10 ways to control your appetite

The real trick lies in changing your eating habits, and winning the battle of the mind. Cravings and hunger more often than not are only psychological and can be curbed with will power, and some minor dietary modifications.Here are 10 ways to control your appetite.

  1. The most important thing is also the simplest. Don’t rush your meals. Have set meal timings, and abide by them. Don’t gobble up your food. It is advisable to spend between twenty minutes and an hour on a major meal. Not only does the food taste better, but it helps to stay in touch with your appetite.
  2. Another minor, and seemingly insignificant, modification would be to eat without distractions like watching TV or talking on the phone. It has been proven that we tend to eat much more in a large group or at a party because we don’t pay attention to how much we are eating. While in a big group, take time out at intervals to see how hungry you really are, and whether you need to eat any more. Turn off that TV, and take the phone off the hook.
  3. Another healthy, and at the same time appetite-curbing practice would be to eat more meals with smaller servings, and not fewer, larger meals. Eating big, but infrequent meals causes the body to go into partial starvation mode which triggers our hunger hormones.
  4. It is best to shift to high fiber, low-calorie foods such as salads. The fiber ensures you feel full, while keeping the calories in check. Some experts also suggest “putting on the protein brakes” with low-fat protein. You fill up quickly on protein because the amino acids in protein prompt a hormonal signal that tells the brain you are full.
  5. Another thing to do – possibly the hardest of all – is to completely avoid one’s appetite triggers. The less you eat of them, say experts, the less you will feel the need to eat them. So avoid passing your favorite bakery, and don’t stock up the refrigerator.
  6. This might seem improbable, but it’s true. Avoid eating straight out of the packet to eat less. Serve yourself on a small plate, and use cutlery. The less you take, the less you will eat. And using a fork makes you eat slowly, which means you eat less. Unbelievable? Try it!
  7. Stress has, for long, been known to be a major binge trigger. So, let things go a little and try and relax. And, for God’s sake, don’t reach for the snack bowl the next time you feel angry.
  8. According to studies, your exercise pattern may also affect your appetite. One tends to eat more after a heavy workout session to make up for the energy loss. A better option is to engage in low-intensity workouts. Drinking plenty of water is also known to kill the appetite.
  9. Caffeine, despite all its down-sides, is an active agent in keep out the hunger blues. A coffee shot may not satisfy your cravings, but it can kill your appetite, say experts.
  10. And, finally, don’t feel too guilty about indulging yourself once in a while, and within limits. This will contain your cravings, yet not turn your diet plan on its head.

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