of water during the day instead of munching on snacks. This will keep you hydrated and will reduce hunger pangs without adding calories.
Importantly, steer clear of water flavored with artificial sweeteners, as these can stimulate the appetite. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add a few lemons or orange slices, or berries for flavor.
6. Avoid sugar and sweeteners
Sugar may increase appetite and hunger, which could lead to overeating, according to research from the University of California.
When we consume sugar or foods high in sugar, e.g. sweets, cookies, corn flakes or white bread, our blood sugar levels spike and then drop almost instantly. This imbalance makes us hungry again after a few hours.
Your best bet is to go for low-GI carbohydrates, such as low-GI brown bread, oatmeal, sweet potato, apple and pear, and to always pair carbohydrates with a healthy fat (e.g. nuts, peanut butter or avocado), a lean protein (e.g. eggs) or a low-fat or fat-free dairy food (e.g. a cup of milk or yoghurt). This will keep your blood sugar levels steady, keeping your hunger pangs under control.
5. Eat more protein
If you’d like to suppress your appetite and lose weight, a protein-rich diet may just be what you need.
Dietary protein enhances satiety and promotes weight loss, according to a study by Rachel Batterham and colleagues, published in Cell Metabolism. When we consume protein, hunger-suppressing and appetite-regulating hormones are released. Protein also helps us to sustain energy.
Try to eat healthy protein at most meals, e.g. fish, eggs, poultry (without the skin), venison, pork (without the fat), legumes and beans. Eat red meat less often and make a point of having some protein for breakfast.
4. Eat more fiber
Foods high in fiber are known to boost fullness and suppress appetite. Fibre-rich foods also lower levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone insulin.
Since high-fiber foods generally take longer to eat, it gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry. You’ll quickly feel satisfied and will stay satiated for a number of hours. Fibre also takes longer to leave the stomach, adding to the feeling of satiety without adding calories.
Meet your fiber needs by eating a wide variety of whole-grain products, fruits, and vegetables (raw, if possible), high-fiber cereals, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
3. Get enough sleep
Insufficient sleep causes levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin to rise and may also make you more insulin resistant. The result? Cravings throughout the day, and a greater risk for type 2 diabetes. To keep the hunger pangs at bay, make sure you get at least 7 – 8 hours of good-quality sleep every night.
2. Eat slowly
Take your time when you’re eating, as eating too fast may cause you to overindulge.
Keep in mind that it takes at least 20-30 minutes for your gut hormones to kick in and signal fullness in the brain. Eating slowly helps you to feel full and satisfied and makes sure you don’t even think about having seconds.
Also, be “at the moment” when you’re eating. Distractions, such as the television, may cause you to eat more without realizing it. Take time, relax, and enjoy a meal with friends and family.
Various studies have shown that moderate to intense workouts affect the brain’s appetite control center. Levels of appetite-stimulating hormones are lowered during physical activity and appetite-suppressing hormones are activated.
Exercise is also a great distraction. The more you exercise, the less time you’ll spend eating or thinking about food.