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Every one of us has tried to restrict unhealthy snacking habits at some point of our lives but eventually given up to the powerful rebellion of our belly. All of us have tried out various types of weight loss diets and failed just because of mindless snacking. We often indulge in unmindful snacking when we are bored, but excessive eating can lead to serious weight issues and obesity. Eating can be triggered by emotions; we have treats to celebrate a happy moment and eat again when we are sad to sooth ourselves, and there are various other causes, but all these causes should never stimulate over-eating that may lead to weight gain and obesity. There are a few easily available foods that can be introduced in the daily diet to cut out hunger and craving in a healthy way.
Foods That Subdue Hunger and Craving:
Instead of munching on unhealthy processed and packed foods, chips, fires and crackers, try out these ten amazing foods that not only keep the tummy fuller for longer, but also help in satiating hunger and keep craving at bay.
Oats are a power breakfast food that is low in calories and high in fiber. The soluble and insoluble fibers in oats absorb water, expand and keep the belly fuller for longer so that we do not crave for snacks. The body digests and absorbs oats slowly, thereby keeping hunger at bay. In addition, it also helps in reducing cholesterol and is diabetes friendly that makes it a perfect breakfast option.
Other than being the store house of heart healthy fats, nuts are also a healthy and filling snack to cut out mindless munching. The pinolenic acid found in almonds signals the body to produce hormones that suppress hunger. Therefore, it is a very useful snack for those looking to lose a few pounds and its great for heart health as well. What’s even better is that there is a wide range of options to choose from like-almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, etc. Add these yummy munchies to your breakfast cereals or eat them as a snack in the mid-morning.
The phytonutrient Epigallocatechin Gallate present in green tea helps in raising the level of the hormone cholecystokinin that creates a feeling of satiation and prevents unhealthy snacking. The catechins present in green tea prevent glucose flow into fat cells thereby preventing blood sugar levels from rising, and a stabilized sugar level means controlled hunger. In addition, the high level of natural anti-oxidants in green tea has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that helps reduce the risk of tumors, cancer, heart diseases and last but not least, green tea helps in weight loss as well.
The high level of fibers, proteins and omega 3 fatty acids in Flax seeds makes it a powerhouse of health benefiting nutrients. In addition, it is extremely low in saturated fats that help in keeping the weight under control. 20 grams or 2 tablespoons of flaxseed contain 2.8 grams of dietary fibers, 3 grams of carbohydrates and merely 0.4 grams of saturated fats. Flax seeds help in suppressing the appetite by hindering the body from absorbing sugar from foods. Add these amazing, small brown seeds to your salads or enjoy flax seed powder with your smoothie and say good bye to craving.
Other than being the world’s most popular hot beverage, coffee is also a great appetite suppressant. The caffeine and high level of antioxidants present in coffee help, in averting hunger pangs. Cut out the sugar and cream if you are looking to lose weight. But it must be consumed in moderation, because too much of your Joe can promote the release of stress hormones that lead to increased heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety.
The health benefits of salads are innumerable and there’s nothing like having a bowl full of fresh salad before every meal. The fiber and nutrients in the greens slow down entry of glucose into the blood, thereby subduing the hunger pangs. Try to include bright, colorful vegetables like red and yellow bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, carrot slices, onions and ripe red tomatoes. Go light with the dressing, olive oil being a healthy option. The bowl full of fresh salads signals the brain that the body is getting enough of nutrients and calories and the stomach is full.
Love the taste of dark chocolate but feel guilty to have it because of weight gain? Now feel free to enjoy this sinfully tasty desert because pure dark chocolate with up to 70% cocoa helps in suppressing hunger. Dark chocolate lowers the level of ghrelin or the hunger hormone that is directly responsible for stimulating hunger. Enjoy a piece or two slowly so that you do not loose self-control and end up eating the whole bar. In addition, the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate work magic in lifting up the mood.
Apples are one of the most effective hunger suppressant fruits that work as a great snack. Apples are loaded with soluble fibers and pectin that helps the belly to remain fuller for a longer duration. Apple takes longer to digest in the stomach compared to other fruits, and the long duration of chewing the fruit signals the brain that hunger has been satiated and the stomach is full. In addition, the pectin present in apples also helps in controlling blood sugar and reducing cholesterol. Enjoy this healthy snack mid-morning or in the evening and stay healthy.
The role of spices in Ayurveda and ancient medicine is well known. Well, spices like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves and ginger helps in suppressing appetite, as well. These spices also speed up metabolism to burn more calories. They cut out hunger pangs by lowering blood sugar levels in the blood. Therefore, pep up your soup or vegetables with these spices or flavor you oatmeal and yogurt with a pinch of cinnamon and stay satiated for a longer period.
Last but not the least comes water. The health benefits of water are probably beyond articulation because it is one of the main elements of the human body. Hunger and untimely cravings can be easily tames with the help of water. Drink a glass or two of water if you are craving food shortly after a meal. We often confuse thirst with hunger and end up eating something or the other when all we needed was a glass of water. This happens mostly during the mid-afternoon. Therefore, keep yourself well hydrated and keep away from mindless munching.
10 Helpful Tips to Control Cravings:
In addition to the above mentioned foods, these 10 easy and simple tips will also help in controlling hunger pangs in an effective manner.
- Plan 6 small meals rather than 3 big ones so that you do not starve during any time of the day.
- Renovate your provisions and get rid of all the unhealthy and packed snacks.
- Include high fiber foods in your diet that helps you stay fuller for longer.
- Include proteins in each and every meal.
- Workout on a daily basis, as high intensity exercises lowers ghrelin hormones that promote hunger.
- Have half a grapefruit with each meal.
- Take time and eat slowly so that your brain gets the time to receive the signal that hunger has been satiated.
- Limit your salt and sugar intake.
- Don’t ever skip breakfast under any circumstances, because you will end up gobbling more than usual for the rest of the day and try to include healthy breakfast recipes in order to boost energy levels.
- Get enough sleep of at least 8 hours a day, because the lack of sleep promotes secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin in the body.
The most important thing is to find out the difference between hunger and craving. This is because, the former calls for a healthy snack but in case of craving, try to get over it by including these healthy foods in your diet and don’t forget to share your hunger controlling tips with us in the comments section.