First of all, if you intend to control your appetite in a safe way, do not use harmful appetite suppressing pills as they can be very unhealthy and sometimes even dangerous. Anorectic drugs usually supress hunger by reducing secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) that stimulate our appetite. The following negative effects are usually the result of using those drugs: insomnia, nervousness, high blood pressure and increased heart rate, restlessness, headache, blurred vision, etc.
According to a 2012 clinical trial also popular Hoodia Gordonii extract actually did not demonstrate any appetite suppressing abilities and at the same time induced a lot of side effects, such as elevated blood pressure and heart rate, strange skin sensations, nausea, and vomiting.
The appetite suppressants based on high doses of caffeine or ephedra are not free from harmful side effects too. Usually they lead to anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, nervousness, headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, or muscle twitching.
Another popular appetite suppressant is apple cider vinegar which is high in acetic acid. However, if you decide to include apple cider vinegar in your diet avoid consuming it in large doses for a long period of time as it may lead to potassium deficiency, reduction of bone mineral density, and since it is highly acidic it may induce indigestion or heartburn and can damage tooth enamel.
Practicing the following principles will help you to suppress appetite in between meals in a natural and safe way:
- According to Prof. John Foreyt of Baylor College of Medicine, if we are tempted to eat an ice cream, a chocolate, chips, or any other junk food in between meals, it’s usually a sign of craving, and not a true hunger. In this case, since according to Prof. Foreyt cravings typically last only about ten minutes, we just need to recognize that it is just a craving and cope with it by diverting our mind or involving it in different activities such as conversation with someone, listening to a music, watching an interesting program, meditating, reading, or exercising until the craving disappears.
- In order to overcome hunger especially in between meals and in the evening remember to drink 2-3 glasses of water (very warm is more effective in suppressing appetite) between meals 3 times a day. Water will definitely reduce appetite for about 30 minutes. If you still feel hungry immediately after drinking water wait 5-10 minutes, and you will find that your craving is either completely gone or dramatically reduced. Studies demonstrated that drinking enough water helped participants to lose weight and increased their metabolic rates by 30%.
- If drinking water is not enough to suppress appetite, have some warm Slimming Vegetable Soup without potatoes (see Recipes). It is very low in calories and will fill your stomach helping you to suppress hunger. But please eat this soup in between meals only if you really have to as any type of food including soup will stimulate your stomach to release digestive enzymes and as a result the ability to make those enzymes during regular meals would be impaired.
- The best way to control hunger and lose weight is by eating plenty of leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, different types of cabbage, and other leafy vegetables. They are so low in calories that you shouldn’t worry about them at all and feel free to have them in unlimited quantities. And if you take into consideration the fact that your body has to use calories in order to digest them we can actually consider them as calorie free foods. In addition, they also help to control appetite by filling our stomach and thus satisfying hunger. You can eat those vegetables after mixing them in a large bowel with fresh lemon juice, humus, or other healthy and low calorie home maid salad dressings. This is an excellent way to fill your stomach and overcome hunger while only giving yourself about a hundred calories from the salad dressing.
- Include soaked in water or in a plant-based milk (for about 30 minutes or longer) chia seeds in your breakfast because it is helpful in suppressing hunger. It is high in soluble fibre and can absorb large amounts of water (up to 12 times its own weight) thus providing a feeling of fullness that lasts for quite a long time. It means that adding just about 30 grams or an ounce of chia seeds to our diet can significantly reduce caloric intake and greatly increase the amount of fibre.
- Because Agar is 80-percent fibre it is regarded as an excellent and highly effective dietary supplement helping to lose weight as it works as a safe laxative and appetite suppressant because of its ability to absorb water, it increases its volume in the stomach thus giving a feeling of fullness.
- Spirulina contains a substance named phonylanine which can help us to reduce appetite. Also the high content of nutrients found in spirulina as well as in chlorella and other super foods (alfalfa, wheat grass, maca, barley grass, etc.) can help us to relieve hunger and boosting energy encourage us to exercise.
