Weight loss is much easier when you aren’t hungry all the time. What if I told you there are certain things that can suppress your appetite? These are the 6 things that work for me.
Recently, with the holidays, and winter hibernating, my appetite has felt out of control. In fact, some days, all I want to do is sit by a fire and snack on anything that resembles food.
It’s caused me quite a bit of reflection though as I try to figure out why I can have a ravenous appetite for crackers and cheese and give in, yet other times I feel disciplined enough to say no. What gives?
I’ve said for awhile now that appetite isn’t why I eat. I eat for a MILLION reasons, when I’m not even hungry. But, I’m just starting to understand that this isn’t true at all. With a broader definition of “appetite”, I’m seeing how it drives ALL my food decisions. Appetite doesn’t have to be defined by me as a state of being hungry vs. stuffed!
Appetite for me now isn’t just feeling hungry. Appetite is my desire to eat, regardless of the need for fuel or my state of hunger.
A recent conversation with a friend who has lost a lot of weight from the new weight loss injections had me really dive deep to figure out what causes people to eat. She said to me, “It’s been so easy to lose weight because I NEVER think about food”. The weight loss drugs have taken away her appetite entirely.
And since I was in the middle of an episode of feeling out of control around snacking, I wanted to just get ONE injection, just so I could stop thinking about food so much. I even went as far as making a few phone calls to get pricing for it! And while I do think there is a time and place for people to use these medications, I finally decided it wasn’t worth the cost just to lose a few pounds. Because I only have 10lbs to lose and it seemed a bit extreme.
I stopped myself short of doing it, and here’s why, besides the cost of course. If I knew of other ways to stop being so food focused. If I knew of other ways of suppressing my appetite, I should do THAT!
And I DO! These things have significantly reduced my appetite and focus on food, making it EASIER to stick to a sensible diet.
Here’s the 10 things that naturally suppress my appetite
- Focus on protein! I love carbs. Carbs are EASY to get in my diet. But they are also easy to overeat. When I start my day with cereal and toast, I can be so focused on eating more of those the rest of the day, then when I start my day with eggs. Not only that, when I eat protein foods, one serving is plenty. When I have a tortilla, I always want 5 more tortillas! Focusing on Protein has been a surprising way for me to literally “forget to eat” between meals. Focusing on carbs has me thinking about food between meals in a way that the thoughts won’t go away until I indulge it!
- Reduce the reward of food- The tastier your food is, the more you want to eat. Not only is this true from a intuitive standpoint (it just makes sense, right?), but did you know that your hunger hormone actually INCREASES when you eat tasty food? A recent IG reel I watched here explained this SO Well! The dietitian said, ” Hunger hormones that influence how full we feel can be influenced by how tasty a meal is. Meaning – it’s easier to over consume even when we are full. …..(from a study….”They let them smell and touch their favourite foods for five minutes and then gave them 10 minutes to eat as much of their favourite foods as they’d like. The researchers calculated how many macros they consumed in the eating session and offered them a second feeding session made up of non tasty food. They then measured hormones that impact your hunger and found that hormones that influence hunger were higher and hormones that influence how full you feel were lower in the tasty feeding session.” Read more about the hyperpalatablity of food here.
- Avoid the visual cues of problematic food (clean up the environment). Of the many reasons our brain tells us to eat, the easiest one to control is our visual stimulation towards food. Whether your Instagram’s FYP is full of cookies and treats, to the candy bowl at the office, or the donuts in the breakroom, the more you SEE tasty food, the more you want to eat it. For this very reason, removing the temptation and cleaning up your environment really should be the FIRST step in controlling your appetite.
- Increase fiber– Another reason we release the hormones and brain signals to eat more is the feeling of physical fullness in our stomachs. More fiber induces more satiety because it is physically filling up our stomachs. Not only does the feeling of having a full stomach avert us from continuing to eat, but there are neurotransmitters sending signals to the brain to WANT To stop eating. (research here) and fiber rich food here.
- Increase fluids– And the strategy I employ the best- I DRINK A LOT! Just like with the fiber, the more I drink, the more satiated I am. The feeling of fullness in my stomach from fluids really does have a HUGE impact on my appetite.
- And finally, the supplements that help reduce appetite- While it’s hard for me to know which one of these that I take actually have an impact on appetite, there is some evidence to show it could, and lots of anecdotal evidence from reddit. They would be
- psyllium husk powder,
- apple cider
- Green Tea Extract
- Ephedrine (this ACTUALLY worked for me back in my 20’s. It literally took away my appetite entirely. However, I don’t think you can buy it in the US anymore.
It should be worth noting (and perhaps I’ll write an article tomorrow about this), but there might be medications or activities that are STIMULATING your appetite! So, watch for that one.
Want to save this post?
Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox.