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What Foods Can I Eat To Suppress My Appetite?

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You’re training hard and you’re eating well, but with all the will in the world you just can’t find that off switch. You’re constantly hungry, even though you think you’ve already eaten too much. If only you could eat your daily allowance, and just feel satisfied.

In other words: What foods can you eat to suppress your appetite?

In this article we’ll investigate the top foods that best curb cravings, helping you to stay on track to achieve your fat loss goals. Next time you want to reach for a snack, these are the foods you have to try.

In this article you will learn:

  • What makes us hungry?
  • Key hormones in hunger regulation
  • Are there foods that suppress hunger?

What makes us hungry?

Our survival on this planet depends on our ability to find food in order to gain either immediate energy, or to store excess energy it in anticipation of a fast. Our body is an amazing thing, but as far as it’s aware, we are still hunter-gatherers.

As such, energy balance requires an ability of the brain to detect the status of energy stores and match energy intake with expenditure [1]. Essentially, when our brain realizes we are low on energy it triggers a response in us to seek food to top it up.

It is likely that hunger is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus – often referred to as the master gland due to its many functions that control the body. It has often been proposed that within the hypothalamus lies a control switch called the appestat – essentially a thermostat for hunger, turning it on or off as necessary.

We also have a number of hormones that dynamically control hunger – the main two are leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones that have been recognized to have a major influence on energy balance [2].

The main role of leptin is to suppress appetite, whereas ghrelin makes us feel hungry – think about how your stomach growls and your mouth waters when you are hungry. Ghrelin starts that process off!

Together these hormones work to ensure satiety –  “a subjective feeling of the absence of the motivation to eat, decline in hunger, and increase in fullness after a meal is eaten” [3].


Are there foods that can suppress appetite?

In order to suppress hunger you need to increase satiety – you’ll do so by choosing the right foods so yes they do exist!

These foods typically stop hunger mechanically – they swell the stomach and increase transit time of food through the gut, or they do so by affecting the nervous system directly by releasing hormones to increase a sense of fullness.

Here are the best foods to eat to stop food cravings:


1. Glucomannan

This natural, dietary fibrous extract is a sugar made from the Konjac plant composed of glucose and mannose. When eaten the soluble fiber swells in the stomach which helps to slow down digestion whilst reducing hunger and food intake – this makes it a ‘volumetric’ food. It is a good choice as it doesn’t work via the nervous system like other appetite suppressants.

As a supplement, eating glucomannan has been found to reduce ghrelin in type 2 diabetics [4] and helps to reduce weight in obese patients [5] instructed not to change their eating or exercise patterns – 5.5lbs over an 8 week period.

Studies have also shown that it can reduce hunger as well as improve a number of health risk factors such as coronary heart disease [6] and insulin resistance [7].


Glucomannan-keep-you-fuller-for-longer

2. Cayenne Pepper

Used to season savory foods, this chili pepper contains capsaicin, which works as a thermogenic – it raises core and systemic body temperature and as a consequence increases metabolic rate and fat burning.

It has also been shown to affect energy intake, and reduce hunger.

A study by Yoshioka et al [8] investigated the effects and capsaicin on feeding behavior and energy intake in female volunteers and found that after eating, the addition of the chili pepper reduced desire to eat as well as hunger.

Additionally, an interesting study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when the red pepper is ingested alongside caffeine, Red pepper and caffeine consumption energy intake and increased energy expenditure. The mean difference recorded was 4000kJ/956kcal per day between the experimental group and control group!


Cayenne-Suppresses-Appetite

3. Oatmeal

Similar to glucomannan, oatmeal is a source of soluble fiber that contributes to increased fullness. It contains β-glucan, a soluble fiber found in oat kernels that exhibits ability to absorb water and create fullness.

For example, a study by Kurilich [3] et al found that when 48 volunteers were asked to eat oatmeal (in comparison to a control meal) fullness, satiety and hunger control all increased. This was attributed to the β-glucan content.

It is worth noting that β-glucan can be found in many oat-based products but functionality of it differs from one product to another based on processing treatments – highly processed cereals do not have the same effect on fullness.

Likewise, a study by Candida [10] showed that when volunteers eat the same energy dense meals (218kcal), the one with β-glucan improves fullness over a four-hour period.


Oatmeal-keeps-you-full

4. Edamame beans

Edamame beans are immature soy beans.

A ½ cup of edamame beans contains 8 grams of protein which can help to slow down emptying of the stomach and therefore promote satiety. They also contain an isoflavone antioxidant called genistein that can affect ghrelin and another satiety hormone called prandial peptide YY (PYY). 

