Published On By Dimitar Marinov [MD, PhD]

Ways to Stop Feeling Hungry

Hunger is your body’s way of telling you it needs food. However, if you constantly feel hungry, it can sometimes take extra effort to stick to a healthy diet and manage your weight.

If you’re trying to control your weight or avoid unnecessary snacking, finding ways to reduce hunger might help you reach your health goals.

In this article, we will share some of the best ways to help you stop feeling hungry and take control of your eating habits. We have also mentioned some foods that might help reduce hunger.

12 Ways To Stop Feeling Hungry

  1. Eat Slowly

    Eating slowly may give your body more time to realize fullness signals from your stomach to your brain. It may help you feel satisfied with smaller portions of food, reducing overall calorie intake and preventing overeating.

    Chewing food thoroughly and eating slowly may allow your digestive system to break down food more effectively. It might improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, which can lead to satisfaction and reduced hunger.

    When you eat slowly, it enables you to fully savor and enjoy the flavors of your food, which could increase satisfaction with your meal and reduce the desire to eat extra snacks or treats to satisfy cravings.

  2. Drink Enough Water

    Research indicates that drinking a large glass of water before a meal might increase feelings of satiety and reduce hunger post-meal.

    Water consumption may work as a natural appetite suppressant by filling the stomach, signaling to the brain that it is full, and potentially reducing the urge to eat excessively. Thus, staying hydrated could prevent dehydration, which is sometimes mistaken for hunger.

    Choosing water over high-calorie beverages like soda, energy drinks, or juice may significantly reduce calorie intake, which could contribute to weight gain and increased hunger.

    Drinking enough water may help break down food, allowing nutrients to be absorbed more efficiently while reducing feelings of hunger.

  3. Regular Exercise

    When you exercise, it could make you less likely to crave high-calorie foods and help you choose healthier options. Exercise could make you feel fuller for extended hours by lowering the Ghrelin hormone levels that make you feel hungry, possibly increasing your food intake.

    Thus, increasing your exercise frequency may help reduce your cravings for junk food, especially at night. It may assist your body in releasing stress and strain, preventing urges related to poor mental or emotional health.

  4. Eat fiber-rich foods

    Fiber absorbs fluids in the digestive tract, expanding and forming a gel-like texture that slows down digestion. It potentially slows the emptying of the stomach, keeping you feeling fuller for longer periods after eating. As a result, you’re less likely to experience hunger soon after a meal.

    When you consume fiber-rich foods, you may experience better control over your cravings. It happens because fiber has a lower glycemic index (GI), meaning it causes a slower and steadier increase in blood sugar, which may prevent rapid sugar spikes and crashes in the blood.

    Fiber may act as a prebiotic that could help in nourishing good bacteria in your gut. It may help keep a healthy gut microbiome that promotes proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall health.

  5. Mindful Eating

    Mindful eating means paying close attention to how your body feels when you eat instead of letting outside things like TV or stress control your eating habits. It may help you notice when you’re really hungry or when you’re just eating because you’re bored or upset.

    When you eat mindfully, you use all your senses to enjoy your food. You focus on the taste, flavor, and smell of what you’re eating. You eat food slowly and savor each bite so you can fully enjoy your meal.

    Studies show that mindful eating could help reduce cravings by understanding your satiety cues. This intuitive eating may also help manage problematic eating behaviors and control food intake.

    Mindful eating may help you become more aware of your hunger and fullness signals so you’re less likely to overeat.

  6. Consume More Healthy Fats & Protein

    Healthy fats are dense in calories and take longer to digest, which may keep you feeling full for extended periods. This prolonged digestion could reduce the frequency and intensity of hunger pangs.

    Fats may help regulate appetite by influencing the production of hormones like leptin and ghrelin. Leptin, produced by fat cells, signals to the brain that you are full, while ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is reduced when you consume healthy fats.

    Consuming more protein may cause a higher thermic effect on food, potentially helping your body burn extra calories while digesting protein. It may increase your body’s calorie burning and assist in weight loss.

    When you consume high-protein diets, it might help curb cravings and the desire for late-night snacking by preventing the spikes and crashes. However, stay mindful of your protein intake, as excessive dosage might lead to indigestion and other concerns.

    Here are some sources of healthy fats and protein you may consider to curb your craving:

    • Lean Meats (chicken, turkey): It is a high-quality protein that may promote muscle maintenance.
    • Seeds (chia, flax): They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which could assist in digestion.
    • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas): It is a plant-based protein and fiber, versatile in meals
    • Olive Oil: It is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which you can use in salad dressings.
  7. Consume Solid Foods

    Consuming solid foods may help you manage your hunger effectively and could support your overall health. They have a thick texture and a higher viscosity, which might help reduce hunger.

    Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and seeds have high amounts of dietary fiber that may slow down digestion and promote fullness. They may require more chewing time, which could require additional time to stimulate satiety signals in the brain.

    Solid foods like lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and nuts provide high-quality protein, which can be more satiating than carbohydrates or fats.

    They have essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that may help your body function optimally and can reduce cravings driven by nutrient deficiencies.

