How to suppress your appetite
When you are trying to lose body fat and develop a flat stomach one of the hardest challenges is trying to suppress your appetite. Many of us come from a background of eating to excess, often involving eating addictive junk foods loaded with sugar and saturated fat. It can be a constant struggle trying to control your appetite and staving off constant food cravings. However it does not have to be that way.
The reason your appetite is out of control is because you are eating addictive foods high in sugar and saturated fat. You need to make some changes starting now.
Curb your addiction to sugary and fatty foods
Dr Robert Lustig, a endocrinologist based in California, told CBS news that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. According to Dr Lustig, sugar triggers dopamine, a chemical which controls pleasure in the brain.
The more sugar you eat, the more your body craves it. The more sugar you eat, the more you put on weight.
To bring your appetite under control you have to quit high sugar foods. It is important that you avoid any food with concentrated sugars. This includes ‘healthy foods’ containing concentrated natural sugars, for example fruit juices, smoothies and cereal bars. Sugar is sugar. Your body does not differentiate between processed sugar and natural sugar. The only source of sugar I would advise you consume is fruit in its natural form.
Artificial sweeteners provide a zero calorie alternative to sugar but beware. Studies have shown that when you take artificial sweeteners you will trigger cravings for the real thing. In my opinion it is better to steer clear of them.
Similar studies have been carried on the consumption of processed foods high in saturated fat such as bacon, sausage and cheescake. The scientists discovered that these foods triggered the dopamine receptors in the brain in the same way as sugar, resulting in a tendency towards compulsive eating.
But what should you eat instead?
Follow a healthy wholefood diet
The only way to stop your addiction to sugary and fatty food is to switch to a wholefood diet. In place of sugary treats and junk food should be eating vegetables, wholegrains, fruit, nuts and lean protein. In place of sodas you should be drinking water and green tea.
Wholefoods contain lots of fibre. They are bulky and take up a lot of space in your stomach. This means that you will feel full very quickly and you will naturally want to stop eating. Wholefoods take a long time for your body to break down. They release energy slowly into your body. This slow release of energy will keep your body fuelled and prevent your brain from telling you that you are hungry.
If you are a junk food addict it will take you some time to adjust to a wholefood diet. You may feel that compared to the exciting junk foods you are currently eating, wholefoods are bland and boring. However whole foods do not have to be bland. Try adding spices to your meals and snacks. Spices will not make you fat. In fact capsaicin, an active ingredient in chilli peppers, has been identified as an appetite suppressant.
Drink water and green tea
Make sure you drink plenty of water. Drinking water is an easy way to control your appetite. If you are dehydrated, your body often confuses this as hunger. Drinking water before and during meals is a good way of making you feel full sooner.
As well as water I recommend you drink green tea. Green tea contains a substance known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which has been shown to reduce appetite.
Be the master of your body
If you are suffering from food addiction you are letting you body control you. You need to control your body. You need to be the master of your body.
Many people fall into food addiction because they regularly experience negative emotions or anxiety.
If you learn to relax, you will be able to conquer your emotions and anxiety. When you reach this point you will no longer need to use food as a crutch. I would strongly recommend that you consider learning meditation. Meditation has been proven to help you let go of the negative emotions and release the anxiety from your body. This will really help you control your addictive relationship with food.
Work that body
I am a big advocate of following a regular workout routine as a way to increase your body’s energy expenditure and burn excess fat. I would also recommend regular exercise because studies have shown that exercise helps to suppress appetite by acting on your appetite hormones.
Well you may say that this is not true because you feel hungry after exercise. However research has shown that although exercise makes you more hungry, you need to eat less to satisfy that hunger. Make sense?
Your life does not have to be a constant struggle with your appetite and you do not have to suffering food cravings every waking moment. You are like this because your body is out of balance due to all the unhealthy choices you are making. If you follow my recommendations you will slowly regain your natural balance. When you have found your balance you body will tell you how much you need to eat and you will eat only as much as your body needs. You will be in control and fighting to suppress your appetite will be a thing of the past.