Natural Ways to Suppress Your Appetite
'Tis the season for backyard summer parties (complete with delectable foods and those fancy drinks with umbrellas). Controlling the urge to snack – especially during the summer months – can be hard without a little help. Prescription and over-the-counter appetite suppressants come with some unpleasant side effects.
You don’t have to walk around hungry because you’re trying not to indulge every time you have a longing for a tasty treat. There are natural ways to suppress your appetite that help you maintain your weight without feeling deprived.
In this article you’ll learn:
- What makes you feel hungry?
- How do you know it’s hunger?
- Are there medical conditions that can make you hungry?
- What are traditional ways to control your appetite?
- What are natural ways to control your urge to eat?
What makes you feel hungry?
There are many reasons you might feel hungry. The first is the most obvious: you need to eat. Most active adults need a minimum of 2,000 calories per day to sustain a healthy metabolism. Daily caloric intake can vary depending on your activity level, age, gender, and weight. Your doctor or a nutritionist can help you determine your ideal calorie count.
Here are some other reasons you might constantly want to nosh.
You’re not eating enough fat, fiber, or protein.
A well-balanced diet needs all these things to help your body thrive and for you to feel full. Adults should get between 10 and 35 percent of their calories from protein each day. Adult women need 21 to 25 grams of fiber daily, while men need 30 to 38 grams.
You also should aim for 44 to 77 grams of healthy fat every day for a 2,000-calorie eating plan (20-35 percent of total calories). If you fail to eat the recommended amounts, you’ll find yourself hungry soon after eating, which can increase the temptation to snack on whatever is handy.
You’re not getting enough sleep.
Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep regulates the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. When you don’t sleep well, your body produces higher levels of ghrelin. Your body mistakes the signals for hunger when what you really need is sleep.
You’re not drinking enough water.
Just like you can think you need to eat when you’re tired, your body also can misconstrue thirst for hunger. Before you reach for solid foods, down a glass of water instead. Drinking water throughout the day keeps you hydrated and feeling full.
You’re stressed out.
Stress eating is a real phenomenon. Some people find comfort in food. Maybe you’re one of them. You stuff your face full of whatever you can get your hands on (including fast food and junk food) even when you’re not hungry. Eating your emotions is bad for your mental and physical health.
Instead of reaching for that bag of cookies, try practicing mindfulness instead. It can help you reduce your stress and cravings for unhealthy foods.
How do you know it’s hunger?
Physical hunger is hard to ignore. You get an empty feeling in your belly, which may or may not be loudly punctuated with some growling noises. When your body sends these signals, you know it’s time to eat some healthy food.
Psychological hunger produces cravings, which can lead to emotional eating or boredom eating. Your mind has convinced your body it needs food when it doesn’t. This is when you need to employ some suppression techniques to fend off the urge to eat.
Are there medical conditions that can make you hungry?
Absolutely. If your stomach has a constant rumble – even after a balanced, healthy meal – it may be time to talk with your doctor about other possible causes. Some medical conditions can cause you to feel hungry all the time. When that happens, you may need more than food to fix the problem. Here are some of the medical reasons for hunger:
- Diabetes prevents glucose from reaching your cells. Your body produces glucose from the sugars in the foods you eat. If you have diabetes, your body eliminates glucose instead of storing it. In addition to being hungry all the time, other surefire signs you might be diabetic include increased thirst and urination.
- Hyperthyroidism happens when your thyroid works too hard. Other signs your thyroid is out of whack include excessive sweating, a fast pulse, feeling anxious, muscle weakness, and increased thirst.
- Hypoglycemia is the medical term for what happens when the glucose in your body drops too low. Diabetic people can suffer from hypoglycemia. Other health conditions can cause it to happen, too, including hepatitis, kidney disease, and pancreatic tumors.
- Medication can be responsible for your increased hunger. Antihistamines and anti-depressants are two of the biggest culprits. If you’ve recently started medication for any reason and find yourself more hungry than usual, talk to your doctor.
What are traditional ways to control your appetite?
Prescription appetite suppressants aren’t a new thing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several prescription medications for overweight and obese Americans struggling to lose weight or control their eating habits.
Bariatric surgeries also are an option for controlling appetite. They work by reducing the amount of food you can consume in one sitting. Most of these procedures aren’t reversible, so you must make sure you want to go this route before it’s too late to change your mind.
What are natural ways to control your urge to eat?
You can learn to control your urge to eat naturally. There are several effective ways to keep from overeating. Not all of them work for everybody. Always talk to your doctor before trying anything new. Here are some of the alternative methods you can try to control your cravings.
Drink more water.
How many times have you heard the advice to drink more water? It truly does make us healthier for many reasons. A study confirmed what many of us have suspected for years: drinking more water controls your appetite.
The study determined that drinking two glasses of water before each meal can help you feel fuller. Replacing sugary, caffeinated drinks with water also saves you calories.
Inhale your hunger away.
Some essential oils can help control your urge to eat. Aromaworks Aromatherapy Suppress Inhaler combines the power of essential oils of grapefruit and peppermint. Both have been shown to curb appetite, relieve food cravings, soothe hunger, and stimulate digestion. You can use it to support a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
Weight-loss hypnosis can help you control your cravings. It may even lead to weight loss when paired with diet and exercise. Programs that used cognitive behavior therapy methods had the most success.
Shari Berg is a researcher, frequent blogger, feature writer, and author of Wars End with Me.
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How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day? news-medical.net. Accessed June 15, 2022.
How much protein do you need every day? health.harvard.edu. Accessed June 15, 2022.
How to Practice Mindfulness. youtube.com (Psych Hub). Accessed June 15, 2022.Prescription Medications to Treat Overweight and Obesity. niddk.nih.gov. Accessed June 15, 2022.
The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed June 15, 2022.
Trying to eat our way to stress relief. apa.org. Accessed June 15, 2022.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? apa.org. Accessed June 15, 2022.