7 Tips to Tame Your Wild Appetite!
Cravings and an untamed desire to eat are some of our biggest obstacles if we want to improve our health and physical condition. While we often think that willpower is the only way to tame cravings and desire, in fact, the best way is to address your body’s reasons for cravings, and many of these result from the foods we eat and the way we eat them.
A good way to look at the flip side of craving for food is through the term satiety. Satiety is a way of expressing the state of being physically nourished and satisfied. I think we all know that feeling. It’s the feeling we have when we say, “I’m done” and push the plate away from us and don’t feel the need to eat again shortly after or experience any sort of energy crash.
There are a few ways that are clinically validated to help tame your wild appetite!
- Eat more protein
Protein is more satiating than either carbohydrate or fat.(1) This means that it promotes the greatest feelings of being fully satisfied after a meal. There is even a theory (the ‘Protein Leverage Hypothesis’) that suggests that we will eat until we have had sufficient protein!(2) So, if you’re not eating enough protein, especially if you’re eating a lot of protein-poor, carb and sugar-rich foods, your meals won’t be truly satisfying. On the other hand, increasing protein intake can help you to eat less (not to mention lose fat and retain muscle) …without even realizing you’re doing it!(3-5)
Nuzest’s tasty and satisfying Clean Lean Protein supplies 19-21 grams of plant-based protein, while the protein smoothie Just Fruit & Veg provides 12-14 grams of protein plus five fruits & five veggies in a convenient, ready-to-mix formula.
- Eat more veggies!
Veggies are bulky. There are a couple of things that affect whether we feel satisfied from a meal. One is the protein content; another is how comforting it is (i.e. do we enjoy the taste and texture). And, yet another is direct feedback from the stretch reflex as food passes down the gut. Repeated exposures to mouthfuls of bulky foods provide this reflex and help to tell us when we’re full and satisfied.
- Choose satiating carbs and/or reduce carb intake
Not all foods… and not all carbs are created equal when it comes to satiety! It’s been demonstrated that bulkier foods promote greater satiety (such as veggies, as mentioned already) and some foods cause us to eat less overall, even if we haven’t felt more satisfied. Some foods have also been shown to be more satiating and cause people to eat less over the short time after eating them. While there hasn’t been a lot of research in this area some of the most satiating carb foods included potatoes, oatmeal, and apples, which were between 2 and 3 times more satiating than white bread.(6) Overall, the more natural, whole, and unprocessed a carb food is, the more likely it is to improve your satiating and reduce overeating. It’s also worth noting that simply reducing your carb intake can help you to tame your appetite. Lower-carbohydrate diets have also been shown to reduce calorie intake compared to higher-carb diets.(7, 8)
- Eat until you’re full!
One of the reasons that I believe we often have a hard time being satisfied from food is because we don’t allow ourselves to be. For a long time, we’ve been told to snack and graze and eat until we’re moderately full. I mean seriously… do you even know what it feels like to be moderately full? Because I sure don’t! Many of us have been shamed into thinking being full is bad, but the body has evolved to go out, find food, and then when we find it, to eat abundantly! That’s why it works so well to eat substantial, real-food meals until we’re satisfied, and then go some period without eating. It’s also one of the reasons why occasional fasting is not just normal for us but can also be so beneficial.
- Don’t mindlessly snack
Despite being told for decades that we should eat small, frequent meals and to snack and graze throughout the day, snacking is THE worst habit if you want to feel, look and perform better. But when we snack, we tend to overeat, and we are never properly satisfied. Snacking contributes to a perpetual increase in insulin which makes losing fat more difficult. Snacks are also lower in essential vitamins and minerals, and healthy fibers and starches than complete, balanced meals. In fact, evidence suggests a strong link between snacking behaviors and both increased obesity and poor quality food choices.(9)
- Slow down and eat mindfully
Eating food too quickly can reduce feelings of fullness and satisfaction, leading to overeating.(10, 11) Conversely, slowing down and eating mindfully can reduce stress – and body weight. Chew food thoroughly and be mindful of the food you are eating. This encourages better digestion of food and allows the body to come to its natural point of fullness and satisfaction.
- Take a multivitamin
One of the reasons that many practitioners, myself included, think we crave food and eat more is because we haven’t yet taken in enough of the essential vitamins and minerals. Many of us don’t get enough of these “little guys” that are so important for overall health. Taking a multivitamin (such as Nuzest Quick Vita Kick multivitamin drink or Good Green Snack multivitamin bar) can help to cover our nutritional bases and reduce the desire to overeat simply to get more nutrients.
If you have an unrelenting, wild appetite that needs some help wrangling in that hunger, integrate some of these helpful tips into your day. And in no time, the hunger beast in your belly should be tamed and under control!
- Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(5):1558S-61S.
- Simpson SJ, Raubenheimer D. Obesity: the protein leverage hypothesis. Obes Rev. 2005;6(2):133-42.
- Weigle DS, Breen PA, Matthys CC, Callahan HS, Meeuws KE, Burden VR, et al. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005;82(1):41-8.
- Claessens M, van Baak MA, Monsheimer S, Saris WHM. The effect of a low-fat, high-protein or high-carbohydrate ad libitum diet on weight loss maintenance and metabolic risk factors. International Journal Of Obesity. 2009;33:296.
- Due A, Toubro S, Skov AR, Astrup A. Effect of normal-fat diets, either medium or high in protein, on body weight in overweight subjects: a randomised 1-year trial. International Journal Of Obesity. 2004;28:1283.
- Holt SH, Miller JC, Petocz P, Farmakalidis E. A satiety index of common foods. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995;49(9):675-90.
- Johnstone AM, Horgan GW, Murison SD, Bremner DM, Lobley GE. Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(1):44-55.
- Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS, et al. A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003;348(21):2082-90.
- Berteus Forslund H, Torgerson JS, Sjostrom L, Lindroos AK. Snacking frequency in relation to energy intake and food choices in obese men and women compared to a reference population. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005;29(6):711-9.
- Azrin NH, Kellen MJ, Brooks J, Ehle C, Vinas V. Relationship Between Rate of Eating and Degree of Satiation. Child & Family Behavior Therapy. 2008;30(4):355-64.
- Kokkinos A, le Roux CW, Alexiadou K, Tentolouris N, Vincent RP, Kyriaki D, et al. Eating Slowly Increases the Postprandial Response of the Anorexigenic Gut Hormones, Peptide YY and Glucagon-Like Peptide-1. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2010;95(1):333-7.