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Archive for January, 2015

Some Important Tips on Suppressing Your Appetite in the New Year

The purpose of this Blog is to share with my cyberspace audience some important tips on foods or substances that may help to suppress your appetite. As everyone who has ever dieted knows, there are certain times of the day when your power to resist food is hard, especially when hunger pangs give a signal to your brain that you feel empty.

Three Important Concepts to Remember

There are three basic concepts I want you to remember before I discuss the specifics of appetite suppressants:

  • Causes of Hunger
  • The Stability of Blood Sugar Levels and Degrees of Hunger
  • Observations about Types of Food and Recommended Appetite Suppressants

Causes of Hunger

When your stomach is empty, it produces a hormone called ghrelin that causes hunger. Think of ghrelin like the gremlin that is sabotaging your weight loss efforts. If you let yourself go hungry, your cravings will be too intense to resist!

The trick is to stay full. The way to get rid of the “ghrelin gremlin” is to eat wholesome foods that suppress your appetite. No gimmicks, no crash diets, just consistent tools to help you stay full and satisfied. By reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories a day, you could lose 50 pounds in a year. This can be as easy as cutting back on 3 ounces of potato chips or one cheeseburger a day.

The Stability of Blood Sugar Levels and Degrees of Hunger

 

It is important to know that your blood sugar levels (whether you are a diabetic person or not) play an important role concerning hunger. It’s as simple as this: when your blood sugar is more stable so is your hunger!

Observations about Types of Food and Recommended Appetite Suppressants

     One of the basic observations I made during my search for appetite suppressants was more often than not, foods and spices that were recommended as being good appetite suppressants, were quite simply foods that were already considered healthy based on today’s research.

It is almost ironic that the very healthy foods that comprise a healthy lifestyle are the very ones with the greatest natural ability to suppress one’s appetite. What that tells me is, if you transition away from a lifestyle of “fast foods” to a lifestyle that orients eating around healthy foods, you will be on your way toward suppressing all those empty feelings throughout the day or evening that tend to sabotage dieting efforts and the ability to lose weight.

Personal Recommendations

One way to control appetite better is to just eat 5-6 meals a day which consists of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but also 2-3 small snacks around late morning, late afternoon, and late evening. For me personally, the way to add to this approach to eating is to reinforce it with a reasonable amount of protein grams with some carbohydrates at breakfast (e.g. Greek yogurt (8 grams of protein per serving) and cottage cheese (13 grams of protein per serving). The protein will keep you satiated a lot longer, particularly much longer before you feel hungry for lunch. You might want to add berries on top of your Greek yogurt and cottage cheese (e.g., blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries) to add a little sweetness; it will also provide Vitamin C and Omega3’s.

Because of this type of breakfast, many times I don’t desire to eat lunch until 2-3 p.m. In addition, I have found that drinking green tea (as a replacement for my usual coffee) works well as an appetite suppressant, at least for me.

A third idea that works well to curb the appetite is to drink (you should already be doing this) at least 8 ten ounce glasses of water a day to help with hydration of the body; hydration is essential for your health.

These ideas are solid and should help to control your appetite.

A Little Caution

Because of the way the commercial media is allowed to work its magic on unsuspecting members of the public, I ask that you proceed with caution. It is important that you look and evaluate carefully any suggestions for taking appetite suppressants. Do not unwittingly trust everything you read or see demonstrated, or otherwise promoted on television, online, or elsewhere.

Nevertheless, after searching the internet and elsewhere, here are some suggestions for curbing your appetite without getting a doctor’s prescription. Some may work for you while others may not. It is up to you to do a little experimenting with these ideas. If you need professional help from your doctor or nutritionist, then by all means consult with them before embarking on any use of appetite suppressants. In fact, it is best you do consult your primary care physician first because any medications you may currently be taking might be affected by certain foods, substances or drugs in your particular situation.

 

Appetite Suppressants

Here is a list of 29 foods that can act as an appetite suppressant. These are all natural sources (basic foods, spices and certain substances in liquid form).

Almonds

Just a handful of almonds is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and magnesium. Almonds have also been shown to increase feelings of fullness in people and help with weight management, according to a study presented at The 2006 Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting. So what are you waiting for? Nosh on almonds for your next healthy snack!

 

Apples

Apples of all varieties and types help suppress hunger for a number of reasons. First, apples are filled with soluble fiber and pectin, which help you feel full. Apples also regulate your glucose and boost your energy level. Finally, apples require lots of chewing time, which helps slow you down and gives your body more time to realize that you’re no longer hungry. Plus, they just taste good!

Avocado

Full of fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, avocados suppress appetite when eaten in moderation. In fact, the fats in these little guys send signals to your brain that tell your stomach that it’s full!

Bran

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate you can’t digest. This is great news for weight loss because it means fiber has no calories. One of the richest sources of insoluble fiber is wheat bran.

