Do you sometimes feel like your stomach is a bottomless pit? We all know that feeling, especially when we’re dieting. The trouble is that when you restrict your food intake, your body starts to pump out more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, to get you to eat more. Luckily, there are some ways you can satisfy your rumbling belly without stacking on heaps of extra calories. With these healthy appetite-suppressing tricks, you’ll feel fuller and crave less, getting you well on track to reaching your weight loss goals.
Here are some healthy ways to lower your appetite…
Eat grapefruit. There’s a reason grapefruits have always been such a weight loss favourite. While we’re not recommending you go nuts with the ‘grapefruit diet’, you should try to eat more of this tangy citrus fruit. A recent study has shown that eating half a grapefruit with each meal can give your weight loss plan a real kick. That’s because consuming grapefruit helps to lower your insulin levels after a meal, which regulates your blood sugar and fat metabolism. So start each meal with a piece of this delicious fruit and you’ll eat less, crave less, and lose more weight.
Chew sugarless gum. The chewing motion triggers nerves that are connected to the parts of the brain that tell your body when you are full. Recent research showed that people who chewed gum for one hour in the morning ate less for the rest of the day. So grab a pack of sugarfree gum and chew, chew, chew! Having something in your mouth will also help stop you from mindless snacking.
Eat potatoes. A lot of people see potatoes as the enemy when they’re trying to lose weight, because of their carb content. But these starchy vegetables aren’t so evil after all – in fact, they can help to curb your appetite. The reason is that they contain a special type of starch that resits digestive enzymes. So because potatoes take a while to digest, they remain in the intestines longer, which delays the onset of hunger. A medium potato has only 100 calories- so slice one up and make a potato salad for a delicious, filling meal. Studies have shown that chilling cooked potatoes actually increases their appetite-suppressing qualities, so put the leftovers in the fridge for lunch.
Enjoy tasty aromas. Those vanilla scented candles can actually help you to lose weight as well as making your house smell nice. Smelling food can make your brain think that you’ve eaten, helping to satisfy cravings. A recent study showed that people who sniffed at a peppermint scent every two hours ate almost 3,000 less calories over the week than they usually would. So keep some delicious-smelling soaps or candles in your drawer at work and smell them every now and then- it might sound strange, but it works!
Eat more good fats. It’s tempting to ban all fats from your diet plan, but be careful- not all fats are the same. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts and avocados can help to suppress your appetite when consumed in moderation. That’s because oleic acid is converted into a compound when digested that sends hunger-curbing signals to your brain. So embrace a little good fat in your diet- aim to make unsaturated fats make up around 20 per cent of your total calorie limit. Snack on a few tablespoons of peanut butter, a quarter of an avocado or a handful of nuts to help reduce those hunger pangs.
Eat protein in the morning. Okay, you know the benefits of lean protein- it keeps you feeling full, and takes your body longer to digest and absorb than other nutrients. But recent research has shown that when you eat protein makes a difference too. Evidence has shown that eating protein in the morning keeps you feeling satisfied longer than if you eat it later in the day. So whip up a protein-rich breakfast- egg whites or low-fat yogurt are a good place to start! Try to get at least 30 grams of protein in your morning meal and you’ll help to lower your appetite for the rest of the day.
Exercise more. Not only does exercise burn calories, it also helps you to consume less of them when you eat. High-intensity cardio works to reduce your appetite for up to two hours after you exercise. This is because aerobic exercise increases the amount of hormones in the body that suppress your appetite. So make your workout more intense by adding a little interval training. Those short, hard bursts of exercise will get you burning more and craving less later.