Simple Hacks To Reduce Appetite And Feel Full Longer

Overeating is often seen as an addiction and can cause your overall health to suffer in the long run. There’s a big difference between hunger and appetite. Health experts found that hunger is the physical need for food when the body loses blood sugar. Appetite is the conditioned desire to eat, which can cause people to overeat even if they’ve had their fill. Learning how to stop those cravings from taking over your life is essential. Keep reading to discover the clever hacks designed to help you feel full and satisfied.

Drink Plenty Of Water

A woman fills up a glass with water
Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images
Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images

A study by Physiology & Behavior found that over 60 percent of people will eat when their body actually needs to be hydrated. This is because the hypothalamus in your brain that’s in charge of hunger and thirst can mix up the signals.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is not only healthy, but it will fill you up to prevent you from unnecessary eating. Water can help boost energy levels and metabolism. The American Chemical Society suggests drinking about two cups of water or herbal tea before a meal because it reduces your calorie intake.

Always Have A Healthy Snack On Hand

Man deciding whether to eat apple or banana
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Snacks are a great way to boost energy during an afternoon slump, but it’s vital to know which ones are the best to eat. Foods such as apples or bananas are filled with tons of nutritional elements such as fiber and potassium. Having these close by will also make them a convenient choice.

A medical journal called Appetite found that when people are craving something unhealthy, they will usually go for whatever is most accessible. Getting rid of unhealthy options and surrounding yourself with nutritious ones will help you fill up without the guilt and extra calories.

Dark Chocolate Has The Power To Decrease Appetite

Woman eating chocolate bar
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A medical site called Nature found that the bitterness in dark chocolate can help decrease appetite and the craving for sweets. Dark chocolate also has stearic acid, which aids in slowing digestion to make people feel full. Even smelling this food has the possibility of producing the same effect.

It’s made from the seed of the cocoa tree and is one of the best antioxidant sources in the world. Various studies have found that dark chocolate has the capability of improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, and preventing heart disease.

Why Most Need A High-Fiber Diet

A woman grabs freshly popped microwave popcorn from a bowl
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The majority of people need to have a diet rich in fiber. Not only does fiber give us energy, but it’s a food that takes a long time to digest. This causes you to feel full longer on fewer calories. Some examples of foods that are filled with fiber are whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.

Popcorn is a high-fiber, low-calorie snack packed with whole grains, but it’s important to get the kind that’s air-popped with low sodium. About one cup of this type of popcorn only has around 30 calories.

Leave The White Carbs Behind

someone scooping tortellini into a bowl
Hermes Images/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Hermes Images/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Eating white carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, and bread isn’t the best thing for your overall health. These foods can lead to big energy spikes and dips and don’t really provide any nutritional value. If you feel like you can’t live without them, try some alternatives.

You can switch to brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and whole-grain bread, which are high in fiber and will absorb slowly in your digestive system. This causes you to feel full faster and longer. Even though these alternatives take a bit longer to cook, it will be worth it.

Don’t Skip The Most Important Meal Of The Day

View of a table setting with a bowl of breakfast cereal (and banana slices), a cup of coffee, and a pitcher of milk
Tom Kelley/Getty Images
Tom Kelley/Getty Images

There’s a reason why breakfast is called the most important meal of the day. Starting the day off with a healthy meal gives the body fuel that it can use for energy. Massage Magazine found that people who regularly eat breakfast won’t snack as often throughout the day.

This doesn’t mean to eat sugary cereal and pastries loaded with unhealthy fats. People need to eat the right kinds of breakfast foods, whether that be high-fiber cereal, egg whites, fruit salad, or yogurt with granola. Eating breakfast can also help with increased concentration and retaining and recalling information.

Avoid Distractions While Eating

A woman holds a remote controller while eating popcorn
Ercin Top/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Ercin Top/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

One of the worst things to do while eating is having some sort of distraction. A nutrition site called Active found that people are more likely to consume more food and eat for longer periods of time if they’re watching television, listening to music, or working at a computer. The most common form of this is eating while watching television.

Eating while being distracted interrupts the signals your brain sends to your stomach to tell you that you’re full. This solution for this is to simply focus on the meal when you’re eating in order to not overeat.

Remember To Pace Yourself

Joey Chestnut holding a plate of 66 hot dogs
Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images
Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

Food is meant to be enjoyed and eating it too fast can cause you to still feel hungry, even if you ate enough. This is why it’s very important to pace yourself as you eat and take your time while doing so. Medical News Today found that eating too fast can lead to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

A cardiologist at Japan’s Hiroshima University found that gobbling your food too quickly destroys your metabolism. He added, “Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome.”

Portion Control Is Everything

Spicy mexican nachos over a blue background
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

It may be difficult to serve yourself smaller portions to prevent yourself from overeating, but there are some hacks to make your portions look bigger. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that people were more satisfied with their smoothies if they thought they were getting more fruit than others.

The idea is to trick your mind into thinking you’re getting a larger portion. This can be done by feeding yourself on smaller plates or glasses or giving yourself little breaks while eating to see if your stomach feels full.

You Should Consider Keeping A Food Journal

a woman writing down notes in a journal
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A study done by Kaiser Permanente found that people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight in six months versus those who didn’t log their food intake. The researchers found that writing down your food choices makes you more accountable for what you’re eating.

This means that if you’re aware that you’re constantly making poor choices when it comes to eating, you’re more likely to switch to more nutritious options. Taking the time to reflect on a day’s worth of food can really make you more cognizant of how you’re treating your body.

