While many are quick to turn to fasting to aid in weight loss, here's how you can manage your appetite with food.

8 ways to manage your appetite with food - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine

 

High volume, low calories

High volume, high water, highly nutritious, low-calorie foods – think fruit and vegies – add bulk that fills the stomach while tricking the mind into thinking you’ve eaten plenty. In a Pennsylvania State University study, people invited to eat high-volume, low-calorie foods ad libitum ate less over the course of a day. High water content and high-fibre foods cause the stomach to stretch and empty more slowly.

Use a knife

A knife and fork are a good indication that your food choice is on the money. Solids are recognised by the stomach as real food whereas liquid meals may not be.

Small pieces are even better according to researchers from Arizona State University, who found that research participants ate less when a bagel was chopped into smaller pieces rather than when they were presented with a whole bagel.

The theory seemed to hold for small items such as nuts, berries, grapes and seeds. The smaller the item, the less of it we’re likely to eat.

Fat

Fat can be an excellent appetite suppressant.

Researchers at the University of California found that oleic acid in good fats helped to trigger the intestinal production of oleoylethanolamide, a compound that sends an appetite-curbing message via the nerve system to the brain. But you won’t find it in just any old fat – olive oil, avocado and nuts are your best sources.

Regular old fat (not necessarily old, but regular) is good for something: It slows down the emptying of your stomach so you feel fuller for longer.

Chocolate

Good news. Eating chocolate can quell appetite (so much for your Lindt addiction theory). In a study published in journal Regulatory Peptides, women who ate or even smelled dark chocolate experienced decreased appetites. Their self-reported signals correlated with decreased levels of hunger hormone ghrelin after eating chocolate. 

Milk chocolate, disappointingly, doesn’t have the same effect according to an earlier study by the University of Copenhagen, which found that people who ate 100 grams of milk chocolate ate more pizza 2.5 hours afterwards than those in the dark chocolate group. Now that’s science!

Flavour

Using aromatic seasoning like mint, cinnamon, oregano and grated ginger may help you eat less. One study found that when people were able to help themselves to their own meal portions, they spooned out five to 10 per cent less of fragrant-smelling dishes than blander options.

Or you could spice up your dish with hot chilli, containing capsaicin, which, according to research published in the journal Chemical Senses, has mild appetite suppressant qualities, combined with the fact that spiciness tends to deter us from overeating.

Beans

Beans keep blood sugar steady, which in turn helps keep hunger at bay. High in fibre – they meet the high-volume, low-calorie rule – they stimulate the appetite-suppressing hormone cholecystokinin, or CCK.

Research at the University of California found that men who ate a meal that featured beans front and centre had CCK levels twice as high as when they ate a low-fibre meal.

Protein

The most satiating macronutrient, protein led to lower calorie consumption at the next meal in people given a liquid meal containing whey protein in a study. Try an all-natural protein shake or choose from lean meat, fish, poultry, soybeans and eggs.

Slow carbs

Low-glycaemic carbs such as oats are slow to digest and keep you fuller for longer than, say, corn flakes. Research shows that a diet high in slow-burning carbs such as oats can restrict the influence of the hunger hormone ghrelin more effectively than a diet high in fat. However, oats alone have minimal protein and fat. Pairing them with a protein source such as Greek yoghurt can increase their staying power.

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