There are many weight loss products in the marketplace that help to suppress appetite. But did you know that there are also many natural foods that can help do this?
To suppress your appetite and help yourself to eat less and lose weight, you should eat more of the foods that are filling yet contain few calories. These foods are mainly fruits and vegetables which are high in fibre so they help to stabilise blood sugar levels by controlling digestion and absorption in the gut. These foods are called low energy density foods because they do not contain large amounts of calories per serving, unlike say, a chocolate bar which is a high density food causing a rapid spike in blood sugar which is undesirable. An energy dense food may sound like a good thing but in fact these calories are “empty” calories, i.e. surplus to requirement and low in nutrient value.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help in reducing appetite, but some foods that can be singled out are as follows:
Apples – Not only are these high in fibre and certain valuable nutrients like Quercetin, they take a while to eat as they need a lot of chewing. This is a good thing as it normally takes the brain about twenty minutes to realise that hunger is satiated when you are eating, so if you are eating more slowly you will consume less.
Celery – This is another food high in fibre and containing micro-nutrients which helps to satisfy hunger without calories.
Zucchini or courgettes – These are high in fibre and water like melon, but are useful in a diet as they can be sliced very thinly to look like ribbon pasta, cooked briefly and served with a tomato sauce making a tasty but low calorie meal.
Lentils – These are, unfortunately rarely given the recognition they deserve since they are a really good source of vegetable protein, fibre, (especially soluble fibre), folic acid, iron, and magnesium
Tofu – Tofu is another food not well known in Western culture, but useful for controlling appetite, since it contains a natural hormone peptide appetite suppressant. It is also high in protein, which incidentally may be why the Atkins diet works so well for many, since protein foods cause release of this hormone and help to make you feel full.
Flaxseeds – These are full of fibre and handy as a snack which is virtually carbohydrate free.
Pine nuts – These contain two natural appetite suppressants, and can be sprinkled on to salads or pasta.
Oatmeal – Real oatmeal, rather than the instant variety, is very high in fibre. It is ideal for breakfast, combined with fruit, nuts, and yoghurt, as it will keep you feeling full for a long while, and avoid the temptation of mid-morning snacking.
Salad – Salad is of course, good for you, and a salad before a main course provides fibre to slow glucose absorption and bulk out intestinal contents.
Soup – Soup is another underestimated food in terms of its weight loss value, especially thin broth or vegetable soups which are rich in fibre. If you have soup before a main course it can substantially reduce the amount you will eat overall. The cabbage soup diet is a slightly more extreme example of this principle.
Green Tea – Green tea is rich in nutrients and has been shown to help reduce appetite. Other green drinks like wheatgrass are becoming fashionable amongst health “gurus”.
Water – Drinking plenty of water during the day helps the feeling of fullness and reduces hunger. Water is essential to the proper function of the body, so that, simply, by drinking 8 glasses a day you are helping to control your appetite as well as helping your body stay healthy.
Eating a healthy diet and including low energy density, high fibre foods is arguably a much better way of controlling appetite than spending money on commercial products for the same purpose.