Saturday, July 15, 2017

Naturally Suppress Your Appetite

found on Caroline Apovian,
Do you find yourself constantly snacking throughout the day? Do you feel cravings no matter what you eat? Does your hunger distract you from your work and weight loss goals? Try these eight simple interventions that help to reduce hunger pangs, cut calories, and banish cravings.

1. Eat Protein for Breakfast

Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients, meaning that it helps you to feel full the longest. Protein also guards and builds up lean muscle mass, which is a key component in maintaining a healthy, efficient metabolism. A popular study comparing weight loss breakfasts divided overweight participants into two groups. The first group was fed a low protein bagel breakfast, and the second was given a high protein egg breakfast containing the same amount of calories. Over the eight-week study period, the egg group had lost 65 percent more weight and a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference. 
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2. Pay Attention to Fiber

Foods that contain high amounts of fiber take longer to digest than other foods, increase feelings of satiety, and raise our metabolic rate, meaning that we will burn more calories following a high fiber meal. Consuming enough fiber in the diet also reduces blood sugar and insulin levels. As an added benefit, most high fiber foods are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients—the most effective combination for weight loss. High fiber foods that are especially good at keeping appetite under control include:
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Whole Grains

3. Have a Cup of Decaf

Coffee drinkers have a slight weight loss advantage as compared to those who abstain. While drinking non-caloric liquids in general helps dieters to feel full longer between meals, coffee stimulates the release of a hormone called peptide YY, which is associated with greater feelings of satiety. In one study, decaf coffee seemed to produce this feeling more strongly than caffeinated coffee.
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4. Drink That Water!

Most Americans aren’t getting the prerequisite 8-12 glasses per day. Water keeps the metabolism running smoothly, stops hunger pangs, and is necessary for every function our body performs. Last year, a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. asked 84 individuals with obesity to drink two full glasses of water half an hour before each of their meals for 12 weeks. On average, the group lost nine pounds each during that time without making any other weight loss interventions.
Moreover, the body registers calories much more effectively when they are chewed as opposed to consumed in liquid form. The exception to this rule is drinking high protein smoothies made with whole fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water will help to limit calories from juices, sweetened teas, sodas, and other empty calories that do not translate into satiety.

5. Think Big

If you are like most Americans, you are accustomed to large portion sizes. When starting a new diet, the very thought of cutting back on calories may trigger hunger pangs. Use visual tricks to help your body to feel full by using smaller plates and loading them up with foods that are low in calories, but high in volume. Some foods that are high in volume and low on calories include:
  • Celery
  • Arugula
  • Watermelon
  • Bok Choy
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Honeydew melon
  • Broth-based soups
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 6. Move for 10 Minutes

    Short intervals of intense exercise help to decrease levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase levels of the satiety hormone PYY. Exercise also helps to reduce stress, which is a leading cause of sudden hunger pangs and cravings. Before every meal, try a brief 10-15 minute bout of aerobic exercise.

    7. Play Tetris!

    Many times during the day, cravings come from a desire to alleviate boredom, or to experience a reward, rather than actual homeostatic hunger. Quash these sorts of cravings with a brief game of Tetris or Candy Crush. Even a few minutes of playing an online game helped participants to reduce cravings in one study.

    8. Sniff Some Peppermint

    Different studies have shown that certain fragrances, including peppermint, suppress the appetite. In one study from Wheeling Jesuit University, participants sniffed peppermint essential oils every couple of hours over the course of two weeks. They reported decreased cravings, less overall feelings of hunger, and significantly lower daily calorie intake than when they did not use the peppermint essential oil. Try using an essential oil yourself, or recreate the effect with unsweetened peppermint tea.

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