When was the last time you opened a box of your favorite snack cracker, only to unintentionally polish off the entire container in one sitting? Highly processed foods are addictive, and eating too much of them can add flab to your waistline even if you lead an otherwise healthy lifestyle. Strict portion control is one method to approach solving this problem. Another is to eat foods and adopt lifestyle habits that will actually curb your appetite. Here are 10 easy ways to control your appetite and lead a healthier life.
Eat breakfast daily
Kickstart each day with a nutritious breakfast to get your metabolism rolling and ensure you have the energy you need to get through the day. Nutritionists generally don’t recommend skipping any meals. But if there’s one meal you should be sure to eat every day, it’s breakfast.
There is a common misconception that exercise makes people hungry. But exercise is far more likely to decrease your appetite than to increase it. And when you do get hungry following an intense workout, your body is more likely to crave nutrient-rich foods than junk.
Get enough rest
While it is true that we burn fewer calories while sleeping than while awake, this is no excuse to skimp on sleep. Research suggests not getting enough sleep increases one’s appetite. Any extra calories you burn by staying up later or waking earlier than you should will quickly be offset by the extra food you’ll eat.
Pack down the protein
In addition to being a good and filling source of energy, protein boosts and regulates metabolic function. It can also help curb your appetite.
Smarten up about carbs
Where starchy foods are concerned, try to favor multi-grain breads and pastas to enriched-flour varieties. Choose brown rice over white rice, and eat other whole grains like quinoa, barley, and oats.
Consume more citrus and potassium-rich foods
Citrus fruit and potassium-rich foods tend to be filling relative to their caloric content. They’re also loaded with vitamins and nutritional value.
Get your daily dose of fiber
High-fiber foods are filling and boost your metabolism. Incorporate almonds, apples, avocados, legumes, and other-high fiber foods into your daily diet.
Don’t starve yourself
Don’t wait until you’re starving to eat. It can be difficult to control how much and how quickly when you do. Besides, there’s a pretty good body of research out there demonstrating that it’s healthier to eat smaller meals throughout the day than one or two large meals only.
Drink lots of water
The body can easily confuse dehydration for hunger. If you feel hungry but haven’t had a sip of water for hours, down a glass of water or two and see whether you still feel hungry in 10 minutes. Drinking more than just enough water has plenty of other health benefits as well.
Indulge in dark chocolate regularly
Dark chocolate may not help you crave fruits and veggies, but it can satisfy both salty and sweet cravings. It may even yield health benefits, like lowering blood sugar and fortifying heart health. Remember that moderation is key, but a square or two of dark chocolate a day may actually do your body good.
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