Do you feel like you’re always eating? You just can’t stop snacking, no matter how hard you try? You’re not alone. There are a lot of us snack addicts out here, and it can be difficult to break those bad habits! When you can’t stop eating, you need something to suppress appetite and reduce hunger. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- About appetite suppressants that can help you feel less hungry
- How to use foods to keep yourself feeling full
- Other strategies to keep you from overeating and snacking too much
The best appetite suppressant pills
When you go to the discount store, the grocery store or the pharmacy, you’re going to see what appears to be millions of appetite suppressant pills and weight loss pills. How do you know which ones to choose?
Well, that choice is yours, of course. But we have a few ideas for you. First of all, you should talk to your doctor before you take any type of pill at all. Some may not be safe for you, especially if you take medicines, if you have a history of eating disorders or if you have any other health concerns.
With that said, there are many natural supplements that are generally safe for most people. Let’s take a look at each one.
Caffeine is one of those supplements you probably shouldn’t take if you have heart conditions or other concerns. But if you’re not sensitive to caffeine, it can be a great way to suppress appetite and stop eating.
Now, there haven’t been a ton of comprehensive studies on caffeine and weight loss, but people who do take caffeine supplements say they find that it’s a great way to reduce hunger. If you’re clear to take it, why not try caffeine as a way to help you feel less hungry?
Green tea contains naturally occurring chemicals called catechins that have been shown to help with weight loss. Green tea does contain caffeine to help reduce hunger and suppress appetite, but it also can help to increase metabolism.
You can take a green tea supplement to help you stop eating, but you can also drink it! Just be sure to skip the sugar in your tea!
Cayenne pepper, the stuff you probably have in your pantry anyway, is a great tool to suppress appetite and stop eating so much. It also has an additional benefit: it can raise your body heat and help you boost your metabolism.
You don’t have to sprinkle cayenne pepper on your food. Instead, you can find it in capsule form in most health food stores. The only real side effect you may notice is a little heartburn, but a good quality capsule will help you suppress appetite without too many side effects.
Spinach pills are actually a really good way to suppress appetite and stop eating. It contains a lot of fiber, so it will keep you feeling full for longer. You should plan to take your spinach pills about 30 minutes before each meal.
If you’d rather do like Popeye and eat your spinach, that works, too! It’s a super low-calorie food that has oodles of nutrients and, of course, the fiber you need to help you feel full.
Foods to suppress appetite and reduce hunger
If you prefer to suppress appetite by actually eating, great! It’s probably better for you anyway, as you’re giving your body vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. There are certain foods that you can eat to actually stop eating and reduce hunger in a healthful, tasty way. Here are our top picks.
Apples are a delicious, sweet way to suppress your appetite. There are about 95 calories in one apple, and 25 grams of carbohydrates. But 4.4 of those carbohydrates come from fiber, so only about 20 count. Fiber, as you know, is a great nutrient for your body. It is slow to digest and will help your body absorb nutrients.
Hard boil them, poach them, scramble them – any way you look at it, eggs are a great addition to your diet to help you suppress hunger. One egg contains about 70 calories as well as:
- Vitamin D
Pro tip: buy a dozen eggs and hard boil them all at once. Then, just stash them in the fridge for a quick snack when you’re feeling hungry. Having them available can help you avoid reaching for something less healthy.
Avocados aren’t for everyone, but we love them! They’re a great source of:
- Omega 3 fatty acids (the good fats)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Beta carotene
… and more. The thing about avocados is that they’re pretty high in calories. But there are a lot of nutrients packed into every bite, so it’s okay to splurge every now and then. Avocados are a great way to stop eating junk food and reduce hunger in a tasty way.
If you’re craving a salty snack, you can’t beat nuts! Peanuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts and even seeds like sunflower seeds are the perfect addition to your daily meal plan. They’re high in protein and packed with nutrients, too, so you’ll stay full for longer.
If you decide to snack on nuts, be mindful of the sodium content. Many prepackaged nuts have very high sodium which can make you retain fluid and become dehydrated.
Eating nonfat Greek yogurt is an excellent way to suppress hunger and stop eating too much. It’s got tons of protein – twice the amount that regular yogurt has – and much less sugar. If you want to add a splash of flavor to your Greek yogurt, you can always add some apricot or peach slices to your snack.
