For anyone trying to lose weight, the most basic concept of most diets is to eat less. Unfortunately, for many people this falls under the category of things that are easier said than done.
If you want to lose weight and simply can’t seem to stop yourself from eating or you find that you are always hungry, the key to eating less is to suppress your appetite. If you can’t calm your hunger, then there is very little chance of any diet you go on being successful in helping you to lose weight.
Here is a list of 11 methods for suppressing your hunger that have all been scientifically proven to help.
1. Drink Coffee
Coffee can offer many benefits for your health and for your weight loss efforts, and helping to suppress your appetite can be counted among them. Research has shown that coffee can increase the levels of YY(PYY) in your body, which is a hormone peptide in your stomach that makes you feel full and tell you when to stop eating. Scientists have determined that this hormone is a major factor in determining how much a person eats and when they will stop.
It has been discovered that decaffeinated coffee is actually more effective at this, and will help suppress your appetite for longer than regular coffee. More studies will be needed to figure out exactly why this is the case, but it is currently known that a cup of decaffeinated coffee can help reduce your hunger for up to three hours.
2. Pay Attention When You Eat
Many of us multitask when we are eating. We watch TV, talk to each other, or even work while we eat. The problem with this is that your brain tells you when you are full, and if you aren’t paying attention it can be easy to miss these signals.
If you pay attention to your meal when you are eating, research has proven that you will not only eat less, you will enjoy the food that you do eat more. Getting rid of distraction when you are eating can also greatly reduce the chances of binge eating.
Research has shown that there is a direct connection between how full we feel and what we can see or are paying attention to. In one study, a group of individuals were all offered one of two shakes. One shake was labelled as “120 calorie-sensible” and the other was labelled as “620 calorie indulgence”.
However, the truth was that all of the shakes were exactly the same. Surprisingly, even though all of the participants drank the exact same thing, the hormone levels responsible for the feeling of hunger dropped significantly more for those participants who drank the shake that was labelled as having more calories. This clearly shows that what you see and think about your food can have a drastic effect on your appetite.
3. Use A Bigger Fork
A recent study concluded that using a larger fork when you eat can actually decrease the amount of food that you intake by up to 10%. While the reason for this is unclear, it seems that using a smaller fork may make you feel as if you are getting less food or you are not satisfying your hunger fast enough. Because your brain thinks you are taking too long to eat, it processes this as a feeling of eating less than you actually are.
Oddly enough, this principle does not work with anything but forks. A similar study found that participants were likely to eat up to 14.5% more food when using a larger spoon.
4. Get Some Exercise
There have been multiple studies which found that exercise has a good potential of decreasing a person’s appetite. Exercise lowers the amount of activity in the same areas of the brain that control hunger, and it can also lower the levels of hormones in the body that cause the feeling of hunger.
You can decrease your appetite through a variety of exercise forms, including both aerobic and resistance training. So, whether you enjoy running, biking, swimming, or lifting weights, getting up and getting moving can have a significant effect on your appetite.
5. Eat More Protein
If you have done any research on nutrition, then you know that it’s no secret that protein can help you feel full faster and stay full longer. It can also help you achieve weight loss and help make sure the weight you lose is the right kind of weight.
One study recently split participants into two groups. One group was given bagels for breakfast over the course of eight weeks and the other was given eggs. Both breakfasts contained the same number of calories, but one clearly had a much higher protein level.
At the end of the study, researchers discovered that those who had eaten a protein rich breakfast had lost an average of 65% more weight, and 16% more of the weight they lost was from fat. This means that eating more protein is a huge key factor in trying to lose weight because it can suppress your appetite, help you lose more weight, and help ensure that less of the weight lost in from muscle.
To maximize the results you get from eating more protein, make sure that protein itself makes up around 30% of your diet. You can help ensure that you are getting healthy protein from good sources by incorporating protein shakes, such as whey protein, into your diet.
6. Not All Calories Are Created Equal
Remember that there is a huge difference between solid and liquid calories. As it turns out, consuming a solid snack makes it about 35% less likely for you to overeat next time you eat something.
The reason for this effect is because eating something solid requires you to chew it, which gives your body more time to register that you are getting full. This is completely different when consuming liquid calories. Drinking a glass of milk which is pretty high on calorie content isn’t nearly as effective at making you feel fuller faster.
