Thursday, September 11, 2014

Foods That Help Curb Your Appetite

Many of us are looking for that "miracle pill" that will make us eat less and get thin quick. Of course that does exist illegally or with a prescription. Even if you did have that "get skinny quick" pill, eventually you'd either damage your organs and lose your muscle mass (appearing less toned), or you'd stop taking it and gain back all the fat that you lost...and then some! Unless you're blessed with great genetics, obtaining a well-toned, fit body requires dedication, and maintaining it requires consistency and hard work.
     Certain foods will help curb your appetite, while others will cause sugar cravings which may lead to a higher caloric intake at the end of the day. Foods that are high in fiber and water such as fruits,  vegetables (spinach, collards, mustard greens, kale, or chard) add bulk to your meals and fill your stomach. 
Foods containing water, air, or fiber (salad/vegetables) contain less calories than other foods causing the stomach to stretch and empty slower. Researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, and her colleagues at Pennsylvania State University have done extensive research on the "volumetric" theory of eating more low-calorie, high-volume foods (webMD).
      Eating either rolled oats or steel-cut oats for breakfast (not quick oats) is a great way to suppress your appetite until lunchtime. Oatmeal is low on the glycemic index, (a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food's effect on a person's blood glucose or blood sugar level) meaning it doesn't cause a hunger-inducing blood sugar spike. Eating a serving size of oatmeal topped with almond milk and an apple (apples are a good appetite suppressant according to  a is a good way to suppress your appetite (without added sugar).
     Lean proteins (almonds, soy milk, peanut butter, tofu, beans/lentils, whole wheat toast) in the morning will also help curb you appetite throughout the day. When it comes to protein, don't go totally fat-free. Eating healthy fats like olive oil, peanut butter and avocados will keep you full longer than eating fat-free meals because they contain oleic acid which send signals to the brain to curb your appetite. Snacking on a serving of nuts, especially almonds will make you feel less hungry since they contain a filling combination of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat. 
Having a large salad can give the feeling of being full because it takes time to eat and has a larger volume as opposed to a piece of cake that can be eaten in a few minutes and would probably leave you wanting more (and more..and more...). Even having a small salad or vegetable broth before meals will make you less likely to over eat because you wont feel as hungry when the meal comes. Adding raw flax seeds to your salad, oatmeal, smoothies, etc..will suppress your hunger since they are high in fiber, which keeps your blood sugar from rising too quickly.
Try adding spices such as Cayenne peeper, wasabi, or hot sauce to your foods to awaken your senses giving you the message that you've been eating and have had enough. Of course your first instinct will be to grab a glass of water...good! Although the water probably won't make your tongue feel less on fire, drinking a lot of water is good for your body and helps fill you up between meals.   
     Try adding lemon, lime or cucumber slices to water to flavor it, as well as drinking green tea and other herbal teas to increase your water intake and suppress your appetite. Coffee has been known to curb the appetite due to the caffeine although your hunger may come back full force once the effect has worn off. Sugary food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages should be avoided as they will increase your appetite. Red wine, however has been shown to decrease the appetite by causing a filling affect but limit it to one or two glasses as it does have some sugar and calories.
     These are just some of the small changes you can make it your eating habits that can make a lasting effect on your health without going on a "diet"...again!