Wouldn't it be amazing to fool your appetite, curb cravings, and hack your diet? As it turns out, adding nutritious items to your diet and making mindful choices helps you curb cravings, feel more energized, and have better stamina throughout the day, says MedicalNewsToday. Without spending any extra money on expensive diet hacks, appetite-suppressing supplements, or pricey food trends, you can successfully curb your appetite with some simple steps.
There's a difference between hunger and appetite, according to Psychology Today. When you feel hungry, your body is communicating its survival need for food. In contrast, appetite is the desire for food — not the need for it. Your appetite can be influenced by many factors, from emotional experiences like loneliness, stress, and boredom to physical conditions including exercise, hormones, and blood sugar levels. Your appetite might be triggered by experiences throughout the day, like stress at work or an argument with a friend, or following a strenuous workout. Your body is communicating that it needs food to continue thriving when you feel hunger. In contrast, your appetite can unexpectedly appear and steer you toward unhealthy cravings for sugary, fatty, or salty food options. Fortunately, there are several ways to fool your appetite and hack your eating habits to keep cravings away.
A few key foods that should be staples in your diet if your goal is to fool your appetite and cease cravings. The Harvard Medical School recommends what is called the healthful trio, consisting of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Fiber can be a superpower for curbing appetite since it can make you feel full almost immediately. Protein will give you the sustainable energy you need to power through your day while continuing to feel full. Healthy fats work alongside your hormones to communicate to your body that it's time to stop eating.
Plant-based protein options can fulfill the healthful trio and give you more energy long-term. Per UCLA Health, diets filled with plant-based protein have been found to lead to longevity, and provide your body with essential amino acids. Several options, like legumes and beans, can be excellent sources of both protein and fiber. However, it doesn't necessarily matter whether you eat animal-based protein or plant-based protein, as long as you're choosing low-fat options. If you want to know how much protein you should eat per day, multiply 0.36 by your body weight in pounds.
One simple way to hack your appetite, feel fuller, and simultaneously hydrate is to drink a glass of water before each meal (via MedicalNewsToday). When you gulp down a glass of water prior to eating, studies have found that you're likely to feel fuller, less hungry, and more satisfied after you've finished your meal. For more perks, drinking water before eating or snacking can result in not only a curbed appetite and fewer cravings but also weight loss and a loss of excess body fat. Following your glass of water with a protein-packed soup can amplify the benefits, in addition to drinking water between meals. According to the Harvard Medical School, added benefits of drinking water include aiding in digestion, flushing bacteria from your body, regulating body temperature and blood pressure, preventing constipation, and ensuring that your cells receive the nutrients and oxygen they need. Another liquid-based hack is sipping on green tea or Yerba Maté, which can improve mood and curb your appetite, especially when combined with daily exercise.
It might sound counterintuitive, but slowing down while you eat is one of the best things you can do to curb your appetite. A 2017 study published in DiabetesSpectrum determined that mindful eating, which is the process of purposefully paying attention to food in a moment-by-moment manner without the presence of judgment, is a method of eating that leads to improvements in mood, lessens anxiety, and can even lead to weight loss. Healthline reports that eating slower can lessen your calorie intake since your gut controls your appetite by suppressing a hormone called ghrelin, which controls feelings of hunger. When you eat, your gut gradually releases hormones that lead to feelings of fullness. If you take slower bites, your gut will have more time to feel full before you finish your plate or overeat.
Utilize your meal times as breaks during the day when you can nourish your body and revitalize yourself. Put your phone down for a few minutes and simply enjoy the food you're eating, paying attention to the flavors and taste of each bite. Doing this while maintaining a diet of protein, fiber, and other nutrients and drinking a glass of water before you eat will keep your appetite at bay and curb your cravings.