Some foods are more satiating than others. For example, foods higher in protein boost the activity of hormones that reduce appetite.
Plus, protein prevents rapid swings in blood sugar that cause you to get hungry and crave sugary foods.
There are also some foods that suppress appetite. In other words, these foods reign in hunger, and some of them may surprise you!
Dark chocolate is healthy for your heart and can even bring down elevated blood pressure. Cardiologists now admit that dark chocolate is a heart-healthy food. Studies also show that nibbling on dark chocolate helps suppress appetite.
However, dark chocolate is more effective at curbing cravings than milk chocolate. The difference may be due to the higher fat content of dark chocolate: fat slows stomach emptying. Dark chocolate is also usually lower in sugar. Therefore, it’s less likely to trigger blood glucose swings that cause hunger.
In one study, women who ate 85% cacao chocolate or even smelled its aroma reported a significant reduction in cravings. The women also experienced a boost in the hormone ghrelin that suppresses appetite. Now you know why dark chocolate is a hunger buster.
Choose dark chocolate and select a bar that has less than 7 grams of sugar per serving.
When appetite suppressing foods come to mind, oatmeal may not be what you envision, yet it ranks high on the satiety scale.
The reason? Oatmeal is rich in fiber and its carbohydrates are slow-digesting. You can further enhance the satiety benefits of oatmeal by adding nuts and seeds, such as chia seeds, ground flax, walnuts, and hemp seeds. Choose your oatmeal wisely.
Quick-cook oatmeal is digested more rapidly and causes a sharper rise in blood sugar relative to old-fashioned oats, and blood sugar spikes trigger hunger. The best choice is steel-cut oats since it has the least impact on blood glucose.
Watch out! They’ll burn your tongue, but they’ll also curb your desire to snack and may even limit the amount you eat at a meal. The active ingredient, capsaicin, packs a fiery punch and is responsible for the appetite-reducing benefits of hot peppers. Plus, studies show these crimson peppers modestly boost body temperature and resting metabolic rate for a time after eating them.
Combine that with their appetite-suppressing effects and they may help with weight control. There is one catch. The appetite suppressing effects dwindle if you eat red peppers regularly. Those who are unfamiliar with the peppery punch of red peppers get the most benefits.
Peppermint has a lively, uplifting scent and that same aroma may curb your desire to eat. One study found that subjects who whiffed peppermint every two hours over five days felt less hungry and consumed 1,800 fewer calories per week.
In the case of peppermint, you don’t need to consume the mint itself but the aroma. However, you still may enjoy chewing on a stick of peppermint gum or popping a peppermint mint to get the benefits. And the next time you crave dessert, brew a cup of warm peppermint tea instead. Cravings gone!
The same aroma of peppermint can even curb stress and anxiety. A study found that peppermint reduced anxious feelings and boosted the energy level of college students during simulated commutes. So, keep some peppermint on hand for its calming effect too.
It’s free and free of calories, but that’s not the only way water helps with weight control.
When you drink water, it distends your stomach and that tells your brain that you’re full. In one study overweight women drank a half-liter of water 30 minutes prior to each meal, along with their normal water consumption. At the end of 2 months, the subjects had lost weight and body fat.
They also felt less hunger after drinking water at the subsequent meal. Plus, replacing beverages that contain sugar with water reduces the number of calories you take in.
The Bottom Line
Enjoy these five foods that suppress appetite, but know that it’s the totality of your diet and your other lifestyle habits that have the strongest impact on your body weight.
There are no “magic” foods or shortcuts to weight control, but these foods could give you a slight edge.
Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6.
Purdue University.edu. “Study: Reasonable quantities of red pepper may help curb appetite”
Prevention.com. “The Cure for a Stressful Commute”
Medical News Today. “Can water help you lose weight?”