If you think you’re the only one out there with a snacking problem, think again. A 2014 survey of 1,139 people by global information and measurement company Nielsen revealed that 91 percent of Americans snack daily, and 25 percent of those people snack three to five times a day! Although we’re big proponents of eating whenever hunger strikes (it can ward off binges later on), if you tend to munch on things like sugary and salty treats or sweetened beverages, your habit could have a detrimental effects on your waistline and weight loss. In fact, research has found that one of the biggest drivers behind our nation’s obesity issue is the influx of calories we’re consuming—and the majority of those calories is coming from snacks, not fast food and larger portions like many might assume.
If you want to quit your snack habit, we’re here to help! No, we aren’t going to tell you to simply quit cold-turkey. We do live in a food-filled society where mini-meals pop up everywhere from gas stations to break rooms, so that would be totally unrealistic. Instead, try this: Next time hunger strikes between meals, reach for the tea kettle and brew up a cup—but not just of any old tea. To reap the benefits you’ll need to sip one of the varieties that fights back against hunger hormones and other things that increase appetite. Here’s the full list, compliments of a revolutionary new book, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, which shows you how to eat and drink—and still shrink!
We like: Tazo, Teavana
While some scents—like butter-drenched movie popcorn—can make even the most satiated person suddenly ravenous, other scents like mint have the opposite effect, reducing the urge to munch. A study published in the journal Appetite found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours were not as hungry as non-sniffers, and consumed 2,800 fewer calories throughout the week. The study authors explain that the scent serves as a distraction from hunger pains and may help curb false hunger cravings, like the kind you might experience when you’re bored or procrastinating. Next time a snack craving hits, fix yourself a cup of soothing peppermint tea. Not only will the scent help to ward off hunger and keep cravings at bay, but the water will also help to fill you up.
We like: Lipton, Yogi
Sipping Lipton’s bottled Green Tea (which barely contains any tea at all) will cost you 120 calories, 32 grams of sugar and will likely leave you feeling hungry an hour later. The brand’s green tea bags on the other hand, can help you fight back against snack attacks. The leaves inside the bag contain EGCG, an antioxidant that boosts levels of CCK, a hunger-quelling hormone. In a Swedish study that looked at green tea's effect on hunger, researchers divided up participants into two groups: One group sipped water with their meal and the other group drank green tea. Not only did tea-sippers report less of a desire to eat their favorite foods (even two hours after sipping the brew), they found those foods to be less satisfying. For similar results at home enjoy a cup green tea with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We like: Bigelow, Lipton
First the printer jammed, then a huge project was thrown on your desk and to top it off, you spilled hot coffee all over your pants. Yeah, we've all had those days: the stress is never ending and it seems the hunger won’t stop mounting. But it’s not all in your head; stress boosts levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which increases appetite and fat storage. While stress-eating snacks from the office vending machine once and a while won’t have a major effect on your waistline, regularly munching to relax is a habit you should kick to the curb—stat! Next time the pressure gets the best of you, brew a pot of black tea. Research found that the beverage can increase the rate at which your body is able to calm down and bring its cortisol levels back to normal. Although scientists are unsure what ingredient in the tea helps people bounce back, their findings are sound.
To learn more about the wonders of tea, and get started on a 7-day plan that will melt up to 10 pounds, buy the 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse now, exclusively in e-Book format. Available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.