Tips to Stop Hunger While Dieting

We all know what hunger and appetite feel like.

Most of the time, we unconsciously navigate these biological processes all day long.

Hunger and appetite are signs that your body needs energy or wants certain foods.

Even though your body tells you to eat again, it’s not fun to be constantly hungry, especially after meals. That could mean you aren’t eating enough of the right foods.

Want to lose weight, have a health condition, or start a new meal routine like intermittent fasting? Here’s how to reduce hunger throughout the day.

But hunger and appetite are complex processes influenced by many internal and external factors, making their reduction difficult.

We’ve compiled a list of 15 scientifically proven ways to reduce hunger and appetite.

1. Eat solids to curb hunger

Calories from solids and liquids may affect your appetite and reward system differently.

Two recent reviews found that solid and thicker foods reduced hunger more than thin and liquid foods.

In one small study, people who ate hard foods (white rice and raw vegetables) for lunch and dinner ate less calories than people who ate soft foods (risotto and boiled veggies).

Another study found that people who ate foods with complex textures ate less overall.

Solid foods require more chewing, allowing the brain to receive the fullness signal. On the other hand, Softer foods are easier to overeat in large portions.

Another theory is that the extra chewing time allows solids to stay in contact with your taste buds longer, promoting feelings of fullness.

Diversify your meals to keep you satisfied and get a variety of nutrients.

It’s been proven that eating thick, dense foods helps you eat less without feeling hungry.

2. Consume enough protein

Protein can help you feel fuller longer, reduce hunger hormones, and help you eat less at your next meal.

In a small study of 20 overweight or obese adults, those who ate eggs instead of cereal felt fuller and had lower hunger hormones after breakfast.

Another study of 50 overweight adults found that drinking a protein-rich beverage 30 minutes before eating pizza reduced feelings of hunger and the amount of pizza consumed.

Protein’s appetite-suppressing properties aren’t limited to meat and eggs. Beans and peas are high in protein and may help you feel fuller longer.

Protein should account for 20–30% of total calorie intake, or 0.45-0.55 grams per pound (1.0–1.2 grams per kg). Others suggest 0.55–0.73 grams per pound (1.2–1.6 grams per kg).

Other research has found mixed results with high protein diets.

Remember that there may be another diet that better suits your dietary habits and preferences.

Protein is a satiating nutrient. Getting enough protein in your diet is essential, including weight loss.

3. Mindful eating

Usually, your brain aids your body in recognizing hunger and fullness.

When you eat too quickly or while distracted, your brain misses these signals.

A key aspect of mindful eating is removing distractions and focusing on the foods in front of you.

Rather than relying on external cues like advertisements or the time of day, mindful eating relies on internal lines like thoughts and physical sensations.

Mindfulness during meals may help people prone to emotional, impulsive, or reward-driven eating, which all affect hunger and appetite.

When combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other behavior-focused therapies, mindful eating appears to reduce food cravings best and increase food awareness.

Mindful eating reduces hunger and increases feelings of fullness. It may also help reduce calorie intake and emotional eating.

4. Discover your ideal dinnerware

You may have heard that using a smaller plate or utensil can help you eat less.

Reducing the size of your dinnerware may also help you minimize meal portions without feeling deprived. A larger plate encourages unintentional overeating.

Using a smaller spoon or fork may not directly affect your appetite, but it may help you eat less by slowing your eating rate and causing you to take smaller bites.

Other research has found mixed results.

Researchers are learning that personal factors such as culture, upbringing, and learned behaviors influence how the size of your dinnerware affects your hunger levels.

While the benefits of eating on a smaller plate have been overstated in the past, it is still worth trying.

Experiment with different plate and utensil sizes to see if they affect your hunger, appetite, or overall calorie intake.

Eating from smaller plates may help you eat less unconsciously without increasing your hunger, though the results vary from person to person.

5. Eat a lot of fiber

High fiber intake increases satiety and regulates appetite by slowing digestion and increasing fullness hormones.

Fiber also aids in the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which are thought to aid in satiety.

