The general idea is if you want to lose weight, you need to eat less and suppress appetite.
But, eating less doesn’t mean you will suppress appetite.
In fact, there’s a chance that you won’t lose any weight.
“While eating frequent meals doesn’t necessarily lead to weight gain in of itself – given that caloric intake remains consistent – it does result in higher average blood sugar levels and decreased satiety, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. In contrast, we have seen that eating fewer, larger meals helps maintain lower average blood sugar levels, increases satiety and metabolism, and may even help with weight loss. As it turns out, the traditional three meals per day is not such a bad way to eat after all.” says Kimberly Killebrew, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Daring Gourmet.
The following is a list of 16 scientifically proven ways that will help reduce hunger and suppress appetite.
1. Drinking Coffee Can Help Suppress Appetite
There are many weight loss and healthy benefits of coffee. Drinking coffee can also help suppress appetite.
Scientists are of the opinion the PPY level plays an integral role in assessing how much food an individual is likely to eat. (3)
Quite strangely, there is a possibility decaffeinated coffee may lead to a higher reduction in hunger than regular coffee. The effects are believed to last up to three hours after drinking. (4)
More studies are required to determine how this works.
The Bottom Line: Drinking coffee, especially the decaffeinated variety, can suppress appetite for up to three hours.
2. Be Aware of What You Are Eating
In most cases, the brain is perfectly aware whether you are hungry or full.
One problem occurs if you eat quickly or get distracted. It can be harder for your brain to get the message that you are full.
You can solve this problem by focusing on the foods in front of you and getting rid of any distractions—this is a key element of mindful eating.
Research has proven when an individual practices mindfulness when eating, they will derive more pleasure from the meal. This places focus on the quality of the meal rather than the quantity. This lessens the potential for binge eating. (5)
There appears to be a link to connect hunger, what the eyes can see and fullness.
In one experiment participants were offered two milkshakes that were the same. One of the milkshakes was called “620 calorie indulgence” while the other one was identified with a “120 calorie-sensible” label.
Even though both groups consumed identical calories, the levels of hunger hormones dropped more for those participants who thought they had consumed the “indulgent” drink. (6)
When an individual believes a drink has more calories than it does, it can also succeed in activating those areas of the brain that trigger the feeling of being full. (7)
Since what you see can have a direct influence on how full you feel, it can be quite beneficial to be mindful of what you eat.
The Bottom Line: The practice of mindful eating has been proven to decrease feelings of hunger and increase the feeling of being full. This is something appetite suppressants work toward. It can also help reduce the number of calories you consume and help prevent overeating.
3. A Bigger Fork May Be the Answer to Overeating
Using a bigger fork may make it seem like you are eating more food.
A recent study supports the premise that those who ate with bigger forks ate ten percent less food than those who used smaller forks. (8)
Researchers believe there is a possibility that when people use small forks to eat they may feel they are failing to make progress toward satisfying their hunger, so they end up eating more.
This type of effect does not occur with all utensils. For instance, the use of larger serving spoons may increase a person’s food intake by as much as 14.5 percent. (9)
The Bottom Line: When you use a larger fork to eat, it may help you lessen the amount of food you need to feel full and suppress appetite.
4. Exercise Can Help Suppress Appetite
There is a school of thought that says exercise reduces some of the activity in regions of the brain that control food cravings. This can cause an individual to have less desire to eat. (10)
Exercise can also reduce the levels of hunger hormones while increasing an individual’s feelings of fullness. (11)
According to research, both aerobic, like Shift Shop, and resistance exercise, like some Beachbody programs, have equal abilities to influence levels of hormones and the size of the meal a person wants to eat after exercising. (12)
The Bottom Line: Aerobic and resistance exercise are both capable of helping increase the fullness hormones and lead to a reduction in hunger and caloric intake.
5. Protein to Suppress Appetite
A recent weight loss study compared two different breakfasts that contained the same number of calories; one consisted of eggs and the other bagels.
Those participants who consumed the eggs lost 65 percent more weight and 16 percent more body fat during eight weeks of the study. (15)
A high intake of protein may also help prevent the loss of muscle when you consume fewer calories to lose weight. (16)
To reap the benefits of protein intake it should make up approximately 20-30 percent of your total caloric intake. (17)
The Bottom Line: You will achieve more success with your weight loss when you eat enough protein to suppress appetite.
6. Solid and Liquid Calories Are Not Equal
Solid and liquid calories do not necessarily suppress appetite in the same way.
A recent review compared a solid and liquid snack, and it found that those who ate a solid snack were 38 percent less likely to overeating at the next meal. (18)
A second study showed those participants who consumed semi-solid snacks were not as hungry and had a lower appetite and greater feeling of fullness than those who consumed a liquid snack. (19)
Because solids require more chewing, this allows more time for the signal you are full to reach the brain. (20)
Another opinion by scientists is that when a person spends extra time chewing it allows the solid food to remain in touch with the taste buds for a longer period, thus promoting the feeling of being full. (21)
This could be one reason why dieters who use liquid supplements, like Plexus Slim, don’t feel less hungry.
The Bottom Line: When you eat your calories instead of drinking them you have a better chance of eating less without feeling like you are still hungry.
7. Take Advantage of the Health Benefits of Ginger
Recent research has uncovered another benefit of ginger: it can suppress appetite.