There’s just something so delicious about kidney beans straight from the can. Just drain and rinse them, then snack to your heart’s content. If you want, you can add a little hot sauce to spice things up – cayenne pepper will just further boost your weight loss!
Beans are a great source of protein, and also a great source of fiber.
Okay, so it’s technically not a food, but chewing on a bit of peppermint can help suppress appetite and reduce hunger. In fact, even the smell of peppermint can make you stop eating so much, so feel free to burn a candle or something similar.
You can chew peppermint leaves from your windowsill garden, or you may choose to drink some peppermint tea. Just stay away from the candy – that’s sugar you don’t need to be eating!
Drinks to suppress appetite
Yes, water! Drinking a glass (between 8 and 16 ounces) of water before you eat your meal is a good way to reduce hunger and stop eating so much at meal times. Studies suggest that drinking water before meals can help you lose up to 44% more weight than if you don’t do so.
Just as caffeine can help you suppress appetite, coffee will as well. Just be sure you don’t load your drink up with sugar and cream. Every calorie counts.
As we mentioned, you don’t have to take a green tea supplement. Instead, you can drink green tea, either hot or cold. Again, watch the sugar and the milk. For a hint of extra flavor, you can add a tiny bit of lemon or other fruit juice to your green tea.
More strategies to suppress your appetite
The foods you eat and the pills you take aren’t the only ways to stop eating so much and suppress appetite. You can reduce hunger with other methods as well! Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can curb cravings and quit being so hungry.
1. Work out before you eat!
It may sound counterintuitive, but you can actually suppress appetite by working out prior to your meal. You’d think that exercise would help you “work up an appetite” but actually the opposite is true. Exercise will suppress the hormones that cause you to feel hungry.
Don’t overdo it – just 30 minutes or so of moderate activity will suffice. It will suppress the release of ghrelin in your body, which means you’ll be less hungry.
2. Fix your sleep hygiene
When you’re sleepy, you’re hungry. There’s a science behind this – when you sleep, your body will release less of the hormone ghrelin, which tells your brain is hungry. Sleep deprivation will cause more of this hormone to be released, which means you’re going to be a hungry bear.
There are other ways a lack of sleep will cause you to eat more. Have you ever woken up after a not-so-good night’s sleep and just been starving? You’ll reach for just whatever you find first, even if it’s not a healthy choice. You may even start relying on calorie-dense lattes and other drinks to keep yourself awake.
You can easily improve your sleep hygiene with a little self-discipline. Do this by:
- Going to bed at the same time every night
- Making your bedroom a quiet environment – white noise is okay if you prefer
- Lowering the temperature in your bedroom
- Remembering your bedroom is only for sleep and sex
- Removing electronics from your bedroom
- Establishing a solid bedtime routine, including stepping away from screens
- Using aromatherapy if you like – lavender is a great choice
Experts recommend that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep every night.
3. Be stress free
In the same way that sleep deprivation will make you hungry, stress will make you eat more, too. Stress has been proven to cause binge eating, and some people don’t even realize they’re doing it! Try to eliminate some of your stress in order to stop eating so much.
A stress free life won’t necessarily suppress appetite, but it will certainly help you consume fewer calories. Now, we understand that reducing stress is sometimes easier said than done. But making a concerted effort will certainly help you eat less … and feel better.
Some ways you can reduce stress include:
- Yoga or Pilates
- Getting enough sleep
- Calling a friend
- Keeping a journal
- Avoid caffeine and stimulants
- Meditate or use a mindfulness app
Again, living a stress-free life isn’t always easy. If you feel like you’re too stressed, or becoming depressed, please seek help from a physician or counselor.
4. Keep a food diary
You can reduce hunger and suppress appetite simply by looking at the calories you’ve consumed any given day. In fact, you don’t even have to track your calories. All you really need to do is write down everything you put in your mouth. Everything!
Don’t forget to write down what you drink, too. Those soft drinks can really add up quickly. Coffee and tea should be written down, as should your water. And no cheating! That forkful of mac and cheese you ate off your kid’s plate totally counts – write it down.