Fill up your stomach with a large glass of water and 1 or 2 tablespoons of bran and you will stop the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin for approximately an hour (results will vary depending on the person). Bran absorbs water and moisture in the stomach, becoming a sponge. It physically expands in the stomach and makes you feel full, so you will eat less. Start off taking small amounts and gradually increase the dose depending on how your body responds. Take bran with meals. Make sure to consume enough fluid to create the sponge effect. Bran is great in shakes or apple sauce, where the liquid is built into the food. Drink lots of liquid because if you don’t, then the fiber can become like cork in your digestive tract and cause painful cramps or constipation. The best time to have wheat bran would be at breakfast, after dinner or before bed. If you’re going to have fiber alone between meals, then accompany it with at least 12 ounces of water.

Note: Wheat allergies are becoming more common. Rice bran will work as effectively as wheat bran.

 

Cayenne Pepper

Get spicy! According to recent research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can boost metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own. Not to mention that for those who don’t regularly eat spicy meals, adding cayenne pepper cuts an average of 60 calories from their next meal. Do that at two meals a day for a month and you’ll lose 4 pounds without even trying!

Cinnamon

Next time you have cereal, oatmeal, fruit, or even coffee, sprinkle some cinnamon on it. Cinnamon, like other ground spices such as cloves and ginger, helps lower your blood sugar levels, which—you guessed it—helps to control your appetite!

Coffee

While drinking more than one to two cups of Joe a day can leave you feeling jittery and nervous, a moderate amount of coffee can help boost metabolism and suppress your appetite. Coffee’s secret: Caffeine, along with antioxidants from the coffee beans. Just don’t cancel out those good effects with too much sugar or cream!

Dark Chocolate

Love chocolate but have no self – control with it? Try slowly savoring a piece or two of dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa the next time you crave it. Just a little dark chocolate helps to lower your cravings because the bitter taste signals the body to decrease your appetite.

Not to mention that the steric acid in dark chocolate helps slow digestion to help you feel fuller longer. If dark chocolate is too bitter for you, try having a piece with a cup of black coffee—it’ll bring out the sweetness!

Eggs

Studies have shown that eating an egg or two for breakfast can help dieters feel more full over 24 hours than if they eat a bagel with the same amount of calories. In the same study, those who ate eggs ingested an average of 330 fewer calories over the course of a day than the bagel-eaters. Food for thought, no?

Fennel Tea

To get a jumpstart on warding off morning hunger, drink fennel tea before bed. Fennel is known for its cleansing, clarifying flavor that helps reset taste buds and reduce cravings. It also boosts digestion, facilitating the absorption of nutrients, and reducing fat storage in the body.

Flax Seeds

With a nutritional mix of soluble fiber and essential fatty acids, flax seeds are the perfect addition to your yogurt, smoothie, or salad. In fact, ground or whole, flax seeds help you to stay satiated and fueled!

Ginger

For centuries, many cultures have used ginger root for its amazing digestive powers. Whether it’s in a smoothie or in an Indian dish (sorry, ginger ale doesn’t count!), ginger works as a stimulant that energizes the body and improves digestion, thereby making you less hungry.

Green Leafy Vegetables

If you’re really looking for a highly nutritious food that will fill you up for hours, you can’t beat green leafy vegetables. From kale to spinach to Swiss chard, these fibrous greens (eaten raw or gently sautéed with a little olive oil) are delicious and definitely keep hunger at bay.

Green Tea

If you’re not a coffee drinker and get sick of water easily, try sipping on a cup of hot green tea. Green tea can help you to stop mindlessly snacking, and nutritionists say that the catechins in green tea help to inhibit the movement of glucose into fat cells, which slows the rise of blood sugar and prevents high insulin and subsequent fat storage. And when your blood sugar is more stable so is your hunger!

Hot Sauce

When it comes to hot sauce and appetite suppression, the hotter you can go the better. So get some Tabasco and sprinkle some heat on your burrito, scrambled eggs, or even soup! The spiciness keeps you from overeating and helps you to stay full longer!

Oatmeal

Did this one surprise you? While high in carbs, the type of carbs in oatmeal is slow-digesting and keep you feeling full for hours after breakfast. Why? Because they suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin. In fact, oatmeal is pretty low on the glycemic index—just be sure to make steel cut oats to get the most benefit!

Pine Nuts

Many diets say that fats are to be avoided because they are high in calories, but not all fat is created equal. The omega-6 fatty acid found in pine nuts called pinolenic acid has been shown to increase the release of satiety hormones. This type of fat can actually promote weight loss and reduce food intake. Pinolenic acid appears to be particularly effective at stimulating the release of CCK (cholecystokinin), the hormone that works as a hunger suppressant. Additionally, pine nuts effectively improved satiety and increased CCK in overweight, post-menopausal women.

