Is Your Appetite Making You Fat?
The “American” lifestyle for many people involves mindlessly grazing on empty-calorie foods (e.g. soda, candy, deep-fried foods, etc.) while sitting at a desk all day. It’s no surprise then that over the past 2 decades obesity rates in the U.S. (and many first-world countries) have skyrocketed.
In fact, you’re statistically in the minority if you’re in a healthy weight range. More than one third of all U.S. adults are obese, and approximately twice as many are overweight. Worse yet, the complications associated with being highly overweight are just as life-threatening. One of those complications is the disease type-2 diabetes. 25.8 million children and adults in the U.S. (8.3% of the population) have type-2 diabetes, and that number is increasing at an exponential rate.
So why is it exactly that people overeat (or under-eat for that matter)? There are a variety of factors that contribute to overeating and undereating, but dysregulated appetite function is the primary culprit .
The good news is that there are simple ways to manipulate the body and mind so that your appetite works in your favor. Read on as we uncover 10 simple diet hacks to reduce your cravings for that late-night pint of Ben n’ Jerry’s.
Simple Diet Hacks to Reduce Cravings/Appetite
1. Eat plenty of fiber with each meal
Fiber adds to food waste in the intestines and slows down the digestive process, thus you feel fuller, longer. Good sources of fiber include green, leafy vegetables, flax & chia seeds, oats, and most legumes. Aim to take in at least 30g of fiber per day, spread out over each meal.
2. Eat slower
This is probably the easiest tip to follow in this article. Eating slowly gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach and realize that it’s filling up. You’re much more likely to overeat if you rush through your meal.
3. Start each meal with food that is high in water content
Foods such as soups, beans/legumes, vegetables, fruits, and certain cooked grains are generally high-water content foods (they are the opposite of foods that are calorie-dense, like peanut butter and olive oil). By starting each meal with high-water content foods you promote fullness and slow down the digestive process, reducing the likelihood you overeat later on.
4. Stop snacking & get your mind off of food
Snacking is one of the easiest ways to eat a lot of calories without even realizing it. Moreover, if you snack often your appetite will almost always be high. Try and keep yourself preoccupied with other things and you’ll notice you stop worrying about food so much. If you absolutely must eat a snack, stick to the foods mentioned in the previous tip.
5. Drink ample amounts of water
By staying properly hydrated and keeping enough liquid in your stomach between meals you create a sense of fullness. Being hydrated also promotes healthy digestion of the nutrients in food you eat. Drink at least 1 ounce of water for every kilogram of your body weight, per day (2.2lb=1kg).
6. Spice up your diet
By adding spicy foods to a meal, you not only are more likely to eat less, but also burn more calories (from the thermic effect of food). Try adding spices like cayenne pepper to foods.
7. Plan and prep your meals ahead of time
When you plan your food intake out in advance you are setting yourself up for success. You’ll notice that your appetite will actually diminish because you’re already aware of what you get to eat next; it becomes more of a habitual response to not worry about your cravings. We sat down with
8. Drink some coffee and tea
Plain coffee and most teas are calorie-free and contain the stimulant caffeine. Caffeine acts a natural thermogenic and appetite suppressant, helping to fight cravings and reduce body-weight.
9. Add lemon to water and food
Lemon is a great natural source of pectin, a fibrous carbohydrate that binds to cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and slows digestion. Lemon is also a great digestive aid and has prebiotic properties in humans.
10. A tablespoon of vinegar per day keeps cravings away
Research indicates that vinegar, which provides a diluted dose of acetic acid, delays gastric emptying which creates a sense of fullness after a meal. Even just as little as a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar can make your cravings go away.
These simple diet tips/hacks may not seem like much at first sight, but they are certainly tried-and-true. Give any (or all) of them a shot and you’re likely to notice your cravings/appetite for junk food are much more tolerable.