According to one study, when dieters dissolved two grams of ginger powder in hot water and used during breakfast participants didn’t feel as hungry after eating. (26)
Unfortunately, this study was rather small. More research on humans is needed before any final answer can be reached.
The Bottom Line: While ginger may have the ability to decrease feelings of hunger, something Phentermine can heop with, more research is necessary before we know for sure.
8. Choose Fiber Rich Foods
A recent review reported that when you add fiber-rich foods such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils to your meal, it can suppress appetite by approximately 31 percent compared to meals that are equivalent but do not have beans. (31)
Whole grains that are rich in fiber can also be beneficial in reducing hunger and making you feel full. (32)
When you eat an additional 14 grams of fiber every day it can decrease your intake of calories by as much as 10 percent. Over a period of about four months, this could result in weight loss of 4.2 pounds. (33)
This means those who choose a diet that contains plenty of fruits, beans, nuts, vegetables, and seeds have the ability to enjoy long-term health.
The Bottom Line: People who consume a diet rich in fiber will not suffer from as much hunger. This means they will be able to reduce the calories they eat. A high fiber diet can also offer long-term health benefits.
9. Choose High-Protein Healthy Snacks
When you consume high-protein snacks, there’s a chance you’ll feel fuller longer because it works to suppress appetite.
The Bottom Line: In all likelihood, if you eat a high protein rather than high fat snack it will decrease your hunger and prevent you from overeating when you eat again.
10. Sleep Can Suppress Appetite and Stop Weight Gain
Making sure you get enough quality sleep can help suppress appetite.
Research has also shown that consumers who sleep fewer than seven hours nightly rate after breakfast fullness levels as 26 percent lower. (46)
The Bottom Line: Those who get fewer than seven hours of sleep nightly are more likely to have increased hunger levels throughout the day.
11. Water Can Give You a Feeling of Fullness
Having a glass of water before meals can help decrease the feelings of hunger you experience before mealtime.
Drinking water can also help you feel fuller quicker after meals and increase weight loss success. (52)
Studies have shown people who drink two glasses of water as soon as they finish eating a meal tend to consume 22 percent fewer calories than those who do not drink any water. (53)
Scientists are of the opinion that approximately 17 ounces of water is enough to stretch the stomach sufficiently enough for signals of fullness to reach the brain.
Water empties from the stomach quickly, so for this method to be successful, you must consume the water fairly close to meal time.
It is possible if you start your meal with a bowl of soup as it will work the same way.
Researchers noted that when a person eats a bowl of soup right before a meal, there is a decrease in the hunger and reduction of approximately 100 calories from the meal itself. (54)
The Bottom Line: A person who drinks low-calorie liquids before a meal can help you consume fewer calories and suppress appetite.
12. Add Spices to Your Meals
Ginger is not necessarily the only spice used to suppress appetite.
A recent review compared the effects of capsaicin and capsiate.
The Bottom Line: The compounds found in hot and sweet peppers, like cayenne, can help curb the hunger and increase the sense of fullness.
13. Eat on Smaller Plates
Reducing the size of your plates and bowls can help you lessen the amount of food you eat without you realizing it. This can help you consume fewer calories, but not feel as if you are deprived. (56)
On an interesting note is the fact this action can fool even someone who is very aware of what is being eaten.
For example, one study noted even nutrition experts tend to unconsciously serve themselves 31 percent more ice cream when they use larger bowls. (57)
Another study reported that participants who served themselves snacks from larger plates or bowls tended to consume 142 more calories than those who had snacks in smaller containers. (58)
The Bottom Line: You can unconsciously eat less without leaving you hungry by eating from smaller plates.
14. Have Pictures of Foods You Love
Some researchers say you can convince yourself to eat less by simply picturing yourself eating.
Participants in one experiment imagined eating three or 33 M&Ms before they were given a bowl of the candy. Those who initially believed they were eating more M&Ms consumed an average of 60 percent less of the candy. (59)
Researchers discovered the same result when they used cheese instead of M&Ms.
Apparently, this visualization exercise tricks the mind into believing you have already consumed some of the foods you desired which significantly decreases your craving for those foods.
The Bottom Line: When you visualize yourself eating all those foods you crave it can cause a reduction in your desire to have them.
15. Omega-3 Fats Increase the Level of the Fullness Hormone
The Bottom Line: Omega-3 fats can possibly decrease hunger for people who are overweight and obese.
16. Eliminate Body Fat Around Your Middle for Effective Weight Loss
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is the hormone affecting energy balance and can help suppress appetite.
Experts believe higher levels of NPY increase appetite and can change the percentage of calories stored as fat. (62)
Another thing researchers have found is that body fat may increase the production of NPY. This is particularly the case of the body fat that surrounds the organs.
Losing weight around the middle may help suppress appetite and result in lower hunger levels.
The Bottom Line: When you lose fat around the middle it can reduce the levels of neuropeptide Y and help suppress appetite and hunger.
Final Thoughts About Ways to Suppress Appetite
Hunger is very natural. But that doesn’t mean it has to get the best of you.
The above tips are just a few small things you can do to suppress appetite and hunger. Remember to get some sleep, add a little spice to your meals and check out fish with healthy fats to get started.
Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.