Simple Steps To Stop Eating So Much And Curb That Uncontrollable Appetite

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More often than not, most of us seem to eat out of craving and habit rather than due to real physiologic hunger and need, so much so that many of us may never have allowed ourselves to experience the true physical symptoms (e.g., like stomach contractions) of hunger onset. 

Unrestrained impulsive eating that is not related to physical hunger inputs calories that are not required by the body, which therefore get stored as body fat. 

This combined with the fact that most of these calories possibly come from junk foods only makes the battle of the bulge more difficult. In fact, in the spate of umpteen slimming diets (low carb, low carb high fat, low carb high protein, etc.) and exercise plans going around, a simple aspect of weight loss that has not been given due attention is – curbing the appetite and switching off the very desire to overeat by adopting some simple do-it-yourself strategies instead of resorting to some appetite-suppressant drugs or supplements.

Here are some tips that will not only help you curb habitual impulsive eating but will also help you control genuine hunger:

Learn to recognize the difference between craving for food and genuine hunger. First and foremost, you have to learn to identify the physical signs of hunger onset (e.g., stomach contractions). Eat only when you start experiencing these signs mildly. Irresistible food cravings can be controlled by means other than eating, as discussed below.

Eat small but frequent meals. Dividing the total daily calorie requirement into 5 or 6 small portions rather than 2 or 3 big meals helps meet continuously the nutrient and energy requirements of the body, without ever subjecting the body to calorie overload or calorie deficit at any time. It, therefore, helps maintain optimum blood sugar and insulin levels, thus keeping your cravings under control – insulin as you may know is the hunger-stimulating hormone.

Drink plenty of water. There is no more effective, healthier and cheaper appetite-suppressant than plain water. Many a times, people mistake thirst for hunger – so go for a glass of chilled water if you feel hungry without any rhyme or reason. Water not only gives a feeling of fullness, it also helps eliminate accumulated metabolic wastes from the body and mobilizes the process of fat burn. Foods with high water content like watermelon and cucumbers have a similar filling effect. Ever tried a cucumber–tomato salad with a dash of salt–pepper and a squeeze of lemon? It can keep you feeling full and stay away from food for a long time when you are not quite hungry but are just craving to munch on something. 

Shun carb-only meals. Carbohydrates, especially the nutrient-stripped refined variety, are high-glycemic-index foods, implying that they are metabolized fast and cause rapid surge in blood sugar/insulin levels, igniting further hunger. In layman's terms, they get digested and leave the stomach fast compared to fats or proteins, making you feel hungry sooner. However, when combined with fiber/fats/proteins, carbohydrates – especially the complex, slow carbs as those found in whole grains – take longer to leave the stomach, keeping one feeling full for longer duration.

Cut down on carb calories and increase protein calories. Proteins have a stronger hunger-satisfying effect than carbs because they digest slowly, so cut down on carbs and increase your protein intake. When eating a carb–protein combo meal (e.g., rice/bread–chicken/lentils), always start with the protein part.

Go for fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and veggies are not only loaded with a whole range of valuable micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, they are also the best natural sources of dietary fiber. Fiber is a multi-edged weapon against obesity – it helps delay the release of sugar into the blood, helps control the level of hunger-stimulating insulin in the blood, keeps hunger at bay, gives a feeling of fullness with hardly any calories, helps metabolize fat, and aids bowel movement and excretion of toxins. If need be, one can also go for a natural fiber supplement like psyllium husk. 

Eat slowly by chewing thoroughly. Research has shown that it takes the brain a good 10 minutes to receive the signal that the stomach is full and take appropriate action. Eating slowly not only improves digestion, it also prevents one from overeating.

A number of appetite-suppressant drugs/supplements are also available in the market that help control appetite, the most popular among them being Hoodia herbal supplements. 

Other such appetite-suppressants that can be resorted to if all other methods to curb appetite fail include: 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan), a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin; Tyrosine, an amino acid that controls hunger by increasing the levels of the hormone noradrenaline, especially in combination with caffeine; Satierol, which is a kind of peptide; and Histidine, an amino acid. 

However, it's prudent to take these appetite-suppressants under medical supervision as they may have some side effects.

Hope these tips will help you control appetite... 

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