Studies have also shown that soy protein-based meals can lower glycemia and insulinemia renponses as well as increase fat burning. The study also found that soy significantly lowered ghrelin for 2 hours post-meal and increased PYY [11].


Foods-that-Suppress-Appetite

5. Chewing gum

Okay, so this technically isn’t a food, but we’ve included it in our list due to its effectiveness. A study by Hetherington [12] et al investigated the effects of chewing gum on cravings and the likelihood of snacking in 60 people.

The volunteers consumed salty or sweet snacks after chewing gum for a 15 minute period hourly after lunch or had no gum at all. Hunger, desire to eat and fullness were rated immediately after lunch, and hourly post-lunch until just before snack- results showed that those chewing gum ate 36 kcal less than the no gum group, and had less desire to eat sweet snacks. The study concluded that chewing gum reduced cravings, specifically desire for sweets and also reduced snack intake.

Likewise, in another similar study in the suitably titled journal ‘Appetite’ [13], snack intake in 53 moderately restrained female eaters after a standard lunch was assessed. Immediately after this meal, participants were asked to rate their hunger, appetite and cravings for sweet and salty snacks every hour until they returned for their next snack.

Overall results showed that chewing gum for at least 45 min significantly suppressed rated hunger, appetite and cravings for foods and promoted fullness.

It appears that “orosensory stimulation” is an important contributing factor to the development of satiation” [13].

Chewing-Gum-to-Suppress-Appetite

Final word – What Foods Can I Eat to Suppress my Appetite?

Appetite maintenance and energy balance require an ability to match energy intake with expenditure. Essentially when our brain realizes we are low on energy it triggers a response in us to seek food to top it up. In order to succeed in this two hormones fight against each other: leptin tells us we are full and ghrelin tells us we are hungry.

In order to suppress hunger and keep ghrelin at bay you need to increase satiety – you’ll do so by choosing the right foods that create fullness either neurally or mechanically.


What else works for fat loss?

Instant Knockout is an industry-leading fat burner that helps you achieve fat loss goals by boosting your metabolism in a safe way. It contains ingredients that we’ve talked about in the above article such as glucomannan and cayenne pepper.

It’s even been endorsed by multiple MMA fighterswho have seen benefits such as:

  • Increased Calorie Burning – Turn on your fat burning furnaces
  • More Energy – You’ll be able to exercise harder and for longer
  • Appetite Control – You’ll naturally reduce food cravings which will help you maintain a strict diet
  • Day-Long Fat Burning – Regular servings throughout the day, allow your body to constantly burn fat

Learn More About Instant Knockout


References

  1. Ahima, RS et al. Brain regulation of appetite and satiety. Endocinol Metab Clin North Am. 2008; 37(4): 811-823 
  2. Klok, MD et al. The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans: a review. Obes Rev. 2007 Jan;8(1):21-34.
  3. Kurilich, A et al. Acute Effect of Oatmeal on Subjective Measures of Appetite and Satiety Compared to a Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal: A Randomized Crossover Trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2013; 32(4): 272-279
  4. Chearskul, S et al. Immediate and long-term effects of glucomannan on total ghrelin and leptin in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research Clin Practice. 2009; 83(2): e40-e42
  5. Walsh, DE et al. Effect of Glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study. Int J Obes. 1984. 8(4): 289-93.
  6. Vuksan, V et al. Konjac-mannan (glucomannan) improves glycemia and other associated risk factors for coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes. A randomized controlled metabolic trial. Diabetes Care. 1999; 22(6): 913-9
  7. Vuksan V, Sievenpiper JL, Owen R, et al. Beneficial effects of viscous dietary fiber from Konjac-Mannan in subjects with the insulin resistance syndrome: results of a controlled metabolic trial. Diabetes Care. 2000; 23(1): 9–14.
  8. Yoshioka, M et al. Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. Br J Nutr. 1999; 82(2): 115-23
  9. Yoshioka, M et al. Combined effects of red pepper and caffeine consumption on 24 h energy balance in subjects given free access to foods. Br J Nutr. 2001; 85(2): 203-11
  10. Candida, RJ et al. The role of meal viscosity and oat β-glucan characteristics in human appetite control: a randomized crossover trial. Nutrition J. 2014; 13: 49
  11. König, M et al. Fuel selection and appetite-regulating hormones after intake of a soy protein-based meal replacement. Nutrition. 2012; 28(1): 35-39
  12. Hetherington, MM et al. Short-term effects of chewing gum on snack intake and appetite. Appetite. 2007; 48(3): 397–40
  13. Hetherington, MM et al. Effects of chewing gum on short-term appetite regulation in moderately restrained eaters. Appetite. 2011; 57(2): 475–482