Three Secrets to Satisfying a Big Appetite
By Kristina Steinberg, RD
Hormone surges in your body trigger hunger and cravings that make weight loss a challenge for anyone. To the rescue: a few healthy strategies that reduce your appetite, rev up your energy, mood and more!
If you’re like many people, you find yourself thinking about (and reaching for) unhealthy snacks. These comforting foods seem to provide a much-needed lift that can calm emotional stress. The fact is, you crave food because your body produces an appetite hormone in your stomach called ghrelin. If you are experiencing a big appetite, there are several ways to curb your hunger.
1. Put your hunger in check, it is important to make sure what you are feeling is truly hunger. Think about when your last meal was or when your next meal will be and make sure it really is hunger that you are feeling and not just, “a reason to eat”. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we actually may be thirsty instead.
Try drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before your meal. This may help curb your appetite, help reduce your portion size and aid with weight loss. Remember, many recommend that you eat 3 small meals plus 3 small planned snacks. Be sure you are eating every 3-4 hours. This will help to keep your metabolism going and also help to avoid overeating at the next meal. Check with your physician to confirm if this is best for you.
2. Choose nutrient dense foods. Whether you are eating a meal or an in-between planned snack, make sure your food choices provide a lot of nutrients. This will help achieve a feeling of satiety for a longer period of time than eating something not as calorically dense which only satisfies the hunger for a shorter amount of time, often providing “empty calories”. Good examples of nutrient dense foods include lean protein-rich foods, vegetables and fruit.
3. Practice mindfulness. Every time you eat is an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Focus on every bite; the smell, taste and look of the food. This will slow you down as you eat and help you to enjoy the true satisfaction of every morsel of food. You may actually eat less yet feel significantly more satisfied!