It’s hard to keep your diet on the right track when you’re constantly craving for sweet, salty, or savory treats! And when the stomach is constantly grumbling, you can’t help but eat more.
According to scientists, when the body senses that food is in short supply, it will start excreting the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Ghrelin is not only responsible for heightened feelings of hunger; it will also trigger the brain to crave mostly unhealthy foods. The good news is there are ways to suppress the appetite without starving yourself. These tricks will help keep your gut satiated without contributing to weight gain:
Unlike carbohydrates that are quickly burned by the body as fuel, protein takes longer to digest. Eating lean protein not only helps you feel fuller longer, it could also curb cravings and contribute to weight loss. Clinical tests show that eating a breakfast full of lean protein helps maintain satisfaction longer, preventing snacking and overeating.
Most dieters tend to shun carbohydrates because most carbs lead to excessive weight gain. But not potatoes. Potatoes are composed of a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes. As such, potatoes are harder to digest than other carbs. This leads to a suppressed appetite and minimized hunger pangs.
Potatoes are only fattening when you eat it with trimmings. Avoid adding flavorings that increase calories like cheese, butter, bacon, mayonnaise, etc. Instead, bake it or make potato salad with vinegar as flavoring rather than mayonnaise. Try not to cook potatoes with oil (like French fries) so it’s not as fattening.
Certain types of spices contain enzymes that help suppress appetite and stimulate the body to burn off fat. Chili peppers—cayenne peppers, in particular—are a rich source of a compound known as capsaicin. Capsaicin, which makes chili peppers spicy, helps prevent hunger pangs, stimulates the body to burn off more calories, and triggers sweating — which cools the body down and expels toxins through perspiration!
In one clinical test, participants who dislike spicy foods claim that after observing a diet rich in chilies, they feel less hungry and experienced minimal cravings for sweet, salty, or savory snacks.
Absentmindedly chewing on gum not only burns 11 calories per hour, it could also help you consume fewer calories between breakfast and lunch. One theory that could explain this is that chewing gum stimulates the nerves in the jaw that are connected to parts of the brain responsible for satiety. As you chew gum, you’ll feel less hungry.
Grapefruit is not only packed with essential vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting compounds, and health-enhancing bioactive, it could also stave off hunger and curb cravings. How? Grapefruit contains compounds that balance insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and fat metabolism. In a study conducted by scientists at Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California, participants who ate half a grapefruit every meal lost around 3.6 pounds in three months.