Life would be so much easier if we only ate when our body needed food. Unfortunately we don’t only eat when we are hungry and we do give in to our cravings. It’s quite simple to realize that if you eat when your body doesn’t need food, or you eat more than it needs, you’re are overeating. It’s not so simple however, to do something about it. But there are some adjustments you can make.
1. Go for Volume
One of the best ways to control your appetite is to opt for foods with a low calorie count that you can eat more of to keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer. Fruits and vegetables are perfect for this as they contain a lot of water and fiber and importantly, not a lot of fat. Along with fruit and veg, foods like cooked whole grains and broth-based soups are also great.
Studies prove that foods that are high in protein have the positive effect of satiety, which is the feeling of fullness. In fact, protein has been shown to be more effective at making you feel full than some high-carb based foods that have always been associated with satiety. Healthy foods with a high protein level include fish, beans and nuts.
3. Mini Treats
Completely starving your body of sugar and fat might help you to lose weight in the short term, but this refusal to give yourself a little bit of pleasure is more likely to encourage you binge eat at some point. To curb your cravings, treat yourself to a little treat every now and then to activate your body’s inner reward system and keep you on track in the bigger picture.
4. Psychological Portion Control
We are trained from childhood to clear our plates when we eat, so the bigger your plate is, the more you are going to consume! You can trick your mind in to thinking that you have a fuller portion than you really have if you opt to use smaller plates for lunch and dinner. It might sound silly, but it really does work on a psychological level!
5. Avoid Distraction Snacking
You should try to avoid snacking when doing something distracting like watching the TV. Your lack of focus on your portion control means that you are going to be eating more than you realize. Instead, pour out a portion of popcorn before you settle down to watch the movie. This ensures that you will only eat the amount you meant to, even if you aren’t paying attention.
6. Limit Your Choice
A great way to suppress your appetite is to limit your kitchen of potentially unhealthy food options. Make the conscious decision to shop super healthy at the grocery store, so even if the time comes when you are craving a snack, you won’t be able to find any foods in your home that have the potential to undo all of the hard work that you have been putting in.
7. Eat Mindfully
People eat for a whole number of reasons from stress to comfort to boredom. Be mindful of exactly why you want to eat, and if it is for any reason other than real hunger, try to stave off of snacking and take you mind off your appetite by doing something else.
The great side effects of controlling your appetite include easier weight loss and a better mood and you may even find you enjoy your food more. What aspect of your appetite do you struggle most with? For me it’s cravings.