  8. Try Dark Chocolate

    A study suggested that dark chocolate may suppress appetite more effectively than milk chocolate. Healthy fats in dark chocolate may help promote a feeling of fullness, keeping you satisfied and reducing the urge to eat more.

    Dark chocolate may influence the production and activity of hunger hormones. It could help reduce levels of the ghrelin hormone, which helps stimulate appetite, and increase levels of leptin, the hormone that signals fullness.

    The slightly bitter and satisfying taste of dark chocolate may help reduce cravings for other sweet and high-calorie foods. You may be less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks by filling your sweet tooth with a small piece of dark chocolate.

  9. Manage Stress Level

    Managing stress levels may help regulate appetite and promote overall health. Excess stress could lead to elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, which may increase food cravings and the drive to eat, potentially resulting in weight gain.

    Managing stress may improve your mood and emotional health, reducing the likelihood of turning to food for comfort. When you feel emotionally balanced, you’re less likely to engage in emotional eating.

    Stress management could help improve your sleep quality, which is crucial for regulating hunger hormones like ghrelin (which stimulates appetite) and leptin (which signals fullness).

  10. Try Plant Extracts

    Here are some specific plant extracts that may help reduce appetite include:

    • Fenugreek: Studies have found that fenugreek may increase satiety and decrease fat accumulation. The high fiber content in fenugreek seeds could help increase the feeling of fullness. When consumed, the soluble fiber in fenugreek absorbs water and expands in the stomach, which may curb hunger and reduce food intake.
    • Green Tea (Camellia sinensis): Green tea may help with appetite suppression due to its bioactive compounds like catechins and caffeine. It may help control blood sugar, reducing the spikes and crashes that could lead to increased hunger and cravings.
    • Chili Peppers (Capsicum annum): Capsaicin is the active component in chili peppers that may help with appetite suppression. Chilli peppers could help reduce appetite by increasing the release of satiety hormones, like cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1. These hormones signal to the brain that you are full, reducing the urge to eat.
    • Coffee (Coffea): Coffee contains caffeine and chlorogenic acids, which may help reduce hunger and increase metabolism. It may promote fat oxidation, which could help your body use fat as an energy source. With the help of its stimulants, coffee may help you engage in exercises with more stamina and endurance, potentially supporting fat-burning and improving physical performance.
  11. Drink yerba maté tea

    Research suggests that yerba maté tea may effectively help reduce appetite and enhance mood when combined with high-intensity exercise.

    Yerba maté contains theobromine and caffeine, which could help suppress hunger and boost energy levels. Yerba mate tea is high in antioxidants, which may support overall health.

    Yerba maté tea’s stimulating properties may increase metabolism and fat oxidation, further supporting weight management goals. Its potential to enhance mood may contribute to a positive mindset during exercise, potentially leading to better adherence to workout routines.

    However, it is essential to consume yerba maté in moderation and be mindful of any sensitivities to caffeine or other compounds present in the tea.

  12. Consume Ginger

    Research suggests that ginger consumption may lead to a reduction in appetite and an increase in fullness.

    Ginger comprises gingerol, which may have potential appetite-suppressing properties. These properties could influence several biological activities in the body, including digestion and hunger signaling.

    It may also help curb cravings and reduce the desire to eat by managing your hunger levels. However, while these findings are promising, further research is necessary to clarify the impact of ginger on appetite regulation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Chewing Gum Help Reduce Hunger Cravings?
    Chewing gum may help reduce hunger cravings by keeping the mouth busy and providing a sensory distraction. However, it is crucial to choose sugar-free gum to avoid adding unnecessary calories and to be mindful of overall dietary choices.
  2. What Are Some Lifestyle Factors Impacting Appetite?
    Lifestyle factors impacting appetite include exercise, sleep, and stress management. Regular physical activity could influence your hunger levels, while adequate sleep and stress reduction may help regulate appetite hormones and prevent overeating, promoting overall health.
  3. How Can I Manage Post-Meal Hunger Without Eating?
    To manage post-meal hunger without eating, you can include options like staying hydrated, engaging in light physical activity, and practicing mindful eating. You can also consume natural appetite suppressants like ginger or yerba mate tea. These methods might help you control your cravings effectively.
  4. Do Quick-Fix Weight Loss Pills Have Health Risks?
    Quick-fix weight loss pills work by suppressing appetite, which may cause adverse effects like nutrient deficiency, eating disorders, and weight gain in the long term. Thus, it is advisable to prioritize sustainable, healthy eating and lifestyle choices for sustainable weight management.

Conclusion

Managing hunger may help you maintain a healthy diet and achieve your fitness goals. You can curb your persistent hunger pangs and promote a more holistic approach to eating by following the shared strategies in this article.

From choosing nutrient-dense foods to staying hydrated, practicing mindful eating, and ensuring adequate sleep, each tip may ensure that you feel satisfied and in control even after consuming small meals.

To understand what you’re really craving, try to figure out what your body or mind truly requires and consider any physical or mental health issues you might have. You can also seek help from a certified nutritionist to help curate a custom meal plan for you.

If these methods don’t help manage your appetite, you can talk to a doctor to find out why. The doctor can then recommend the right weight-loss medication or treatment plan for your needs.

Disclaimer
  • The details in this article are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips.

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