Unhealthy weight is linked to a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and breathing problems such as sleep apnea and asthma among others.
For this reason, losing weight for some and maintaining a healthy weight for others is crucial. One way of losing weight is to eat less but that has been taken to unhealthy extremes through diets and also has the negative effect of making people severely hungry so that they binge when they eat. Here are some ways of reducing excessive hunger and regulating appetite in order to reduce caloric consumption overall without starving yourself or skipping meals.
Foods high in water and fibre have fewer calories and they also cause the stomach to stretch and empty slowly which increases the feeling of fullness decreasing the urge to eat. This is why they are referred to as high-volume foods. They consist largely of fruits and vegetables.
Foods to regulate appetite
The soluble fibres and pectin in apples help one feel full. Health: 6 Reasons To Include Apples In Your Diet
Avocados are full of fibre and heart-healthy mono-saturated fats and they can suppress appetite when eaten in moderation. They send signals to your brain that tell your stomach that it is full. Lifestyle: 7 Benefits Of Adding Avocados To Your Diet
3. Beans, chickpeas, and lentils
Small grains (legumes) contain cholecystokinin, a digestive hormone that acts as a natural appetite suppressant. They are also rich in fibre and a good source of protein which helps you feel fuller. The soluble fibre and complex carbohydrates in them take longer to get digested, fighting frequent hunger pangs.
4. Chilli powder and peppers
Capsaicin, the compound found in chilli fires up the metabolism. One study found that adding ¼ tsp of pepper to each meal increases satiety and fullness and decreases the desire to eat more. Capsaicin is also found in bell peppers with the same appetite suppression benefit. Health: 6 Reasons Why You Should Add Cayenne Pepper To Your Diet
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa sends signals to your brain decreasing appetite. The steric acid in it further slows the digestion process and suppresses hunger.
Health: 10 Amazing Benefits Of Chocolate
Nuts have healthy fats that help keep cholesterol low and are also a great source of appetite-killing fibre which digests slowly and keeps you fuller longer.
Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Nuts And The Most Nutritious Ones To Eat
Oatmeal is high in fibre which keeps you fuller longer. Oatmeal can also increase the body’s appetite-regulating hormone cholecystokinin which may help control hunger and appetite. Lifestyle: 6 Health Benefits Of Oats
The symptoms of dehydration are similar to those of hunger which means thirst can easily be mistaken for hunger. Symptoms of dehydration include low energy, reduced cognitive function, and poor mood. Drinking some water and waiting for about 10 minutes can result in the feeling of hunger pangs passing.
Drinking water directly before eating has been found to make a person feel fuller, more satisfied, and less hungry after a meal. It’s an easy way to reduce space in your stomach. A soup starter may also work in the same way. 7 Tricks For Keeping Yourself Hydrated Every Day
Consuming small amounts of ginger powder reduces appetite and increases fullness possibly because of its stimulating effect on the digestive system. Health: 5 Benefits Of Ginger
10. Green tea extract
In addition to its many other benefits, green tea extract is effective for weight loss by making the body more effective at burning calories. 11 Health Benefits Of Green Tea
11. Chia seeds, flaxseed, and barley
High in fibre keeping you fuller longer. Flaxseed swells in the stomach and gives the feeling of fullness. 10 Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
Eating a salad before a meal is a great way to eat less. Eating raw vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli also fills one up.
Including sweet potatoes and arrowroots. They are high in fibre and give you a prolonged feeling of fullness while decreasing your appetite. Sweet potato has a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes and ends up staying longer in the stomach which helps maintain satiety and eventually leads you to eat less. Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes
Carrots are rich in fibre making a great snack that is both low in calories and filling. Benefits Of Carrots For Your Health
The smell of mint is not only calming but is also an effective appetite suppressant. Try burning a mint-flavoured candle or drinking mint tea if you are trying to cut back on snacking. 9 Health Benefits Of Mint That You May Not Know About
Coffee can help with weight loss by increasing calorie burn and fat breakdown and overall boosting metabolism. Coffee may also help decrease appetite thus aiding in weight loss. 6 Awesome Facts About Coffee
Other ways to regulate appetite
1. Get plenty of sleep
Getting enough quality sleep can also help reduce hunger and protect against weight gain. Studies show that too little sleep can increase hunger and appetite by up to 24%. It’s also worth noting that several studies link short sleep, generally defined as less than six hours per night with a 55% higher risk of obesity. The Four Sleep Chronotypes: How To Use Yours To Boost Your Productivity
2. Keep your emotions in check
Many people overeat as a way to compensate for their feelings. Evaluate why you’re picking up that snack, are you really hungry or is there something else you are upset about that may be leading you to eat.
3. Manage stress levels
Excess stress has been known to raise the levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is generally thought to increase food cravings and the drive to eat. Stress may also decrease levels of peptide which is a fullness hormone. Lifestyle: 5 Simple Tips For Managing Stress
Other vegetables and fruits that help with regulating appetite include leeks, pickles, watermelon, cucumbers, berries, bananas, bitter gourd, and sparkling water.
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