The satiety effects of pine nut oil lasts at least 30 minutes, but may not carry over into next meal. Some people may experience a longer feeling of satiety as pinolenic acid affects hormone release. In some cases, the sensation of fullness could last up to 2 hours.

Potatoes

According to food scientists, potatoes contain a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes, making them stay in your stomach longer and therefore keep you full. Plus, they’re full of vitamin A and vitamin C!

Red Vinegar Wine

Many people have heard about the health benefits of red wine. When you ferment red wine long enough, it becomes red wine vinegar. And while you wouldn’t want to drink a glass of red wine vinegar, it’s still a healthy, appetite-suppressing addition to your meal. Acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar, helps keep food in the stomach for a longer period of time, so release of the hunger hormone ghrelin is delayed. Vinegar also improves digestion, and it helps you feel full faster and for a longer period of time. Acetic acid also helps prevent spikes in blood sugar following and will lower the glycemic index of many foods. Red wine vinegar contains nutrients such the antioxidant resveratrol that has been shown to protect the heart.

A dose of approximately 2 tablespoons will provide the best results, and blood levels of sugar and insulin remained normalized for at least 45 minutes after women and men ate a meal of vinegar and white bread. If vinegar can help people cope with high glycemic foods like white bread, then imagine how effective it would be if you ate healthy whole grains. You can expect it to fight cravings for 1-1.5 hours, depending on the contents of the meal consumed, but the effects of increased fat metabolism in the liver can extend more than 3 hours after a meal!

One tablespoon of red wine vinegar mixed with sparkling water makes a great cocktail. Drink this with meals to support digestion and regulate your blood sugar. Another study showed that taking vinegar at bedtime helps regulate blood sugar levels the next morning.

Salad

If you want to keep the hunger monster from rearing its food-devouring head, eat a small salad before you sit down for a meal. Just a cup or two of veggies is all it takes to signal to your brain that you’re getting calories and nutrition.

Since it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you’re full, starting with a small salad before your meal, is a perfect way to get a head-start on that hunger signal.

Salmon

When you eat fish like salmon that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, your body increases the amount of the hormone leptin in your system. Leptin is known for suppressing hunger. Don’t like salmon? Try tuna and herring, which are also high in omega-3s! If fish really doesn’t do it for you, get your omega -3s in supplement form.

Skim Milk

If PMS cravings have your hunger all out of whack during that time of the month, try drinking skim milk. Studies show that women who have at least one serving of dairy a day about two weeks before menstruation significantly decrease their cravings for unhealthy junk foods and processed carbs.

Tofu

A rich plant-based protein source, tofu isn’t just for vegetarians! Tofu is high in an isoflavone called genistein, which has been shown to suppress appetite and lower food intake. For an easy way to introduce tofu in your diet, try adding it to your next healthy stir-fry.

Umeboshi Plums

Have a sweet craving you just can’t shake? Sometimes the best thing to do is to shock it with something sour. Umeboshi plums are basically pickled plums and can be fantastic for squashing sugar cravings. Find them at your local specialty store or Asian grocer.

Vegetable Juice

You probably think that vegetable juice is just a way to get more veggies in your diet, right? That’s true, but veggie juice has also been shown to fill you up. In fact, when people drank vegetable juice before a meal, they ended up eating 135 fewer calories. Now that’s some appetite suppression! Just be sure to drink the low-sodium varieties, which are less likely to make you bloat.

Vegetable Soup

A hot, broth-based vegetable soup can fill you up in a hurry and take the edge off of your hunger with minimal calories. Try having a cup before your next meal or simply have a big bowl as your main course!

Wasabi

Ever notice how when you eat sushi it doesn’t seem to take as much food to fill you up? Well, part of that is because of the healthy fish in sushi, but the other part is due to that spicy green stuff: wasabi! The spiciness in wasabi suppresses appetite and is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Water

Could taming your appetite be as easy as drinking an extra glass or two of water? Science says yes! In one August 2010 study, people who drank two glasses of water before a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories at the meal than those who didn’t drink water. Love that H2O!

Whey Protein

Protein is known for suppressing appetite, but it seems that whey protein is especially good at it. New research shows that after people have a liquid meal with whey protein they consume significantly fewer calories at their next meal than those who had a liquid meal with casein

Final Comments on Appetite Suppressants

   While finding ways to curb one’s appetite is a good thing and should help everyone over the tough spots in dieting, it should nonetheless be combined with a sensible overall exercise and diet plan.

Two previous blogs are available right here on WordPress from yours truly. They were posted last November 12th (Part I) and December 11th (Part II). They are titled, “2015: Losing Weight and Getting into Shape in the New Year [A Two Part Series].

If you haven’t read these articles before, please give them a read through. If you are interested in a comprehensive program to lose weight and get into shape than your time will be well spent.

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