3 Natural Strategies to Suppress Your Appetite
If you have ever struggled with your weight I am sure that you have tried to find ways to simply control your appetite, or desire to eat. There are many hormones that effect our appetite and satiety. Some help us to feel full. Give me more of those, huh? Other hormones increase our appetite and need to be kept in check. So rather than add appetite suppressing herbs and supplements, that don’t lead to permanent weight loss, it’s better to focus on how to better control our own appetite regulation naturally.
1. Slow Down. More and more research is showing that eating slowly helps control caloric intake. There are several factors involved here. For starters, some research has shown that by eating slower individuals naturally ate less but felt just as satisfied as if they had eaten more food but ate it more quickly. Other studies have shown that satiety 60+ minutes after a meal was greater in the slower eating group vs the faster eating group. Some studies have looked even deeper and shown that satiety hormones, the ones that keep us full, are higher and appetite stimulating hormones are lower after meals when individuals ate slower. Regardless what is going on physiologically and what has been reproduced in a research study I have experienced firsthand, and so have many of my clients, the difference in how much we eat when taking the time to slow down and enjoy our food. Slowing down while we eat also promotes better digestion. Eating slowly is probably the most important behavior change you can make toward permanent weight management.
2. Stay Hydrated. Our brain often misinterprets thirst for hunger. I don’t know about you but when I’m hungry I eat. Not to be Ms. Obvious here but eating when your body doesn’t need it can lead to weight gain. So do yourself a favor and fill up that water bottle. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and/or headaches, 2 other things that make people, me included, want to eat. Water also helps us to feel full. In addition to adequate water/fluid intake it is also a good idea to eat a diet that contains water rich foods such as fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, low sodium soups, cooked beans, etc. Dryer foods, such as crackers, dried fruits, and beef jerky tend to be less filling due to their lack of water.
3. Stop Dieting. That’s right, dieting does not lead to permanent weight management. Often times diets over restrict our calories leading to great initial results. However, inside, our body registers that there is a food shortage, it doesn’t realize we are doing this on purpose. When we fall off the diet, our body increases our hunger hormones and turns down our satiety hormones allowing us to gain the weight back with ease so that it can prepare for the next famine. Our bodies are still very primal and recognize that if we don’t eat we cease to exist. If you want weight to fall of quickly you need to re-read the Tortoise and the Hair. Slow and steady wins the race. I have also experienced this first hand. I struggled to keep my weight down for a number of years. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes that I realized I needed to make a real change. I lost 20 pounds and have kept if off for years. I did it without diets and deprivation. I enjoyed my holidays and vacations without gaining weight, minimized my stress eating and lost weight during only the periods where I was feeling like things were routine and balanced. It took me several years to get the weight off but the process was easy and the weight is staying off.