Eating healthier to lose weight is a lot easier said than done. If you’re following a strict diet or reducing your calorie intake, you may find yourself so hungry that it can be tempting to go back to old habits. So how can you manage hunger pangs and avoid giving into bad cravings?
Let’s have a look at these five simple and easy ways to suppress your appetite.
1. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is incredibly important. It leaves your stomach undigested and ends up in your colon, where it becomes food for good gut bacteria. Certain types of fiber may also promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and fight constipation. Soluble fiber helps regulate hormones involved in appetite control. It can also reduce the levels of hunger hormones produced by the body, including ghrelin which influences your appetite.
2. Drink Caffeine
Green tea and coffee are excellent for curbing your appetite, and it can also boost your metabolism. If you’re a coffee drinker, however, be aware of drinks that add tons of milk and sugar. It would be a good idea for you to brew your own. Decaffeinated coffee has also been shown to reduce hunger and takes the cake to regular coffee as an appetite suppressant, due to a protein known as “PYY”. PYY is released by cells in your large intestine and helps “switch off” your desires and cravings to eat.
3. Indulge in Dark Chocolate
The bitterness of dark chocolate is thought to help decrease appetite and diminish cravings for sweets. Stearic acid in dark chocolate can help slow digestion, further increasing feelings of fullness. Interestingly, the simple act of smelling this treat might produce the same effect. A study had found that simply smelling 85% dark chocolate decreased both appetite and hunger hormones just as much as actually eating it.
4. Drink More Water
Drinking water can also help decrease the hunger you feel before meals. It may also increase feelings of fullness following a meal and promote weight loss. In fact, studies show that people who drink two glasses of water immediately before a meal eat 22% less than those who don’t drink any water. Scientists believe that about 500 ml of water is sufficient to stretch the stomach enough to send signals of fullness to the brain. That said, water is also known to empty from the stomach quickly. For this tip to work, it may be best to drink the water as close to the meal as possible.
5. Try Some Grapefruit
Try adding grapefruit to your diet. Half a grapefruit with every meal has been shown to help people lose weight. One study indicates that grapefruit might have properties that lower your insulin after meals, keeping hunger at bay. However, it is very important to take note: if you are taking medication, please check if your medication interacts with grapefruit, as it is known to interact adversely with 85 different drugs, 45 of which are very serious.
Being Hungry is Human
Hunger is an important and natural signal that should not be ignored. The tips mentioned here are just a few simple ways to reduce your appetite and hunger between meals. If you’ve tried these things but still find you’re excessively hungry, you should consider talking to a healthcare professional about your options.