Weight loss seems like a mirage to most of us. Some of us at least wishes the fat to just melt away when you pop a pill or drink some potion. But we know how difficult and nearly impossible it is.
The appetite is both a psychological and physical phenomenon. When we see a dish that looks good or smells nice, it stimulates an involuntary physiological response in the body. Having a healthy appetite is good, but an unnecessary increase in appetite can be unhealthy. An increased appetite can last for a few days or longer, depending on the cause. It can lead to unhealthy eating habits, weight gain and many other health problems.
There are many strategies to help suppress appetite. Some of them are avoiding refined carbohydrates, getting adequate sun exposure and drinking plenty of water. You can also incorporate certain foods into your daily diet to help reduce your appetite. Certain foods and eating strategies, when used together, can naturally help lower your appetite. Let’s have a closer look at these magic foods.
A significant factor in regulating your appetite is a high-fiber diet. Fiber-rich foods break down slowly and turn off your brain’s response to food. Plus, fiber stabilizes blood sugar levels, which determines how hungry you get. Adding 14 extra grams of fiber to your daily menu can reduce calorie intake by 10 percent. The fiber in apples and citrus are especially effective in helping the stomach feel full.
You can stay fuller for a longer time with a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal contains fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and it helps increase an appetite-regulating hormone known as cholecystokinin in the body. Oatmeal is also a slow-digesting carbohydrate that helps keep blood sugar and insulin at optimum levels while speeding up the fat-burning process. To increase the satiating effect of oatmeal, eat steel cut oats with a little bit of cinnamon powder.
The Right Carbs
Beans, lentils, green bananas and cold potatoes are rich in resistant starch, a carbohydrate that skips through the stomach undigested and gets fermented in the large intestine. This process releases an acid that makes the body use stored fat for fuel. Resistant starch deals a debilitating, temporary blow to the appetite, keeping you full for about an hour afterwards.
To stop between-meal hunger pangs, add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to a carbohydrate-rich meal. Acetic acid lowers the glycemic index of carbs, which will keep them from spiking your blood sugar levels. This will reduce the urge to snack in between meals and prevent cravings.
Dark chocolate tones down emotional food cravings because it floods the brain with endorphins, a chemical that elicits feelings of happiness and calm. In one study, women who ate or even smelled the confection reported less hunger. Eating chocolate also lowered levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, which boosts the mouthwatering appeal of high-calorie foods.
Almonds are a rich source of healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which prevent you from overeating. These healthy fats also keep your cholesterol level low. Plus, almonds are a good source of appetite-killing fiber, which takes time to digest so you do not feel hungry more quickly.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Spicing up your daily diet with chili pepper can help you eat less. Research shows that red pepper dampens the appetite in relation to how uncomfortably hot you think your food is. If you regularly eat spicy food and are immune to its fiery properties, it won’t help. It’s the burn on your tongue that makes it effective. The active ingredient, capsaicin, may boost the metabolism slightly, but only to the tune of 20 extra calories a day.
Spread it Up
The secret to feeling full while eating less – tricking your brain into thinking you ate a big meal. Instead of shrinking your portion sizes, eat foods that take up a lot of room on your plate but have fewer calories per bite. These are foods with high water content, such as broth-based soups, salads, fruit and vegetables. Eat these foods first, before your main meal. Because they take a long time to eat and occupy up a lot of space in your belly, your brain will register that it’s full before you’ve eaten many calories.
An excellent source of protein, Greek yogurt also helps suppress appetite. Greek yogurt also contains a good amount of calcium that helps control hunger pangs and helps your body keep going throughout the day. It also has the added benefit of its fat-burning potential.
Being rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein, flaxseeds also help suppress your appetite and help you to stay satiated and fueled for a longer time. They are also a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, which may increase levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone cholecystokinin.
Avocado is another superfood that can suppress appetite and reduce the urge to overeat. Being rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and soluble fiber, it takes a long time for the body to digest avocado. This provides a prolonged feeling of fullness.
Green tea, whether hot or cold, is one of the beverages that you can drink in between meals to suppress appetite and help you to stop mindlessly snacking. Green tea contains phytonutrients like EGCG that increase the hormone cholecystokinin, which is responsible for creating the feeling of satiation.
While drinking more than one to two cups of Joe a day can leave you feeling jittery and nervous, a moderate amount of coffee can help boost metabolism and suppress your appetite. Caffeine, along with antioxidants from the coffee beans help suppressing your appetite.
If you want to keep the hunger level real low, eat a small salad before you sit down for a meal. Just a cup or two of veggies is all it takes to signal to your brain that you are getting calories and nutrition. Since it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you're full, start with a small salad before your meal.