Two of the key components of losing weight are to watch what you eat and the amount that you eat. But we also know from experience that willpower alone is not enough to keep us on track all the time. So what if we didn't have so many of those dreaded cravings? What if our appetites were simply reduced in a natural and healthy way? It would certainly make our lives a little easier...
1. Eat Strategically
To reduce your appetite, your stomach needs to feel full AND your brain needs to get the message, too.
Protein and fiber-rich foods are the most filling and keep you satiated the longest. A great fiber-rich food to consider is oatmeal, especially steel cut oats, which has been shown to suppress appetite by suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin. While oatmeal is higher in carbohydrates, the type of carbs it contains are slow-digesting, so it keeps you full. It’s also low on the glycemic index.
Good fats, particularly those containing oleic acid, have also been found to send a message to your brain that says “stop eating, you’re full.” A study conducted at UC Irvine found that foods high in oleic acid (avocado, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil) help trigger the small intestine to produce oleoylethanolamide, a compound that finds its way to nerve endings and curbs hunger pangs. In addition, fat delays stomach emptying, which means you’ll feel full for longer.
Some other foods that have been shown to suppress appetite include coffee and spicy foods like wasabi. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, herring) increase the amount of leptin in your system, a hormone known for hunger-suppression. Sweet potatoes and other foods containing resistant starch are also good options. According to food scientists, potatoes contain a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes (resistant starch), which makes them stay in your stomach longer and keep you full.
Any time hunger strikes, try drinking a large glass of water before heading to the kitchen. More often than not, people confuse hunger with thirst, and filling up with water before food will increase feelings of fullness in general. In addition, several studies have shown that adults who drank two cups of water before a meal ate less at the meal and lost more weight than those who didn’t drink water.
According to a recent study of 20 volunteers conducted at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow, “eating a type of powdered food supplement, based on a molecule produced by bacteria in the gut, reduces cravings for high-calorie foods such as chocolate, cake and pizza.”
Although the study only included 20 subjects, it isn’t the first study to suggest these findings. In 2013, Imperial and Glasglow researchers came to the same conclusions.
As explained here, the researchers in the most recent study looked at MRI scans of participants, and found that it all comes down to the mind-gut connection and the “reward trigger” that goes off in the brain that eating junk food can bring. According to Gary Frost, a professor in Imperial’s department of medicine, inulin-propionate ester (IPE) can decrease activity in brain areas associated with food reward at the same time as reducing the amount of food eaten.
IPE isn’t the only supplement with evidence for curbing cravings. Dr. Frank Lipman advises taking an L-glutamine supplement because it has been reported to reduce sugar cravings. L-glutamine is an amino acid (protein building block) that’s made in the muscles and used for a variety of purposes.
5. Brush Your Teeth
A good trick for curbing your appetite and preventing mindless eating (especially boredom-eating and late-night binging) is to brush your teeth. When you know you’ve already eaten but find yourself digging through the pantry, try brushing your teeth first, and see if the urge to eat is still there. Not only will this give you some time to let the craving pass, most people find that they don't want to eat anything after brushing their teeth.
6. Eat slower
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that eating too quickly inhibits the release of hormones that induce feelings of fullness, which can cause mindless overeating.
Another study from the University of Rhode Island study found that slow eaters consume about four times fewer calories per minute, and experience a higher level of satiety, despite eating less food.
Read our blog for tips on how to slow down your eating and other weight loss hacks.
7. Eat Smaller Pieces of Food
An Arizona State University study found that cutting food into smaller pieces boosts satiety more than eating one large piece of food with the same number of calories. College students given a whole bagel ate more of it and downed more calories at their next meal than those who were served the same bagel sliced into four pieces.
8. Stabilize Your Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar is stable, so is your appetite. Blood sugar spikes can cause us to feel hungry and crave certain things. Luckily there are a number of foods that help regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon, as well as other ground spices like cloves and ginger, help lower blood sugar levels. Green tea is another great option. According to nutritionists, the catechins it contains help to inhibit the movement of glucose into fat cells, which slows the rise of blood sugar and prevents high insulin levels (and the subsequent fat storage that comes with high insulin).
EnduraQ itself is a highly concentrated flavonoid. Flavonoids are naturally produced by plants, thus our best dietary source of flavonoids are plant foods, particularly colorful fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are notably missing from the North American diet in particular. Therefore, supplementing your diet with EnduraQ can have a notable nutritional effect by providing your body with powerful antioxidant nutrients that are otherwise absent. When your body gets the nutrients it needs, the appetite is suppressed and cravings are reduced.
Let us know the tricks you are using to naturally suppress your appetite and keep cravings at bay. Healthy eating, exercise, and EnduraQ will help you live your healthiest and happiest life.