Pectin, guar gum, and psyllium are viscous fibers that thicken liquids and may be particularly filling. Dense fibers are found in plants and are often used as supplements.

Beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils have been shown to increase feelings of fullness by 31% compared to meals without beans. Healthy whole grains can help curb hunger.

The methods used to study how dietary fiber affects appetite haven’t always been consistent, and some researchers believe it’s too early to generalize about fiber and need.

Despite this, high-fiber diets have had few adverse effects. Fiber-rich foods are often high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Choosing a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds can help maintain long-term health. Combining protein and fiber may double the benefits for fullness and appetite.

Eating a fiber-rich diet can help reduce hunger and calorie intake—the long-term health benefits.

6. Pick filling snacks

Snacking is a choice. Some people enjoy snacking, while others do not.

Also, it may help you control your hunger and appetite throughout the day.

Choose snacks high in:

protein, fiber, fat, and carbs

For example, a high-protein yogurt beats out high-fat crackers or a chocolate snack.

A serving of high-protein yogurt in the afternoon may help you eat fewer calories later in the day.

Eat a protein or fiber-rich snack to curb hunger and avoid overeating at your next meal.

7. Control your stress

Stress is known to raise cortisol levels.

High cortisol levels increase food cravings and the drive to eat and have even been linked to weight gain.

Stress may reduce peptide YY (PYY), a fullness hormone.

However, some people respond differently to stress.

Stress can reduce appetite, according to one study.

Stress eating is a common occurrence in stressful situations, so try some of these techniques to reduce your stress:

eat a stress-relieving diet,  regular exercise, green tea, and ashwagandha supplements, minimize caffeine intake, do yoga or stretching

In addition, reducing stress may help prevent depression and obesity.

8. Sleep enough

Getting enough sleep may help curb hunger and prevent weight gain.

Studies show that lack of sleep increases hunger, appetite, and food cravings.

Sleep deprivation can increase ghrelin, a hunger hormone that increases food intake and signals the body to eat, and leptin, an appetite-regulating hormone.

Adults require 7–9 hours of sleep, while children and adolescents require 8–12 hours.

Getting 7 hours of sleep per night may help reduce hunger throughout the day.

9. Eat slowly

It’s easy to overeat when your appetite is high. Slowing down your eating pace may help you avoid overeating.

One study found that faster eaters ate larger bites and consumed more calories.

According to another study, slow-cooked foods are more filling.

The eating rate may affect your endocrine systems, such as insulin and pancreatic polypeptide levels, which interact with your digestive system to regulate hunger and satiety.

Eating slowly may increase satisfaction at the end of a meal and reduce overall calorie intake.

10. Avoid deprivation

Many biological pathways are involved in regulating appetite, hunger, and cravings.

Researchers are still studying what happens when you restrict certain foods and whether it works to reduce cravings.

Some people are more susceptible to cravings than others due to their intensity.

Most people don’t need to give up their favorite foods completely. After all, you should eat your favorite foods.

If you have a craving for a particular food, try it in moderation to see if it helps.

Moderation may be more effective than complete deprivation in reducing hunger and cravings.

11. Eat some ginger

Ginger’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been linked to many health benefits.

Ginger increases appetite in cancer patients by soothing the stomach and reducing nausea.

But new research suggests it may also help reduce hunger.

One study gave rats ginger, peppermint, horse gram, and whey protein herbal mix. The mixture was found to help control appetite and induce satiety, though not solely due to ginger.

More human studies are needed before drawing firm conclusions about ginger and hunger.

Ginger may help reduce hunger and add flavor and soothe the stomach. This effect requires more research.

12. Regular exercise

An increase in low-calorie foods and a decrease in high-calorie foods is thought to result from exercise decreasing brain activation linked to food cravings.

It also lowers hunger hormones while increasing fullness.

Some studies show that aerobic and resistance exercise can influence hormone levels and meal size after training, though higher intensity exercise may significantly affect appetite.

