|10 Ways to Tame Your
When it comes to losing weight, there are some things
you could live without; an insatiable appetite is one
of them. Appetite can feel like such an untamable beast,
and a bossy one at that. When it demands to be fed, you
feed it - often regardless of your weight-control goals.
So what’s the alternative
to caving in? We recommend ten tactics for true appetite
control. Read on to learn more!
Why diet pills don't work
The lure of diet pills has always been their ability
to suppress appetite. It seems so simple; take a pill,
stifle your appetite, lose weight.
But the problem is that the minute you stop taking diet
pills, your appetite returns in full force and you've
done nothing to change the behaviours that caused you
to gain weight in the first place. Any weight that you
lost while taking the pills creeps (or leaps) right back
The temporary suppression of
appetite with pills can also be dangerous. In some
instances diet pills have caused permanent health problems
and even death. A few years ago, the weight-loss supplement
Ephedra was banned after research linked the drug to
heart complications – but
not before it caused serious health problems for countless
Simple appetite control
So if pills don't work, how do you get your appetite
Actually, appetite in and of
itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it provides an
important indicator of your body’s
need for refueling; when you are low on energy, your
stomach lets you know. Your appetite is not the problem;
it’s how you respond to it that can be.
"Effective appetite control strategies should help
curb your appetite without negative side-effects, and
should also assist you in changing the eating habits
that cause weight gain," says Pat Fiducia, one of
CalorieKing's weight-loss experts.
Read on for Pat's best tips on effective appetite control.
Ten ways to tame your appetite
- Don't get too hungry. It may seem obvious, but if you
want to control your appetite, it's important not to
get too hungry. If you don't eat enough, your appetite
will soon scream at you; so nip it before it does. Eat
regular meals and two planned snacks a day to avoid getting
- Ask yourself if you're truly
hungry. Many people don't know how to differentiate
between true hunger and emotional hunger. "Emotional hunger" is
what prompts you to eat when you're not physically
hungry. True hunger only occurs when you have not had
enough calories or fat to satisfy physiological needs.
you feel hungry, think about when you last ate and
what you ate, and whether or not you have physical
symptoms of hunger such as light-headedness and a rumbling
stomach. If you're not physically hungry, ask yourself
if there are other reasons why you feel like eating,
such as stress or boredom, and respond to those triggers
with something other than food. For example, go for
a walk, do some gardening, or call a friend.
- Drink water and take ten. Sometimes, what you recognise
as hunger is actually thirst. If you feel hungry, try
drinking a glass of water, take some deep breaths and
tell yourself that you can eat, but in ten minutes.
If you are not truly hungry, the feeling will pass
after ten minutes and you will have saved on calories.
Or if it doesn't pass, nothing is lost and you won't
be any hungrier than you were before.
- Let yourself feel a little hunger. If you're feeling
hungry after a meal or snack, keep in mind that it's
also okay to feel less than full or to feel a little
hungry even after you've eaten. In fact, most people
who have lost weight and kept it off have learned to
be comfortable with this feeling.
- Don't get too tired. Too little sleep affects hunger
and appetite hormones adversely. If you're struggling
to control your appetite, make sure that you're getting
- Steer clear of appetite-stimulating foods. Avoid
the sights and smells of junk food and foods that stimulate
your appetite by keeping them out of your line of sight
- out of the house, away from your desk, out of the
car. Remember - out of sight, out of mind!
- Be careful at buffets. Most
people's appetites go into overdrive when eating
at a buffet. In fact, people eat up to 60 percent
more when there is variety, even if the variation
is something as simple as a different shape of pasta.
That's because your appetite is easily bored with
one food, and the more you eat of a single food,
the less you will crave it – even if it’s
chocolate cake. At a buffet, however, there is plenty
of variety to keep your appetite interested, even if
you are full.
Next time you go to a buffet remember
to take your motivation with you. The most powerful
aid for controlling overeating is the conviction
that losing weight is more important than eating
as much as you want. Commit to eating no more than
three selections, and take your time eating, allowing
the food to digest slowly.
Prepare for parties. Research
suggests that you eat more when having a meal with
a large group of people. There are many reasons for
this. For example, the distraction of conversation
can prevent you from listening to your appetite. Learning "crowd control" for
your appetite is an excellent strategy for changing
- If the "Merry Crowd" scenario
is an appetite stimulator for you, pay close attention
to your hunger cues when eating with friends. Take
a moment out of the conversation to decide whether
you are really hungry or if your unconscious is just
playing tricks on you. Don't go into a party situation
hungry or thirsty. Eat some low-fat protein and drink
a glass of water within one hour of when you plan to
eat. And of course, remember to enjoy the company and
the conversation. Eating with other people is about
so much more than the food!
- Eat appetite-curbing foods.
Some foods stimulate appetite while others satisfy
Low-fibre and calorie-dense foods, such as lollies
and biscuits, generally increase appetite. On the other
hand, high-fibre, bulky foods curb appetite. So when
you get a hunger pang, don’t reach for the biscuit
tin, instead grab a Brussels sprout! Well... if not
a Brussels sprout, perhaps another, tastier, high-fibre,
low-calorie food to get you through the initial pang.
Particularly good are foods such as legumes, high-fibre
cereals, whole-grain bread, oat bran, cabbage and most
Another great way to curb
appetite is to "put on
the protein brakes" with low-fat protein. You
fill up fast on protein because the amino acids in
protein prompt a signal that tells the brain you're
getting enough. Protein also stays in your stomach
longer than carbohydrates or fat. At meal times fill
up on low-fat white meat or soy-based protein foods,
instead of pasta or bread.
- Be mindful. Staying mindful
of your weight and health goals is also a good way
to calm your appetite and get things in perspective.
When your appetite screams out "Feed
me!" it's always wise to take a minute to picture
yourself slim and healthy, and then decide whether
you are still hungry.
"At the end of the day, appetite control is all
about making the right decision at the right time," concludes
Pat. "If you don't learn to control your appetite,
losing weight will always be an uphill battle. Learn
to control it instead of letting it control you."
Reproduced with permission from CalorieKing.com.au. All material copyright CalorieKing.com.au