How to Control Your Appetite and Lose Weight
Dr. Philip Rodger
Owner and Clinic Director
Over 70% of Americans are considered either overweight or obese.
We try and try to exercise and lose those extra pounds, but sometimes exercising just isn’t enough.
We need to moderate our diets too. But giving in to your body’s cravings is so much easier than going without.
Sometimes your cravings win in the end, and before you know it, you’ve broken the routine and gained more pounds than you want to admit. You’ve come to the point where you need to know how to control your appetite, lose weight, and keep the weight off.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Keep reading for much-needed tips on controlling your hunger.
How to Control Your Appetite
When it comes to reducing your appetite, know that you’ll be fighting off an enemy you never thought about. Your own body.
Ghrelin and leptin are the hormones that affect your appetite.
Ghrelin is the hormone that jump-starts your body’s craving for food, and leptin is the hormone that tells your body it doesn’t need any more food. In other words, these two hormones are the on and off switch to your appetite.
The best way to control your appetite is to control the production of ghrelin and leptin.
Most people who are overweight or obese are leptin resistant.
While this sounds like a good thing, it really isn’t.
The more fat someone has, the more leptin the body will produce. However, over time the body will become less sensitive to the higher levels of leptin and will eventually stop responding to the hormone.
This means that your body is ignoring its off switch.
To reduce your appetite, you need to reduce your leptin resistance. For that, you’ll have to change up your diet.
Start including foods rich in antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables will be your main allies in the fight against your appetite. Cutting out sugary foods is, unfortunately, a must as well.
If you like green tea, then we also recommend making a habit of drinking it more. Green tea will boost your metabolism and will curb your food cravings.
Instead of a morning coffee before work, try a morning cup of green tea.
Your next battle to tackle will be against the hormone ghrelin.
As we mentioned earlier, ghrelin likes to tell your stomach when it’s time to replenish your energy with nutrients. Ghrelin is the “on switch” to your appetite, and you need to be able to tell it to stop.
In a healthy body, the hormone levels ghrelin will rise before a meal and should lower rapidly afterward. In someone that’s overweight, the ghrelin won’t lower as fast or as much as it should, leaving them hungry for longer periods of time.
So, how do you combat against ghrelin? Again, you’ll have to reshape your diet.
Focus on foods that are more filling and with higher amounts of protein such as whole grains. Don’t forget to include vegetables and fruit.
While you’re eating, try slowing down and chewing more. The longer you take to eat and savor your meal, the faster you will feel full and less hungry.
Another way to curb your appetite is to eat before you get hungry.
Yes, we did say eat before you get hungry. Hear us out!
When you try to go for long periods of time between eating, you cause yourself to overeat because your body feels the need to satisfy the lingering hunger.
We suggest eating a snack on occasion instead of not eating at all. Eating snacks in between meals will keep you from overeating during your set meals.
This may seem like a no-brainer to you, but most people are in a constant state of dehydration because they don’t drink as much water as they should.
So, how does this relate to your appetite?
Being dehydrated can influence your body into thinking it’s hungry. Plus, you’ll be tired from lack of energy and will likely overeat.
We recommend keeping a bottle of water or two on hand at all times of the day. At the very least, make sure to take breaks from work and drink a glass of water.
An added bonus of keeping hydrated is the more you drink, the less room you have in your stomach for other foods.
Reduce Your Stress
Have you ever heard of people who eat when they’re stressed? Whether you know it or not, you may be one of those individuals.
It may not even be stress that causes you to overeat, any strong emotion can influence your need for food.
Limit the stress in your life or the causes for upset emotions. Reducing your stress will reduce your body’s need to cope with comfort food.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep can also cause your body’s appetite to awaken with a vengeance.
Your body needs energy and rest to function properly, and when it doesn’t get enough rest, your body will try to make up for it in food. To make up for the lack of energy you would normally get from a good night’s sleep, you’ll start snacking more often.
Being well rested will curb your appetite and increase your energy level. Eventually, you might even notice you don’t need to snack as much as you used to.
Another great way to regulate your ghrelin and leptin hormones is to exercise on a daily basis.
Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be a grueling hour and a half work out, it can be just thirty minutes of walking, running, or jogging if you feel so inclined. The point is that you’re moving your body.
Exercising on a regular basis will also motivate your food habits. You’ll find yourself snacking less on junk foods and more on foods that will fuel your body for its next work out.
Beat Your Hunger
Learning how to control your appetite is just the beginning of your journey in weight loss.
If you need help in getting started, then we suggest checking out our program. We want to help you feel great about your body again.