Natural Appetite Suppressants
Are you a hangry person, ie, are hungry and angry pretty much inseparable in your world? I can totally be a hangry person, and when I’m hungry AND angry, I don’t always make the best food choices. We all have to eat, and we all have to eat right to feel good, but when I’m seconds from going full she-Hulk, I don’t really think straight, and I don’t have the patience to make myself or find a proper snack or meal, because there’s a bag of chips RIGHT THERE and all I have to do to get food in my mouth NOW is open it. And if you’re out and about, or stuck at your office with nothing but a vending machine? Yeah, it’s hard.
I often wish my appetite would chill and be quiet so I could make a clear-headed choice about what I really want to eat, what my body needs, and what is a better choice of snack or meal. Mindless snacking does our bodies no good, but hunger is a powerful signal, and it’s hard to ignore. Even if you’ve got great willpower and don’t feel tempted by junk food, healthy food is harder to find and often more expensive.
This is especially frustrating if you’ve just changed up your eating habits or started a new fitness routine that is causing you to feel hungry as you adjust. Nobody wants to derail their new diet by snacking on junk! So, I’ve rounded up some appetite suppressants that are totally safe and totally natural so you can safely quiet your hunger.
This is perfect if you work in an office and spend all afternoon fighting the urge to eat those cookies in the break room or chips from the vending machine. If you can take a ten minute break, get up and go for a walk. Too often, when we’re restless, our bodies get confused about what they want and need, our metabolisms start acting funny, and sitting at a desk all day tends to bring out the snack monster in all of us. To beat the snack monster in the afternoon, go for a walk. Then, on your way back to the office, grab one of these next natural appetite suppressants…
Okay, before you get too excited, I said coffee…not a latte, not a cappuccino, and definitely not a frap. Most people I know drink their coffee with a spoonful of sugar and a splash of cream, and that’s not right, either. The sugar you put in your coffee hits your bloodstream right away, and sugar wreaks havoc with your metabolism and hunger signals, so what you want is plain black coffee, with a little low-fat milk (not flavored creamer– there’s that sugar again!) if you must. Black coffee is an acquired taste, but iced coffee (still black!) might be easier if you’re not there yet.
Alongside a host of other health benefits, green tea will curb your cravings and balance your blood sugar. Some people who get jitters from coffee find that green tea- which also contains caffeine- doesn’t do this, so it’s the perfect way to give yourself a boost and stop the snacking. If you’ve got a good cafe nearby, they may have the ultimate appetite suppressant: green tea with ginger. Which brings us, of course, to…
Ginger has long been considered a wonder root for its ability to cure all our digestive ailments. It calms an upset stomach, improves digestion, and can also help you feel full and satisfied when you take it in with your food. For this reason, it’s a great addition to tea or your breakfast. Powdered ginger in your morning smoothie or dried ginger brewed in you afternoon tea will help you to not feel hungry so soon in the first place.
Mint is a funny one, because the thing that actually makes it an appetite suppressant is its strong scent. That’s right: the smell of mint will stop you feeling hungry. Of course, mint tea is readily available, delicious, relaxing, and calms an upset stomach, too. Sugar free mint gum or a breath mint may also work for you. You can also keep some mint essential oil on hand to freshen the smell of your home and keep your hunger at bay.
Chocoholics, tune out: this one might not be for you. Eating a small square of very dark (bittersweet- 70% cocoa or more) minimal sugar chocolate can quiet those hunger pangs that have you wanting to eat a whole bar of chocolate and more. It’s the bitter flavors in super dark chocolate that curb your appetite. Like black coffee, bittersweet chocolate is an acquired taste, but once you’re there, it’s delicious and chock full of nutritional value and appetite controlling qualities.
If you like it hot, this one is for you. Eating cayenne pepper controls your hunger in a couple of ways. You may eat spicy food more slowly, which gives your body time to realize it is full and stop you eating sooner. Then, cayenne pepper curbs hunger, so you won’t be eating more later. Add it to eggs or a smoothie in the morning, or sprinkle it on your lunch to get the benefits of cayenne pepper.
8Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s just vinegar, and yet people can’t stop talking about the stuff! Apple cider vinegar is such a hot health trend right now that some people take shots of straight apple cider vinegar as a boost or general health tonic. If you’re up to that, go ahead: swig away. Most recommend 1-3 teaspoons before you eat. You can also add a tablespoon to a glass of water to cut the tartness. Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your meals, too, is easy: use it in place of lemon juice and add it to salad dressings.
No one is quite sure why this works, but it does. It may work by triggering the release of glucose in your blood stream, which gives you energy and stops the hunger signal. It may be similar to mint in that the strong aroma quells hunger pangs.
These strategies will help in a pinch, and things like apple cider vinegar make great long-term additions to your diet partially because they keep hunger in check, but if you’re constantly hungry and trying to fight off cravings, you might want to take a critical look at your overall nutrition.
9Don’t skip breakfast
The common wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is true for many reasons. Relevant to this article, eating a healthy breakfast is the best thing you can do to control your appetite all day.
When you first wake up, you need to fuel up for the day. Do yourself a favor and take the time to do it right rather than grabbing a granola bar or a muffin and rushing out of the house. The key here is a good breakfast.
Try to get three things in your breakfast: protein, fiber, and potassium. Protein gives you lasting energy, fiber helps to keep you feeling full, and potassium regulates your blood sugar (which controls hunger and energy). Overnight oatmeal with sliced banana and a handful of almonds can be prepared at night and ready in the morning, and it gives you all three. And on the subject of potassium…
10Get your potassium
Get it as much as you can! A banana in the morning is not enough, and potassium comes from loads of other foods. Keeping your potassium level up will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day, and stable blood sugar means fewer cravings for sugar. The problem with sugar is that even small amounts of added sugar (not like the sugar you get from fruit) send your metabolism into a tailspin. If you’re eating sugar, your body won’t burn fat and your energy levels won’t stay stable. It will also store whatever sugar it can’t use immediately as fat. Then, when we’re listless as a result, we crave MORE sugar. Eating lots of potassium rich foods like kale and other dark green veggies can put an end to that cycle and keep your energy levels balanced.
Speaking of sugar…
11Cut out sugar and sweeteners
We hear this again and again, and I’m gonna say it here, too: we eat too much sugar, and it really is that bad for you. The natural sugars in fruits and vegetables come into our bodies paired with fiber and other nutrients that make it very different from the added, processed sugars in soft drinks, sweets, baked goods, and just about every other packaged food we can grab at a convenience store. It’s hard to avoid sugar, and eating it every day puts your body in a cycle that’s hard to break, and that doesn’t do you any favors. Between the green tea and the apple cider vinegar, get to the bottom of what’s really causing your hunger, and cut out the sugar and artificial sweeteners.