You’ll probably know by now that I’m not a big fan of taking diet pills or weight loss supplements to suppress your appetite.
In fact, I’ve looked at plenty of the most popular diet pills on the market, and wasn’t impressed by any of them.
But what if there was a way to eat plenty of food yet still lose weight?
It’s all about choosing the right foods to help you quash your appetite. So here are some of the best foods to stop you reaching for that second helping.
Cinnamon has been called ‘nature’s gastric band’, thanks to its powerful appetite suppressing abilities.
In one study on cinnamon, participants were asked to add just 6 g of the sweet spice to rice pudding, in a bid to discover its effect on appetite.
It was found that the cinnamon slowed the absorption of carbohydrates from the small intestine with participants feeling fuller for longer than those who ate the pudding without cinnamon.
I like to add a sprinkling of cinnamon to my smoothies or Greek yogurt and it keeps me full for hours.
There’s a reason Beyonce added cayenne pepper to her weight loss drinks to drop 20 lbs in just two weeks!
A study published in Clinical Nutrition looked at the effect of capsaicin, an important substance in cayenne pepper, on appetite.
Researchers found that those participants that consumed capsaicin with green tea experienced suppressed hunger and increased fullness.
Capsaicin also has thermo-genetic properties, which means it can cause your body temperature to rise, increasing blood flow and metabolism.
Plus, adding any sort or herbs or spices to your food makes them tastier. And foods that taste good are more satisfying than bland ones, leaving you more fulfilled and less likely to overeat.
A 2007 study by Wheeling Jesuit University looked at the effect of peppermint on hunger levels.
Simply smelling the peppermint led participants to eat ‘significantly fewer’ total calories, calories from saturated fat, total fat and sugar!
They also rated their hunger levels and hunger cravings as significantly lower than those who did not inhale the peppermint scent.
Brew up a pot of peppermint tea, add some mint leaves to your water, or try some minty flavored chewing gum to keep cravings at bay.
A type of soluble fiber in apples, called pectin, is the secret behind the satiating power of this common fruit.
Pectin reduces the amount of sugar and calories that are absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal, preventing spikes in blood sugar that lead to increased fat storage and the inevitable sugar crashes.
Dr Oz advises that apple pectin can keep you full for up to two hours after eating, which may be all you need to see you through to your next meal.
I take my sliced apple with a little cinnamon for a double dose of satiety.
So many dieters shy away from avocados, claiming their high fat content is a bad thing. But if they knew how healthy some fats can be, they would embrace this creamy fruit!
As part of a study on the effects of avocado on satiety, twenty-six overweight (but otherwise healthy) individuals were asked to incorporate fresh avocado into a lunch, either by replacing other foods or by simply adding it to the meal.
Those who added the fresh avocado to their lunches had a decreased desire to snack between meals by 40% over the course of three hours, and by 28% over a five hour period after the meal.
Well, to get full benefits, I suggest following those in the study and including half an avocado.
Beans are incredibly rich in both fiber and protein, which means you’ll be full for a long time after eating them.
CCK takes a double pronged approach to appetite reduction.
It causes food to move more slowly through the intestines, which gives you the sensation of being full for a longer time period of time; and also increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which increases metabolism and decreases hunger.
See why beans are such a great food to help you get rid of lower belly fat?
Good news for all chocolate lovers – it can help you eat less!
But only if you choose dark chocolate, which is known for its amazing health benefits.
A study of white and dark chocolate and the effects on blood sugar, found that participants who ate dark chocolate experienced lower blood sugar levels, something Dr. Oz claims is the key to help you lose weight.
And in another study, those who ate dark chocolate a few hours before their meal, indulged in 15% less pizza than those who had eaten milk chocolate.
Researchers concluded that dark chocolate promotes satiety and lowers the desire to eat.
Nuts contain healthy fats to keep your cholesterol low, they’re full of fiber, which digests slowly, and they are a source of protein – ticking all the boxes of a satiating food and then some.
In particular, try almonds and pine nuts.
A study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating almonds can boost the metabolism and reduce appetite.
Certain fatty acids found in Korean pine nuts can stimulate the release of our favorite appetite-suppressing hormone CCK.
In studies, women who ate pine nut capsules reported less hunger and showed higher levels of CCK than those who took placebo pills.
Even without the studies to tell me all that, I just know that nuts are a healthy and filling snack!
Half a cup of edamame contains only 95 calories but boasts over 8 grams of protein, meaning it’s a great choice to fill you without loading up on calories.