It’s Time To Munch On Some Ginger

a few pieces of ginger against a white background
FlowerPhotos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
FlowerPhotos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

One of the healthiest foods is ginger. It can reduce nausea, ease muscle pain, and regulate inflammation and blood sugar. PubMed Central found that ginger has been linked to hunger-reduction. A study had people consume ginger powder diluted in water every morning and those who ingested the powder were less hungry throughout the day.

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols that stimulate parts of the body to reduce the oxidative stress and aid in weight loss. These compounds stabilize blood sugar levels, which is key to losing weight and staying full longer.

Just Keep Chewing

a woman taking a bite out of an apple
Goffredo di Crollalanza/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Goffredo di Crollalanza/FilmMagic/Getty Images

It’s easy to eat your food too quickly in order to prevent it from getting cold or just out of pure excitement. Eating fast is more likely to keep you feeling hungry, but there are tactics to slow the process down. Health experts recommend taking the time to chew your food.

When you eat at a medium to slow pace your stomach thinks it’s getting more food, which can allow you to feel full faster. Taking the time to count how many times you’re chewing your food with a minimum of five up-and-down motions should get you at a slower pace.

Recognize The Signs Of Hunger

a man holding his stomach while looking at a stack of waffles
mohamed_hassan/Pixabay
mohamed_hassan/Pixabay

A simple motto people should follow throughout their day is to only eat when they are hungry. If you’re not hungry, then don’t eat. That means even if you’re bored, sad, stressed, or in a social situation, it doesn’t mean you automatically need to grab something to eat.

It’s important to listen to the hunger signs your body tells you. The signs can include having your stomach grumble, a feeling of emptiness in your stomach, inability to focus, headaches, stomach pain, and shakiness. Experiencing any of these hunger side effects is telling your body that your blood sugar levels are decreasing.

The Many Benefits Of A Protein-Packed Diet

people picking out salmon at a grocery store
David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images

Protein is a muscle-growing fuel that should be incorporated into practically everyone’s diets. It raises the levels of peptides and synthesized amino acids in the stomach to send signals to your brain to tell you that you’re full. Foods with protein should make up about 20 to 30 percent of your total calorie intake for the day.

Humans use protein to build and repair tissues, enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It also helps with the growth process of bones, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein is a macronutrient, which means the body needs a lot of it because there’s nowhere to store it.

Chewing Gum Can Suppress Appetite

Stephen Curry grabbing a stick of gum
Doug Duran/Getty Images
Doug Duran/Getty Images

A recent study on hunger found that people who chew gum for at least 45 minutes can reduce their appetite and increase their fullness. It’s important to note that chewing gum doesn’t burn calories, but can act as an appetite suppressant if you want to prevent yourself from overeating.

CNN reported that for some, putting a sugary or sweet thing in their mouth after a meal can help them signal that a meal is over. They found that chewing gum also decreases the desire for sweets and snacks, leading people to eat about 40 fewer calories per day.

Stick To Solid Foods

man pouring himself a smoothie
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

While some prefer to have smoothies and juices as a snack, there are many people who use them as full meals. Although they are usually full of nutrients, they can prevent people from feeling full. Humans don’t register liquid calories the same way they do for solid food.

A medical journal called Appetite found that energy contained from fluids has been shown to be less satisfying than those from solid food. The physical act of chewing increases responses in the brain to feeling full, especially when people are able to hear their crunches.

Watching Yourself Eat May Be Drastic, But It’s Worth A Try

woman in a dressing room eating and looking at a mirror
Micheline Pelletier/Sygma via Getty Images
Micheline Pelletier/Sygma via Getty Images

It can be very difficult trying to control yourself from overeating and it may take drastic measures to curb bad habits. Researchers at Cornell University found that eating unhealthy food in front of a mirror can make it not taste as good.

When they looked deeper into their study they found that people who watch themselves eat junk food will feel more uncomfortable because they suddenly become aware that they’re making an unhealthy decision. Placing a mirror in your kitchen or dining room will allow you to actively observe what you eat every day.

Take A Look At The Size Of Your Silverware

men talking to each other with one holding a large gold spoon
Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

According to Healthline, the size of eating utensils have the potential of affecting how much food people will eat to feel full. There was a study that found people who used larger forks ate about 10 percent less than those who ate the same meals with smaller forks.

The researchers who did the study concluded that the people who were eating with small forks most likely felt that they weren’t eating as much, so they couldn’t satisfy their appetite. Contrary to this, they found the opposite for people who used bigger versus smaller spoons.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

a dog sleeping on a special dog bed
Franck Prevel/Getty Images
Franck Prevel/Getty Images

In order for people to feel like they’re satisfied with not overeating, they need to take great care of their body. One way to do this is to get plenty of sleep. When people lack sleep their body can have trouble regulating the hunger hormones called ghrelin and leptin.

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that sleep deprivation increases the body’s levels of endocannabinoids, which triggers cravings for foods that are sweet, salty, and fatty. This can even happen when your body isn’t physically hungry. Experts recommend that adults should get about six to eight hours of sleep a night.

Do Your Best To Reduce Stress

A flustered college student grabs his hair as he looks at his notes
Eric Chen/Getty Images
Eric Chen/Getty Images

Most people regularly experience feeling stressed, but not everyone copes in a healthy way. Dietician Julieanna Hever discovered that “stress kicks up your cortisol levels into high gear, which promotes hunger and overeating.” This means that even if you eat healthy, constant stress will prevent you from feeling full.

There are numerous solutions for stress management, which can be anything from meditation, exercise, hanging out with friends, or talking to a therapist. Finding a way to prevent your stress levels from increasing is essential to living a longer life. Too much stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and more.