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10 Healthy Ways to Naturally Suppress Your Appetite for Weight Loss

A dietitian shares effective ways to suppress your appetite without resorting to extreme measures.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Looking to shed a few pounds but tired of feeling hungry all the time? You're not alone! Many people struggle with managing their appetite when trying to lose weight. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy and effective ways to suppress your appetite for weight loss without resorting to extreme measures. From simple lifestyle changes to smart food choices, we have you covered with 10 proven strategies to help you feel fuller for longer and stay on track with your weight-loss goals.

Eat more protein.

high protein foods chicken and beans dinner

Eating more protein can be like having a secret weapon against hunger. Research shows that protein helps you feel full and satisfied, so you're less likely to snack on unhealthy stuff later. It also plays tricks on your hunger hormones, making you feel less hungry overall. Plus, protein takes more energy for your body to digest, so you burn a few extra calories just by eating it. It's like your body's little calorie-burning boost!

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Eat more fiber.

high fiber bowl of bran cereal with blueberries and bananas

Fiber adds bulk to your meals, making you feel full and satisfied. Imagine your stomach as a big balloon—when you eat fiber, it's like filling that balloon with air, making it expand and signal to your brain that you're full. This means you're less likely to snack between meals. Fiber also slows down the digestion process, keeping you feeling full for longer.

Include healthy fats.

Plant based healthy fats like avocado olive oil nuts seeds

Not all fats are bad! In fact, healthy fats are crucial to an all-around nutritious diet, especially when you're looking to slim down.

When you eat fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil, your body takes longer to digest them compared to carbs or proteins. This slow digestion means that the fats stay in your stomach longer, sending signals to your brain that you're full and satisfied. Plus, fats add flavor to your meals, making them more satisfying and enjoyable.

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mature athletic woman drinking water bottle

Drinking adequate water helps to curb those pesky hunger pangs and can even make you feel satisfied for longer. In fact, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, individuals who drank more water before meals experienced a decreased appetite and greater weight loss over an eight-week timeframe.

Sometimes, when you think you're hungry, your body might actually be thirsty, so drinking water can help you figure out if your stomach is truly rumbling or just a little parched.

Find productive ways to manage stress.

woman close-up in hot yoga class

When your body is in high-stress mode, it can mess with your hunger signals. It's like your body is so focused on dealing with stress that it forgets about feeling hungry. Plus, stress can trigger cravings for not-so-healthy foods, which can lead to overeating. When you're relaxed, your body can focus on keeping your hunger signals in check, so you're more likely to eat when you're actually hungry, not just stressed.

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Get enough sleep.

woman sleeping, concept of sleeping habit that's aging you faster

When you're well-rested, your body's hormones are in harmony, with levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and leptin (the fullness hormone) in check. Think of ghrelin as the gremlin that makes you crave snacks, especially late at night. When you're sleep-deprived, ghrelin goes into overdrive, making you feel hungrier and more likely to reach for that bag of chips. On the other hand, leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you're full, takes a nap when you're sleep-deprived, leaving you feeling unsatisfied even after eating.

Stay active.

mature fit woman using dumbbells for workout

When you move and groove, your body releases happy chemicals called endorphins, which can help curb those pesky hunger pangs. Plus, staying active can boost your metabolism, which is like revving up your body's engine to burn more calories even when you're relaxing. And here's the kicker: When you're feeling good from all that exercise, you're less likely to munch mindlessly out of boredom or stress.

Limit consumption of sugary foods and drinks.

say no to soda concept, how to cut out sugar for weight loss

When you indulge in sugary treats, your blood sugar levels spike, giving you a burst of energy, but it doesn't last long. Soon after, your blood sugar levels drop, leaving you feeling tired and craving more sugar to get that energy boost back. It's like a rollercoaster ride for your appetite!

By cutting back on sugary stuff, you can avoid these highs and lows. So, when you swap out those sugary snacks for healthier options, you're more likely to stay full longer and avoid those pesky hunger pangs.

Practice mindful eating.

woman eating yogurt, concept of best breakfast for weight loss

When you eat mindfully, you're tuning in to your body's signals, like a food detective. Instead of gobbling up food without thinking, you're savoring each bite, noticing the flavors, textures, and how your body feels. This superhero skill helps you recognize when you're full and satisfied so you're less likely to overeat. Mindful eating is like having a secret weapon against mindless munching, helping you feel fuller and more satisfied with less food.

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Eat regular meals.

eating fish

Regular meals help stabilize blood sugar levels, keeping energy steady and preventing sudden drops that make you crave sugary treats. Plus, when you eat meals with a good balance of nutrients, your body feels nourished and satisfied, reducing the urge to overeat.

Kristen Carli, MS, RD
Kristen Carli is the owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness. Read more about Kristen
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