From eating dark chocolate to simply eating slower, ten of the best natural methods to help curb cravings have been revealed.
The team behind health and fitness site Vivotion.com have listed ten natural ways you can keep yourself feeling fuller for longer, in turn helping to resist the urge to snack excessively.
They recommend introducing small but effective changes to your lifestyle, like drinking lots of water, eating more protein and managing your stress levels.
A number of foods and drinks have also been suggested to help to keep any cravings at bay, such as dark chocolate, cayenne pepper and green tea.
A spokesperson for Vivotion.com said: “Constantly feeling hungry and having to fight the urge to snack on calorific treats is possibly the biggest obstacle to face when you’re trying to lose weight or tone up.
“So we’ve researched some of the best, natural methods to keep those cravings at bay.
“If you really can’t resist the urge to snack, then you should be aware of the kind of foods you are putting into your body. Snacks like fizzy drinks, crisps and chocolate will only leave you feeling hungrier after an hour or two.
“Instead, opt for nuts and green tea – or even a small amount of dark chocolate. The bitter flavour of dark chocolate is supposed to leave you feeling fuller, as it can slow the rate your stomach empties itself after a meal.”
Eat more protein
Protein-rich foods can increase your feeling of fullness, which can stop you from snacking in between meals.
If you struggle to last through to lunchtime, why not try eating a high-protein breakfast? Foods like spinach, eggs, peanut butter and cottage cheese are all full of protein and should leave you feeling fuller than a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning.
Drink plenty of water
Studies show that if you drink two glasses of water before a meal you will eat far less than if you didn’t. So, if you ever feel like you are overeating or snacking excessively, ask yourself when you last had a glass of water. It is important to drink at least the recommended 2 litres of water per day.
Eat a small amount of dark chocolate
The bitter flavour of dark chocolate is supposed to leave you feeling fuller, as it can slow the rate your stomach empties itself after a meal.
Speeding through your meals will only make you end up eating more. Instead, eat slowly and pay attention to how much you chew before you swallow. If you avoid rushing and put your fork down between bites, this should leave you feeling fuller faster.
Studies show that exercise can reduce your food cravings. Exercise was proven to reduce hunger hormone levels, make you think less about food and increase your feeling of fullness.
Incorporate ginger into your diet
Ginger has been believed to be a natural appetite suppressor for centuries, as many cultures have used ginger for its digestive powers. It is supposed to improve your digestion which in effect, makes you less hungry.
If you are the mood for a snack, eat a handful of almonds. Almonds are full of antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin E, which have been known to increase the feeling of fullness. Snacks like apples are also great too, as they are filled with soluble fibre and protein.
Spice up dinnertime
Capsaicin (in hot peppers) and capsiate (in sweet peppers) have been known to help boost metabolism and the feeling of fullness. Hot foods can also help to burn calories after a meal so don’t be afraid to add some spices to your meals next dinnertime.
Guzzle green tea
For centuries, people have been using green tea to suppress their appetite. This is because it contains EGCG, which is a nutrient that makes you feel satisfied rather than hungry. People have also been known to drink the tea to help boost their metabolism.
A lot of the time, constant snacking and binge eating bad foods can be down to your stress levels. Stress can cause the body to overproduce hormones, which makes you hungry. It’s important to manage your stress by calming your mind through things like meditation.