- Always eat very slowly taking small bites and chewing food to a cream before swallowing. Doing this you will feel satisfied before eating too much. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to figure out that your stomach is actually full and that it is time to stop eating. For this reason you need to slow down while consuming your meal so that the brain could have enough time to catch up with the stomach. As a result you will greatly reduce the tendency to eat too much. If you feel you are losing time eating so slowly, engage your mind in watching or listening to something, reading a book, or any other beneficial activity while eating. Another problem is that most people drink different beverages while they eat not realizing that it is an unhealthy habit which promote overeating by encouraging quick swallowing of food.
- Start each meal consuming big portion of fresh and raw vegetables.
- Make breakfast the largest meal while supper the lightest. Two meals a day are even better than three, especially if you don’t use a lot of energy during the day. If you are unable to overcome the temptation to eat at night, always first drink warm water, wait a little and if you still feel like you have to eat something have one or two fruits, some vegetables, or the ‘slimming vegetable soup’.
- Since stress is a huge trigger for cravings you need to learn how to cope with it through regular exercise, healthy unrefined diet, meditation, supplements, herbal remedies and other methods which are described in this book.
- If you are a spiritual type of person you can pray before each meal thanking God for the food and asking with faith for strength needed to refuse snacking in between meals and ability to stop eating when you really should.
- Drink 1 – 2 glasses of cold-pressed vegetable juice about 30 minutes before each meal, and then start your meal with most healthy and nutritious foods such as raw vegetables.
- If you have to eat something sweet then make a banana- or strawberry-flavoured soy protein shake by blending together the following ingredients: 1 banana, a cup of plant based milk (oat, rice, almond, hemp, etc.), soy protein powder, 1 tablespoon of guar gum or xanthan gum powder, and a bit of stevia or xylitol as a sweetener. Mix all ingredients in a blender until it will look like a pudding. You may also experiment adding a teaspoon of carob powder, etc.
- Raw and cooked vegetables are the best to satisfy your hunger and reduce body weight as they are very low in calories but if you don’t like them than fresh fruits such as apples, strawberries and other fresh fruits or even dried fruits are much better than processed and refined high-calorie foods as they are loaded with fat, sugar and deprived of fibre. And while it is easy to eat 1000 calorie junk food no one get even close to the same amount of calories by consuming apples as you will probably have enough before reaching 200 calories! Apples are great appetite suppressing foods because the bulky fibre fills up your stomach before you overeat. In addition, apples contain various phytonutrients, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals.
- You can also increase the appetite suppressing effects of any meal you consume by swallowing a good quality fibre (psyllium husk, glucomannan, apple pectin, oat bran) in the form of powder, capsules or tablets about 15-30 minutes before meals. Avoid overdosing those fibres and always have them with at least two glasses of water and make sure you drink minimum of 8 or 9 glasses of water every day. It is very important because those fibres absorb a lot of water and in case your body is dehydrated they get hard and can even block your intestines! After about 15-30 minutes start your meal by eating a large portion of raw vegetable salad.
- Take tryptophan supplements (5HTP) and often consume foods high in tryptophan (cooked soy beans, Tofu, ground sesame seeds, pulses) as in one study 1 to 3 grams of tryptophan taken one hour before meal reduced appetite and calorie consumption. Sweet unrefined carbohydrates such as fruits (especially bananas and dried fruits) are the best type of food to increase production of serotonin without which it is very difficult to control appetite and negative emotions. Some studies also suggest that without sweet unrefined carbohydrates (fresh and dried fruits) in our diet it is impossible for amino acid tryptophan, from which serotonin is produced, to pass the blood-brain barrier.
- Cooked none-GMO soybeans should be regarded by you as one of the best foods if you want to keep your appetite satisfied for a longer time. First of all, together with Tofu (soya cheese), it is the highest source of tryptophan which is used in our body to make serotonin – a very important appetite regulator. Soya also increases satiety due to the fact that it is also the best source of high quality protein and at the same time it contains complex carbohydrates which help tryptophan to pass the blood-brain barrier. But apart from that, a 2003 study demonstrated that soybeans contain a special chemical called beta-conglycinin which suppresses appetite by stimulating cholecystokinin release.