The other interesting effect of eating food that you have to chew is that it takes up more space in your stomach. A liquid is able to fill in all gaps and spaces no matter what container it is in, but food that has been chewed has more room in between its bits and pieces and is likely to fill you up quicker.
7. Ginger is Full of Benefits
Out of all the different spices and foods out there, ginger is one of very few that offers many different benefits, one of which can help you with curbing your appetite.
There has been a small study recently that showed the benefits of dissolving a small amount of ginger in hot water and then drinking it during breakfast. Apparently, doing so will make you less hungry after eating.
Although this can certainly help you with your appetite, the study was actually rather small and more testing is needed to set this discovery in stone. But nothing is stopping you from trying it out for yourself and continuing to do so every time you have a meal.
8. Fiber Rich Foods
Probably one of the most useful things you can do to keep yourself from becoming hungry too quickly is choosing to eat foods which are high in fiber. Fiber is capable of suppressing your appetite because it generally takes a long time to be digested and exit your system. This is exactly why it is perfect for reducing your appetite. Additionally, fiber can also help your digestive tract and improve its overall health.
Fiber rich foods are also capable of fermenting in the bowel, which later on produces fatty acids. This process also helps you feel fuller quicker and less hungry after the meal.
It is estimated that a meal that has fiber rich food in it like chickpeas or lentils will usually keep your appetite suppressed by about 30% when compared to similar meals that don’t have fiber rich foods in them.
Besides lentils and beans, you can also take advantage of whole grains. These are also full to the brim with fiber and can help you achieve the same effect as other fiber rich foods.
Simply adding roughly 15 grams of fiber to your daily diet can have an excellent outcome on reducing your calories. Doing this is estimated to reduce your calorie intake by as much as 10 percent. This is equal to as much as 4 pounds over a four month period of time.
Keep in mind that not all fiber rich foods are the same and some are more effective than others. Here is a short list of the best fiber foods if you are interested in keeping your hunger under control and losing weight: flaxseed, almonds, figs (preferably fresh), blackberries, edamame, bulgur, baked squash, artichoke hearts, wheat bran (unprocessed), navy beans, avocadoes (raw).
Many people have a tendency to overlook sleep and what it can do to suppress our hunger and improve our weight loss. Sleeping the right amount and getting quality sleep can improve your hunger control.
There have been many studies done which show that sleep deprivation will increase your hunger levels by as much as 25%. The longer you are awake and the more sleep deprived you are, the more food your body will force you into consuming. This is a natural response since staying up and functioning for an extended amount of time requires more energy.
Make sure that your sleep cycle is correct and try to sleep in a dark, cold room without any ambient light. This will ensure that you are producing enough melatonin to get enough high-quality sleep.
10. Drink More Water
Studies have shown that drinking at least 17 ounces of water is enough to send signals to your brain that you are becoming full, even if you do not drink or eat anything else. This means that drinking water is a great way to suppress an overactive appetite, especially when used close to meal time.
If you drink a glass of water before your meal, you are statistically less likely to eat as much. Similarly, if you drink two glasses of water after you have finished eating, you are far less likely to snack or get hungry a few hours later, which is a common problem for those with appetite control issues. Doing this can reduce your calorie intake by as much as 22%.
It’s important to also remember that water empties from the stomach quickly, so if you want to use it during meal time you need to take it close to or during your meal. This also means that throughout the day it will take multiple glasses to keep you full over an extended period of time. This is not problem, though, as you really should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day anyway to stay hydrated.
11. Spice Thing Up
We mentioned Ginger before, but there are plenty of other spices and seasonings that can help you to suppress your appetite. One recent study specifically researched the appetite suppressing effects of capsiate and capsaicin. The study found that both were very effective at suppressing feeling of hunger and making participants feel full.
These components can be found in peppers whether they are hot or sweet, so if you enjoy spicy foods you can definitely use it to help your curb your hunger.
11 Studied Ways To Suppress Hunger Final Words
Hunger is a natural and vital part of life, but there are many people who feel they are controlled by it. If you are having trouble losing weight or you feel like you may have a food addiction, try these useful tips to help you suppress your appetite and eat less.
As always, remember to consult with your doctor when making any major changes in your diet to ensure that you do not aggravate any underlying conditions or cause negative interactions between your medications and new ingredients in your diet.