Keeping a food diary is a great way to be mindful of what you’re eating so that you can stop eating so much. If you like, schedule an appointment to talk to a nutritionist. Bring your food diary with you so that you can review your eating habits together. She can come up with suggestions on how to curb cravings you experience throughout the day.
5. Make yourself accountable to someone
Accountability goes a very long way when you want to stop eating so much. You can choose anyone you want. Your mom, your brother, your uncle’s wife’s sister – it doesn’t matter. Choose someone you trust, and someone who won’t judge you or criticize your efforts.
If you don’t have anyone you can talk to about your food journal or weight loss, you can always pay someone. Talk to a nutritionist, a counselor or even a personal trainer who can help you stay on track in your efforts to reduce hunger and suppress appetite.
You don’t have to share your food or exercise diary with this person if you don’t want to. You can simply share your thoughts on how progress is going. You’re more likely to keep your eating under control if you know you’re going to have to report back to someone.
6. Find a buddy
In the same way that accountability will help you reduce hunger and stop eating so much, so will finding a buddy who has similar goals to you. Is there someone you know who wants to eat less? Lose weight? Exercise more? Why not pair up and do it together?
Your goals and your buddy’s don’t have to be exactly the same. It does help, but just so long as you both aim to be healthier, that’s all that matters. You two (or a group of you) can get together one or a few times each week to walk or work out, and talk about how you’re doing with your personal goals.
A good place to find a buddy if you can’t think of anyone is on social media. For instance, Facebook Groups in your area can introduce you to people who have goals like yours. Match up and meet up in a public location and kill two birds with one stone: you’ll lose weight and make a new friend!
7. Change your kitchen
Okay. The first thing you’ll want to do in your kitchen should be pretty obvious: you’re going to clean out your pantry and your fridge. That includes your freezer – that ice cream doesn’t need to be in there. Take out all the foods that aren’t good for you and donate them to a food bank or give them to a neighbor. If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it, right?
The next thing you’re going to do is to reconsider your plates. If you have huge dinner plates, you’re going to be more likely to fill it up and eat more. That’s not the goal – you want to reduce hunger and stop eating so much. So get rid of those large plates – donate them to charity. Now go to the discount store and get some smaller ones.
Finally, take inventory of your cookware and bakeware. If you don’t have the equipment you need to cook healthy meals, you won’t do it. You’ll be likely to resort to takeout or the pizza delivery guy if you get hungry. Some good things to have on hand are:
- A solid stainless steel stock pot for pastas and homemade soups
- Assorted pots and pans in varying sizes
- A slow cooker
- Plenty of spices like garlic, pepper, salt, cumin, curry and whatever else you love
- Food storage containers for preparing meals in advance
A well-stocked kitchen is a kitchen you’ll want to use to prepare yourself healthy, whole foods.
8. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry
This tip won’t necessarily help you suppress appetite and reduce hunger, but it’ll help you eat more healthy foods if you do get tempted to snack throughout the week. Choose a day you want to go grocery shopping, then eat your full lunch before you go. Then, head to the store on a full stomach and resist temptation at the store.
While you’re shopping, there are some “locations” you’ll want to avoid. End caps are notorious for advertising unhealthy and expensive foods. You’ll also want to be very careful when you visit the frozen foods section – except for the veggies, those foods are packed with sugar and salt.
As you shop, look at the top and bottom shelves. You’ll find the least expensive options there, and there will also be healthy options that you may never have tried before! For the best shopping experience, make a list before you go. Better yet, make a list and send your spouse to the store for you!
9. Fill your plate with the right foods
Now that you’ve got smaller plates, you’re going to need to know how to fill them. That part’s actually pretty easy. The simplest way to fill your plate in a healthy way is to cover half of it with fresh fruits and veggies. (No, folks, fries don’t count as a vegetable.)
Fruits and vegetables are usually pretty high in fiber, so they’ll fill you up quickly and help reduce hunger until the next meal time. They’re nature’s way to suppress appetite and stop eating foods that are bad for you between meals.
You should also put lean meats or proteins on your plate. Try salmon, tuna, turkey, chicken lamb, soy products or even beans to get your daily allotment of protein. Finally, add a few grams of carbs to your meal, but be sure they’re whole grain. Processed grains like white bread, biscuits and rolls aren’t going to assist you in your weight loss at all!