- Remember about physical activity as apart from improving metabolism and burning calories it also reduces hunger by increasing the body’s sensitivity to hormones that control appetite. Exercise also increases the ability of to improve insulin sensitivity in our skeletal muscles which lowers insulin levels in the blood thus reducing appetite especially in between meals. According to the American Journal of Physiology one hour of high-intensity aerobic exercise is able to suppress appetite stimulating hormones so effectively that we can forget about food for a couple hours.
- Get rid of all the refined and rich in empty calories foods as they make you hungry soon after consuming them and force your body to crave for more food. As soon as you start increasing the consumption of high-nutrient plant foods (vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts), your appetite for the unhealthy and low-nutrient foods will gradually decrease. Keep in mind that any refined diet (meat products, dairy, foods containing refined sugar, white flour products, etc.) which is low in fibre, vitamins, and minerals always quickly stimulates our appetite again thus forcing us to eat between meals in hope that next time we will nourish it with sufficient amount of nutrients. The situation gets even worse if you habitually use stimulants such as caffeine products, tea, cola drinks, or alcohol which tends to farther deprive your body of these few nutrients you supplied it with your refined diet. Dense living nutrients found in raw unrefined plant-based foods (especially vegetables) are what meet and satisfy our cells nutritional needs, so that there is no need to struggle with uncontrollable hunger.
- Do not use any of the calorie-restricted diets as studies demonstrated that they significantly reduce tryptophan levels leading to reduced serotonin synthesis, increased hunger and reduced probability of maintaining weight loss.
- If you suffer from the symptoms of low blood sugar levels treat the problem according to the information included in the chapter dealing with hypoglycaemia because people with low blood sugar levels have tendency to overeat.
- Increase efficiency in burning fat by consuming low-glycaemic and higher in fibre foods for breakfast as in this way you will reduce the appetite and tendency to overeat during the next meal. British researchers concluded that unrefined plant foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fibre which at the same time have low glycaemic index may encourage our body to burn fat rather than using only blood sugar as a source of energy. This very important study again proves that it is not the amount of calories which is most important in dealing with obesity and overweight but the quality of food is the key to Success. It means that our meals should be rich in fibre and at the same time low in GI!
- Consume healthy, natural, high in vitamins and minerals, and unrefined foods. Doing this very day you will be free from craving and eating between meals simply because your body will finally get what it needs to be able to function properly. Remember that too much insulin (which increases appetite) is produced only when you consume refined carbohydrates (anything which contains white refined sugar and white flour).
- Sleep at least 7 hours a day and avoid alcohol as lack of sleep and alcohol stimulate ghrelin production in our stomach thus increasing hunger. Proper rest and sleep help the fat cells in our body to produce more leptin a hormone which plays very important role in increasing satiety and improving our ability to control appetite. Apart from the lack of sleep also stress greatly reduces the amount of this hormone in our body leading to binge eating.
- If you have to use a sweetener use xylitol instead of sugar as sugar impairs leptin hormonal signalling resulting in increased hunger and weight gain, while xylitol may boost satiety effect leading to reduced calorie consumption.
- The pinolenic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) found in pine nuts can actually promote weight loss and reduce food intake as it has been shown to increase the release of satiety hormones GLP-1 and CCK (cholecystokinin) that work as a hunger suppressant. Eat only unroasted and unsalted pine nuts and avoid eating them in between meals.
- Fennel tea at night reduces cravings and resets taste buds.
- If possible get rid of all the junk food you can find in your house and working place and avoid buying it again. I myself practice this principle and it works great simply because it is impossible to eat something we don’t even have.
- You can also take raspberry ketones twice a day in order to increase satiety and metabolism.
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
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