Getting and staying in shape is an every day lifestyle choice. It can be difficult yet unquestionably rewarding. One of toughest components is finding the balance between not overeating and living hungry, as too much food will deter your progress and not eating enough can not only slow down your metabolism, but can also leave you tired and moody.
If you’re struggling with feeling hungry often, first, make sure you are actually eating enough food.
Many people believe eating as little food as possible is the best approach to staying slender, and it’s not true.
If you’re sure you’re eating the appropriate amount of food, but you’re still starving for more, try some of these approaches to keep your stomach happy.
Drink plenty of water– Drinking water throughout the day will help you fill fuller longer. I aim for a gallon a day, but half of that would work as well. Also, many people mistake thirst for hunger, so always try hydrating before you turn to food. Drinking room temperature water greatly aids in my ability to drink more of it, though that isn’t necessary, and you should find a system that works for you.
Chromium Picolinate– Chromium is an over the counter supplement that may help suppress your appetite. The properties of chromium allow your body to use insulin more efficiently, which may aid in weight loss. It’s this control of insulin that helps blood sugar and thereby may curb your cravings. There have been no significant findings that it works as a appetite suppressant, but I’ve used it with noticeable results.
Eat lots of green veggies and salads– Eating small portions of food throughout the day, while best for your metabolism, may be difficult to adjust to due to the portion size. I supplement my meal plan with plenty of green veggies and lettuce to keep me satisfied and fuller longer. Lettuce is a food you may eat in any amounts, without feeling any negative repercussions to your progress.
Eat complex carbohydrates– Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal and brown rice, will leave you feeling fuller longer than high sugar carbs such as cereal. Choose foods with higher fiber contents; they digest much slower in the body. While a chocolate bar may be more satisfying in the present moment, it will hardly fill you up, and you will likely be reaching for more food.
Eat lean protein with every meal– Protein is another food is slowly digested in the body and therefore keeps you fuller for longer. It’s also your best option for additional food, when you’re trying to keep your calories low. Rather than snacking on high carbohydrate foods like crackers, or high fat foods such as almonds, try turning to protein to satisfy your cravings. While almonds are a great addition to any nutritional plan, it can be difficult to only eat a few and in large quantities add up calorically.
Try this marvelous recipe for egg white salad as an alternative to high sugary foods. Greek yogurt is another excellent choice, as it may satisfy your sweet tooth and is packed with tons of protein.
Drink caffeine– There are varying opinions on the benefits of caffeine and whether it helps to suppress appetite. I have found that stimulants do curb my cravings. Also, stimulants increase metabolism by simulating your central nervous system.
Over supplementing with coffee or other stimulants can cause anxiety, insomnia and irritability, among other things. It’s important to not over consume these types of supplements or beverages. Also, I find giving myself something to sip provides an activity for my hands and mouth to do rather than snacking. And, it immediately takes my mind off food. I recommend drinking a hot tea at night to help curb your appetite and the need many of us for late night snacking.
Eat grapefruit– Grapefruit has properties that help control insulin levels in your body, thereby controlling your blood glucose levels and helping with cravings and your ability to lose weight. A study at the Scripps Clinic in California found people who consumed grapefruit lost a considerable amount of weight compared with those who did not.
Add some spiciness to your foods– Various studies have concluded that adding cayenne pepper to your food my increase metabolism and suppress your appetite. It contains capsaicin, a compound that increases your body’s heat.
Also, when ingested, spicy foods tend to make you drink more and consume your food at a much slower pace, which may have you eating less.
Use your sense of smell– Research suggests our sense of smell and appetite are highly connected. Because of this, you may be able to incorporate certain smells to help control your appetite. Here, they suggest using essential oils for satiety and say it works like this: “When you inhale an essential oil, its microscopic molecules directly affect a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. An area inside the hypothalamus called the ‘satiety center’ controls feelings of hunger/fullness. “ There is not conclusive evidence on the use of smells to curb appetite, but if you’re interested in trying it, peppermint is one scent that may this this effect.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill you will keep you satisfied throughout the day. But if appetite control is something you struggle with, you only stand to gain from implementing some of these strategies. I use most of these in my every life, and rarely struggle with feeling hungry. If you’ve found one that works for you, please tweet me and let me know! I love hearing about and studying new alternatives.