If you would like to begin to count calories, talk to a doctor or a nutritionist about how many calories you need based on your lifestyle and current weight. Invest in a good food scale so that you can weight your portions – after a while you’ll probably be able to “eyeball” 8 ounces of chicken, for instance.
10. Eat soup, but in moderation
Light, low calorie soups are a great way to fill up when you feel hungry. You can enjoy:
- Chicken noodle soup
- Tomato soup
- Cabbage soup
- Veggie soup
- Pretty much any type of broth
These soups are a nutritious way to trick your body into thinking you’ve consumed more calories than you actually have. Try it! You’ll see what we mean!
But there’s a problem with soup. You don’t chew it. The literal physical act of chewing signals to your brain that you’re eating, and will help reduce hunger over the next period of time. So, with this information in mind, it’s probably best to choose a low-sodium, low-calorie soup as a snack instead of a meal.
11. Sit down at the table to eat
Put your laptop and your phone away. Don’t turn on the television. Don’t even read a book. Make each meal and snack a mindful experience, so that your brain can register that you’re eating. Plus, you’ll enjoy your meal more!
Make it a point to eat together as a family, too. First of all, it’s a great way to connect and catch up at the end of the day. You’ll all eat healthier food and you may even get your kids to eat foods they wouldn’t otherwise try. Many families allow the kids to choose what dinner will be one or two nights each week. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids healthy eating habits.
When you sit down and register that you’re eating a meal, your body will release the hormones that tell you that you’re not hungry anymore. That’s not as likely to happen if you’re snacking in front of the television or eating a “working lunch.”
- Concentrate solely on eating
- Sit down and eat with your family
- Turn off the television and put away other distractions – that means your cell phone, too!
- Try to avoid taking “working lunches” if you’re able
12. Drink water throughout the day
Drinking water is a great way to reduce hunger, suppress appetite and stop eating snack foods during the day. There are two reasons for this. First, as we already mentioned, drinking water can make you feel full before meals, so you’re more likely to eat less.
Secondly, though, there’s something about the actual act of putting something in your mouth that’s going to convince your brain that you’re not looking for a snack. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, just grab a bottle of water and take some sips. Need a little flavor? You can “infuse” your water with:
- Fruit slices like orange or lemon
- A tiny splash of fruit juice like lemon, cranberry or lime
- A sprig of peppermint
- Cucumber (add lemon, too if you like)
- A couple drops of vanilla extract
The possibilities are actually endless – just use your imagination and make sure there’s no sugar!
Many people love carrying a BPA free plastic or stainless steel water bottle throughout the day. It’s a great way to get your daily recommended intake of water, and stainless steel will keep your water cold for a long time. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly than plastic disposables.
13. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Hey. Setbacks happen – it’s okay. And sometimes when you want to suppress appetite or stop eating, it’s a good idea to consider what you’ve eaten that day – your body might actually need a few calories! Don’t be hard on yourself if you find that you’re still snacking every now and then. Make sure you’ve got healthy options around, and take care of yourself.
Nobody’s perfect, and what matters is that you’re making a solid, concerted effort to reduce hunger throughout the day. It’s an old wives’ tale that your stomach shrinks if you eat less. But you can reprogram your brain to not be reliant and dependent upon snacks and unhealthy foods when you get a snack attack.
It helps some people to make a meal plan each week. If you plan out what you’re going to cook, eat and snack on throughout the week, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you’re grabbing choices that aren’t healthy. Plan your week, then go grocery shopping for the ingredients you need.
Finally, get your family on board if you have one. They can help keep you on track with your weight loss plan, and who knows – they may even decide to join you in making healthier choices, whether they be exercise or nutritional choices. That means a healthier lifestyle for everyone!
When you want to stop eating, reduce hunger and suppress appetite, there are so many options available to you! Lifestyle changes are pretty much mandatory, but you can also add exercise to your day, improve your sleep habits and, of course, keep healthy options at home. Get your family on board or find a buddy, and you’ll experience even more success.
With a bit of determination and some knowledge about nutrition and exercise, you can lose weight in a healthy way that’s easy to continue throughout your entire life.