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12 Ways To Control Your Hunger

Do your hunger pangs hit you at any time of the day? Don't worry, we will tell you how to control your hunger in a few simple ways.

There are several reasons why you are hungry even after you have finished a big meal. The reasons include not eating enough protein, not sleeping enough, eating too much refined carbohydrates, not eating healthy high-fat foods, not drinking enough water, not eating fibre-rich foods and drinking excess alcohol.

There are many who opt for appetite suppressants such as pills that stop oneself from feeling hungry. However, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), these appetite suppressant pills come with dangerous side effects.

Instead, a person can go the natural way to curb their hunger and suppress appetite. Here are the ways in which you can control your hunger.

1. Eat Fibre-Rich Foods

Consuming fibre rich foods such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils can increase feelings of fullness by 31% [1] . A diet high in fibre stretches the stomach, slows its emptying rate and triggers the release of fullness hormones. Fibre-rich whole grains can also reduce your hunger pangs and keep you full.

2. Load Up On Protein

Adding more protein to your diet keeps you full for longer, making you crave less [2] . Eat high-protein foods like eggs, lean meats, soy products, beans and peas, Greek yogurt, etc.

What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Protein-rich Food?

3. Eat More Healthy Fats

Healthy fats found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds are more effective in satisfying your hunger and keeping your stomach full for longer. It is because when you consume fat, a hormone called leptin is released from the fat cells, which will trigger the hypothalamus to lower the appetite. If there is a lack of leptin, it can trigger a voracious appetite [3] .

4. Drink Water Or Soup Before Each Meal

A study shows that drinking a glass of water before eating can make you feel fuller, more satisfied, and less hungry after the meal [4] . Another study found that having soup before a meal can quench your appetite after the meal [5] .

5. Have A Salad Before Lunch

People who had a large, low-calorie salad before lunch ate 12 per cent fewer calories during the meal. On the other hand, people who had a smaller salad ate 7 per cent fewer calories overall [6] . The salad consisted of ingredients such as romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery.

Best And Worst Salad Toppings For Weight Loss

6. Drink Coffee

Drinking coffee increases the release of peptide YY (PYY). The hormone is produced by the gut in response to eating, which keeps you full. Scientists claim that this hormone plays a major role in determining how much you are likely to eat. Decaffeinated coffee works best in reducing your hunger [7] .

7. Eat Soy

Soybeans contain protein, fat and carbohydrates, all of these nutrients play an important role in keeping your tummy satisfied and are more likely to keep your appetite in control [8] .

8. Grab A Piece Of Dark Chocolate

A research study shows that dark chocolate can help lower appetite and stop cravings due to the presence of stearic acid. This stearic acid in dark chocolate slows down digestion, further elevating feelings of fullness [9] .

9. Munch On Healthy Snacks

Munching on healthy snacks will help you control your appetite and make you eat less during a meal [10] . You can go for healthy snacks like carrots, apple and peanut butter, baked tortilla chips, etc.

10. Eat Ginger

Ginger has plenty of health benefits, and one of them is it acts as an appetite suppressant. After consumption, ginger has a stimulating effect on the digestive system which reduces your appetite and increases fullness [11] .

11. Lower Stress Levels

Excess stress increases the hormone cortisol, which is said to increase food cravings and make you binge eat. Mindful eating reduces stress-related binge eating and comfort eating [12] .

12. Eat Slowly During Meals

Take your time while finishing your meal because it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full and you should stop eating. Eating slowly gives the brain a chance to catch up with the stomach, and you are less likely to overeat [13] .

View Article References
  1. [1] Li, S. S., Kendall, C. W., de Souza, R. J., Jayalath, V. H., Cozma, A. I., Ha, V., ... & Leiter, L. A. (2014). Dietary pulses, satiety and food intake: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of acute feeding trials.Obesity,22(8), 1773-1780.
  2. [2] Halton, T. L., & Hu, F. B. (2004). The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review.Journal of the American College of Nutrition,23(5), 373-385.
  3. [3] Belinova, L., Kahleova, H., Malinska, H., Topolcan, O., Windrichova, J., Oliyarnyk, O., … Pelikanova, T. (2017). The effect of meal frequency in a reduced-energy regimen on the gastrointestinal and appetite hormones in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomised crossover study.PloS one,12(4), e0174820.
  4. [4] Corney, R. A., Sunderland, C., & James, L. J. (2016). Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males.European journal of nutrition,55(2), 815-819.
  5. [5] Flood, J. E., & Rolls, B. J. (2007). Soup preloads in a variety of forms reduce meal energy intake.Appetite,49(3), 626-634.
  6. [6] Roe, L. S., Meengs, J. S., & Rolls, B. J. (2011). Salad and satiety. The effect of timing of salad consumption on meal energy intake.Appetite,58(1), 242-248.
  7. [7] Greenberg, J. A., & Geliebter, A. (2012). Coffee, hunger, and peptide YY.Journal of the American College of Nutrition,31(3), 160-166.
  8. [8] Leidy, H. J., Todd, C. B., Zino, A. Z., Immel, J. E., Mukherjea, R., Shafer, R. S., ... & Braun, M. (2015). Consuming high-protein soy snacks affects appetite control, satiety, and diet quality in young people and influences select aspects of mood and cognition.The Journal of nutrition,145(7), 1614-1622.
  9. [9] Sørensen, L. B., & Astrup, A. (2011). Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake.Nutrition & diabetes,1(12), e21.
  10. [10] Ortinau, L. C., Hoertel, H. A., Douglas, S. M., & Leidy, H. J. (2014). Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women.Nutrition journal,13, 97.
  11. [11] Mansour, M. S., Ni, Y. M., Roberts, A. L., Kelleman, M., Roychoudhury, A., & St-Onge, M. P. (2012). Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: a pilot study.Metabolism: clinical and experimental,61(10), 1347-1352.
  12. [12] O'Reilly, G. A., Cook, L., Spruijt-Metz, D., & Black, D. S. (2014). Mindfulness-based interventions for obesity-related eating behaviours: a literature review.Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity,15(6), 453-461.
  13. [13] Andrade, A. M., Kresge, D. L., Teixeira, P. J., Baptista, F., & Melanson, K. J. (2012). Does eating slowly influence appetite and energy intake when water intake is controlled?.The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity,9, 135.

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