When your stomach is full, you’ll be better able to resist that piece of cheesecake. Unfortunately, we don’t go around with full stomachs all day. So what can you do to make it through the hours between meals?

If you’re looking for appetite suppressants that will help you stand firm in the face of high calorie treats, check out these food suggestions and simple lifestyle changes.

Foods Choices to Keep Your Appetite Under Control

1. Eat more protein. Aim for a diet that’s about 30 percent protein. This necessary nutrient leaves you feeling full for hours and prevents food cravings by maintaining your blood sugar level.

* Try eating more fish. In addition to having plenty of protein, fish also increases leptin, a hormone which curbs appetite.

2. Spice things up. Ginger is a mild stimulant which improves digestion. Like cinnamon and cloves, it also helps control blood sugar and food cravings. Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee and ginger shavings into your stir-fries and salads.

3. Learn to love beans. In addition to being a wholesome and frugal source of protein, beans are loaded with a digestive hormone called cholecystokinin, which reduces hunger. Cook a pot of chili or assemble a burrito for breakfast.

4. Indulge in leafy green vegetables. A whole cup of raw spinach has fewer than 10 calories, but is packed with nutrients your body needs. Leafy green vegetables deliver more nutrients and fiber per calorie than just about any other food. Start dinner with a big salad.

5. Turn up the heat. Spiciness works wonders against overeating. Studies show that the capsaicin in hot peppers makes most people eat less. Wasabi has similar effects, plus anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Pour on the vinegar. Vinegar is another food which helps keep blood sugar levels stable. It also contains acetic acid that slows down digestion so your stomach feels fuller longer. Use vinegar for salad dressing or try sprinkling it on asparagus or other cooked vegetables.

7. Treat yourself to dark chocolate. You can eat chocolate in moderation and still lose weight. The stearic acid in dark chocolate helps you digest foods more slowly, while the bitter taste inhibits appetite. Note that this only applies to dark chocolate. Milk chocolate doesn’t contain the same quantity of beneficial ingredients that are found in dark chocolate.

Lifestyle Habits to Curb Your Appetite

1. Eat more slowly. When you pace your eating, you give your stomach time to let your brain know that you’re full. Plus, you enjoy the flavors in your meals more.

2. Drink lots of water. Thirst is easily mistaken for hunger pangs. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day and before meals.

3. Exercise regularly. Exercise decreases the hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungry, while increasing the hormone leptin, which helps you feel full. Try to work out for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.

4. Get adequate sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep and managing stress has similar effects on your ghrelin and leptin levels. A sleep deficit, on the other hand, can trigger higher production of the hormone cortisol, which makes you feel hungry.

5. Eat frequent small meals. Switch from three meals a day to four, five, or six. This will help your blood sugar to remain stable, so you’ll feel fuller even if you eat the same number of calories. Make breakfast a habit to avoid overeating later in the day.

6. Lose the belly fat. There’s overwhelming evidence that abdominal fat can raise your risk for many health issues, including heart disease and certain cancers. That extra belly fat also stimulates the release of several hormones that increase hunger.

7. Paint your kitchen blue. People eat less in a blue room. A navy tablecloth or powder blue dinner plates could work to your advantage if you’re trying to lose weight.

The Internet and late night television infomercials are full of appetite suppressants that cost a lot but have no reliable research to support their claims. Try some safe and natural methods to curb your appetite instead. They’ll help you feel full while you develop healthy lifestyle habits and continue to enjoy your favorite nutritious foods.

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