Overall, exercise appears to affect appetite for most people positively, but it is important to note that individual responses to exercise and hunger vary widely.

That is, no one can guarantee the same outcome. However, exercise has many benefits, so it’s good to move around.

Exercising can increase fullness hormones, which reduce hunger and calorie intake. High-intensity activities may have the most impact.

13. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast

Eating more of your calories earlier in the day may help curb your appetite and improve your energy levels. How often you eat or when you eat is unlikely to be as significant a factor in determining weight loss as to how much you eat overall.

As a result, eating breakfast may assist you in losing more weight by reducing your hunger levels throughout the day. Many studies have found that eating breakfast helps you maintain better daily calorie control. This one is especially true when it comes to high-protein breakfast options. So many people still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is not a surprise.

But what if you wake up in the morning and aren’t hungry?

If you’re not a fan of breakfast, there’s no need to force yourself to eat it. The research also suggests that eating more of your calories when you are using them, which is typically earlier in the day for most people, contributes to the importance of breakfast. Furthermore, including an additional meal may consume more calories throughout the day.

Consider the following factors when deciding whether or not you should eat breakfast:

You should eat whenever you are hungry, even if it means waiting several hours after waking up.

It may be beneficial to consume a light snack before working out in the morning, followed by a high-quality breakfast to aid in recovery.

Pay close attention to your appetite throughout the day. If you are experiencing increased hunger due to skipping meals, you should consider eating smaller meals more frequently. If you are having difficulty controlling your calories, try eating less regularly or restricting your calories to a specific time window.

14. Stay hydrated

Some people report that drinking water helps them lose weight. Thirst is sometimes confused with hunger in animals.

A small human study found that people who drank two glasses of water before a meal ate 22% less.

Seventeen ounces (500 mL) of water may stretch the stomach and send fullness signals to the brain. Because water quickly empties the stomach, this tip may work best if you drink it right before a meal.

Starting your meal with a broth-based soup may have the same effect. An older study found that eating soup before a meal reduced hunger and total calorie intake by about 100 calories.

This one may not be the case for all. Genetics, the soup you eat, and other factors all play a role. Soups with umami flavors, for example, may be more filling than others.

Water and food-related neurons are closely related, but little is known about how they interact and why drinking water may also satisfy your appetite for solid foods.

In some studies, thirst, and water intake influence food preferences more than hunger and food intake.

While staying hydrated is essential, water should not replace meals. Keep a glass of water nearby and sip it during meals or before eating.

One must have low-calorie liquids or soup before a meal may help you eat less without feeling hungry.

15. Cut back on sugar and empty calories

Excluding the right foods from your diet can also make it easier to lose weight without worrying about constantly being hungry.

Empty calorie foods have little to no nutritional value and tend to be high in calories – they are the polar opposite of nutrient-dense foods in terms of nutritional value. A great approach to weight management is to identify and eliminate empty calories from your diet. This one allows you to create a calorie deficit without compromising the nutrition your body requires.

Many people believe that added sugar is the best source of empty calories to avoid when trying to lose weight and that it ranks first on their list. Refined grains, such as refined sugar and white bread, are absorbed more quickly than starchy, high-fiber carbs, which can cause your appetite and energy levels to fluctuate, causing you to feel hungry sooner than you would otherwise.

The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. The US Dietary Guidelines suggest consuming no more than 10 percent of your total calories from added sugar.

One can also obtain empty calories from other sources such as:

Soda and other sweetened beverages with added sugar, candy, fried foods, desserts with a lot of sugar and calories, pastries, pretzels, and potato chips,

sausage and bacon, for example, are high in fat; processed oils and butter have been added.

The bottom line

Hunger and appetite are both considered to be normal bodily functions.

Typically, they’re just a sign that your body is depleted of energy and time to eat something.

The suggestions provided here are merely a few straightforward methods for reducing your appetite and hunger when experiencing higher than normal levels of these sensations during certain times of the year.

If you’ve tried these suggestions and still feel hungry more than usual, talk to your doctor about whether you might benefit from additional support for controlling your appetite.


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