And, afternoon snacking on high protein soy foods has been shown to improve appetite, satiety and diet quality in adolescents, while also improving mood and cognition.
Taking the time to shell the edamame also means they’ll take longer to eat, giving your brain time to realize that you’re full.
A win on all levels, don’t you think?
Dark leafy green vegetables should be a staple in any balanced diet. They bring so much to the table in terms of antioxidants and nutrient density.
In particular, the high water content and fiber of leafy greens help you stay fuller for longer. Plus, these veg require a lot of eating – the very act of slowly chewing food also helps you feel full.
Not sure how to get your quota of leafy greens?
Secondly, it has a low glycemic index (GI), which means you’ll get a slow release of sugar that keeps you powering right through until lunchtime. You’ll stave off any unpleasant sugar crashes and hunger pangs.
Trust me, if you’re the type of person who gets hungry within an hour of eating breakfast, you need to try oatmeal.
You can even try the speedy version – overnight oats. With no cooking required, they’re the perfect ‘grab and go’ food.
These seeds are an awesome tool for weight loss. In fact, they’re awesome for a lot of reasons – check out my article on chia seeds to find out all about their health benefits.
Here’s why they work so well for weight loss: when the seeds are soaked in liquid, they expand and take on a gel-like consistency. It’s also the same reason that they work so well in a healthy pudding.
When you eat the seeds dry, they expand in your stomach instead, filling you up!
Flaxseeds are a great source of plant-based omega 3 essential fatty acids, with each tablespoon containing about 1.8 g of omega 3s.
It has been shown that omega 3s can help dieters feel full longer and eat less.
What’s more, flaxseeds are rich in fiber.
If you choose ground flaxseeds, or grind them yourself, the seeds will expand in your stomach in the same way that chia seeds do.
Hands down, coconut oil is my favorite oil to cook with and to add to smoothies, coffee, and salad dressings.
What makes this tropical oil so different from other oils?
Studies have shown that MCFAs are oxidized in the liver, meaning they’ll likely be burned as fuel, and not stored as fat, like LCFAs are.
When coconut oil is used instead of other oils in the diet, it can help you achieve faster satiety levels and weight loss.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) with ‘the mother’ is another favorite of celebrities when it comes to weight loss and overall health.
In one study, participants were given varying levels of ACV along with carbohydrates in the form of white bread.
Blood tests showed that the higher the levels of vinegar taken, the lower the blood glucose and insulin levels of participants. Those who consumed the most vinegar also reported feeling fuller than other participants.
Check out my article on the science-backed benefits of apple cider vinegar to find out what else this tonic can do for you.
If you’ve read all about why coffee can be good for your health, you’ll know that it’s an effective fat burner and metabolism booster.
While coffee can have lots of health benefits when enjoyed in moderation, too much can play a part in hormonal imbalance, headaches, anxiety, and insomnia.
And remember that it’s only black coffee that will help you lose weight. If you’re drinking cream and sugar filled Starbucks coffees then you could be taking in up to 400 calories per drink!
Humble H2O is one of the simplest and most natural ways to nourish your body. It’s vital for the healthy functioning of everything from our kidneys and heart to our skin and brain
Sometimes our bodies think they’re hungry, when in fact they need hydration. Next time you’re feeling hunger pangs, try a glass or two of water first and see if that does the trick.
Studies have shown that if you drink 17 oz of water before every meal, you could stand to lose 44% more weight over a 12 week period than people who don’t.
This most likely occurs because the water increases your feeling of fullness, preventing you from eating more than you need to.
As I’ve mentioned already, keeping blood sugar levels in check is key to fighting cravings and suppressing appetite.
Green tea also increases the release of CCK (the same hormone stimulated by beans and pine nuts) that tells the brain the body is full. So it’s easy to see why green tea fills you up – it’s telling you that you’re full!
Another way that green tea may indirectly help keep your appetite under control is by stopping emotional eating.
You know what I’m talking about – those times when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, angry or depressed and you reach for a slice of pizza or a packet of double stuffed Oreos, even though you’re not actually hungry.
This awesome tea has also been associated with a lower overall level of psychological distress.
A Bonus Appetite-Suppressing Tip
Because I’m a nice guy, I’m going to give you this bonus tip to keep your appetite in check.
No it’s not another food…but it’s something that’s vital to our health and well-being.
It’s no wonder that those who are sleep deprived have been shown to be hungrier and crave junk foods like carbs, candy, and salty foods.
So there you have it – 18 of the best foods (and one bonus tip!) to suppress your appetite.
What are your favorite foods for keeping your appetite in check?