Tried and tested tricks to keep those hunger pangs away.
For someone trying to lose weight, life seems like an endless battle with the scales. Diets, powders, slimming pills and teas, youve probably tried them all. But have you ever tried to eat your way to slim and sexy? Besides, weight loss supplements invariably carry health risks so why not go natural and try safe techniques grounded in scientific research. Whats more, you wont have to deal with that dreadful gnawing rumbling of a hungry tummy and grumpy mood. Check out the top ten ways to curb your appetite and keep you full for longer. The result: painless weight loss!
Eat fatty food
If that sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Before you reach for the ghee soaked aloo paratha or French fries, remember we’re talking about “good fats” here, the kind found in nuts, extra virgin olive oil, avocadoes and fatty fish. Researchers have discovered that oleic acid found in good fats transmit an “I’m full” message to the brain that stops you from over-eating. Plus, fats stay in the stomach for longer so you tend to graze less. Keep fat and fiber rich almonds or pistachios handy for an anytime ‘get-thin-quick’ snack.
Cut your food into small pieces .
You’ve probably heard this before, and no, it’s not an old wife’s tale. An Arizona State University study says satiety was much higher when food was cut into pieces versus being wolfed down at one shot. Similarly eating ‘loose’ fiddly foods like popcorn, cherry tomatoes, grapes, pumpkin seeds or roasted channa gives a greater sense of being full that ploughing your way through a club sandwich or Frankie roll.
Get on the spice trail.
Countless studies have shown that spicy foods can keep you full for longer besides speeding up your metabolism, both of which are key for losing weight. A study in Physiology & Behavior revealed that when black pepper was added to soup, diners ate 60 fewer calories than those who ate non-spiced soup. Add half a teaspoon of pepper to meals twice a day and youll end up losing two kg without even trying!
Drink more aqua.
Overweight people tend to drink less water than their slimmer counterparts. Research concludes that the first step to taming appetite is drinking an extra two glasses of water 30 minutes before meals. A 2010 Australian study concluded that people who did this ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories at the meal than those who didn't drink water.
Get an endorphin rush
Brazilian researchers found that regular exercise not just boosts metabolism and burns calories but restores the sensitivity of neurons involved in satiety. In short, regular exercise can boost a sense of fullness, naturally reducing your appetite. So what should you be doing? A brisk daily walk for at least 45 minutes daily. You cant underestimate the power of exercise; a University of Exeter study found that that walking for just 15 minutes daily can cut snacking by 50 %!
Include herbs and condiments
Did you know that the aroma of mint is both calming and a fantastic appetite suppressant? Chewing mint flavored sugar free chewing gum or sipping on mint tea can keep you from snacking. Fresh ginger too has been used for centuries to energize the body and improve digestion, as are cinnamon, rosemary and basil. Apart from being a powerhouse of antioxidants these aromatic foods help you eat less.
Reach for oatmeal.
Oatmeal is choc-a-bloc with fiber that keeps you full for longer. Its also a good source of complex carbs that break down slowly to provide you with energy over a period of time. Best of all, oats help to lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers your appetite. There are umpteen ways to eat oats. You can have it as oatmeal with some chopped nuts and raisins if you have a sweet tooth, or as a chilla with green chutney or even oat khichdi. Try and include at least two servings daily to stay slim and keep diabetes and high levels of LDL cholesterol at bay.
Start your day with breakfast
It’s true, eating breakfast is a slimmer’s rule to live by. This literally means ‘breaking the fast’, providing your body much needed energy to kick start the day. Besides, studies show that a morning meal has a ripple effect on your intake for the rest of the day. One study found that people who skipped breakfast ate 40 % more sweets, 55 % more soda, 45 % less vegetables and 30 % less fruit than those who did eat breakfast. Look around you, chances are those of your colleagues and friends who skip breakfast are four times more likely to be overweight! The thought of eating a meal at 8 a.m. sounds revolting? Eat a bowl of yoghurt with some cereal or a banana and toast instead.
Savoring your meal and eating mindfully wins hands down. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism revealed that gulping down your food prevents the release of hormones that signal feelings of fullness. This encourages you to mindlessly overeat. The result: rolls around your middle. Another study by The University of Rhode Island documented that people who eat slowly consume four times fewer calories than faster eaters and feel full with much less food. So what should you be doing? Eat off a smaller dinner plate. Take small portions of each food and use a smaller spoon to eat with. Youll be surprised how little it takes to feel full.
Get some dark chocolate
Chocoholics rejoice! Weve saved the best for last! Countless studies have concludes that the bittersweet taste of dark chocolatewith about 50 % to 70 % cocoais an appetite suppressant because it lowers the levels of appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin in the body. In fact just smelling chocolate also curbed appetite. Besides dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that lower blood pressure, improve heart health and uplift your mood.