Unnecessary snacking during the day is the number one reason for weight gain. Eating a cupcake after breakfast or some ice cream in the afternoon may seem pretty insignificant, but those calories over the period of a week all add up!
Now, before I get started I want to note that these tips aren't meant as a way to help you starve yourself! They are meant for those who are eating 3 meals a day and 2 snacks and are still reaching for the cookie jar. If that sounds like you, here are my top 11 tips for naturally suppressing your appetite.
Now, I know I keep talking about the importance of water, but that's for a very good reason - it works! Did you know that when you think you feel hungry, your body is often just dehydrated? Next time you feel hungry in between meals, drink 1-2 glasses of water before you reach for a snack. If you really do not like the taste of plain water, try adding some lemon, cucumber, mint or fruit to it. This will give it some extra (and natural) flavor plus added vitamins and minerals.
2.Drink green or mint tea
Drinking green or mint tea in the morning or afternoon can stop you from mindlessly snacking. The catechins in green tea help stabilise your blood sugar and when this is more stable so is your hunger.
3.Make a hot, broth based vegetable soup
If you really feel that you must have something to eat, make a broth based vegetable soup. This is a great way to take the edge off your hunger with minimal calories. The hot liquid in the soup will also help you feel full.
4.Swap a bar of milk chocolate for two squares of dark chocolate
Next time you are craving chocolate, choose a dark chocolate with a least 70% cocoa. Just a little bit of dark chocolate should lower your cravings because the bitter taste signals the body to decrease your appetite. The stearic acid in dark chocolate also helps slow digestion, helping you feel fuller for longer. Remember to savour each piece! No chewing!
5.Eat oatmeal for breakfast
There are so many delicious ways that you can enjoy oatmeal for breakfast, you can even add it into a morning smoothie! While oatmeal is high in carbs, it is the type of carbs that are slow digesting which means you will be feeling full for hours after breakfast.
Salmon is one of the best sources of protein and healthy fats, which makes it an excellent appetite suppressant. Protein is the most satiating nutrient, but fat is what makes you feel full for hours after you have eaten.
7.Eat half a grapefruit after lunch and dinner
Having half a grapefruit after your meals will help lower your insulin levels, keeping hunger at bay. IMPORTANT: If you take medication it is important to check that consuming grapefruit will not interfere with its effectiveness.
8.Choose apples and almonds for snacks
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it also keeps the cookies away! Apples are a fibrous fruit that are particularly great for appetite suppression. Aim to eat one a day. Almonds contain a winning combination of protein, fiber and unsaturated fat. This means that just one handful of almond nuts can really help you feel full up.
9.Eat from smaller plates
A lot of "hunger" can be in our minds, so a good way to trick your mind into thinking you are eating more is to eat your meals from smaller plates. The larger the plate, the more likely you are to overeat. Studies have shown that when children and adults are given a bigger plate or bowl, they both serve them self and consume much more food than if they were given a smaller plate or bowl.
Eating spicy foods is a great way to suppress your appetite and burn extra calories. Cayenne pepper is an excellent spice to add to your cooking. Sprinkle it on avocado and chicken or mix it into your soup or pasta. Consuming cayenne pepper also boosts your metabolism, which means you will burn more calories during the day. Just be careful not to overdo it, only a pinch is needed! You can also use hot sauces instead of tomato ketchup, just check the label first to make sure they do not contain added sugar. Wasabi is another great hot condiment that is a natural appetite suppressant. Try adding wasabi to your sushi or fish.
11.Reset your taste buds
This is the most effective and long term way to stop your junk food cravings. It is absolutely possible to retrain our taste buds to crave less junk food. Did you know that the average taste bud cell has a life of around 12 days? This means you can do some serious "taste bud detoxing" in this time, which will allow your taste buds to appreciate and desire the natural flavours from whole real foods more and crave less junk food. My 12 Day Smoothie Slim Detox has been designed to not only accelerate weight loss, but to also reset your taste buds. By cutting out processed foods and replacing meals with nutrient rich smoothies for 12 days you will be changing the types of foods you crave. To find out more about the 12 Day Smoothie Slim Detox, click here.