You may be able to reduce hunger by eating foods that keep you fuller for a longer time, such as those high in protein and fiber. Some practices, like mindful eating, may also help.
Hunger and appetite are something each of us knows quite well.
For the most part, we navigate these biological processes continuously throughout the day, even when we don’t realize we’re doing so.
Generally, hunger and appetite are signals from your body that it needs energy or is craving a certain type of food.
While feeling hungry is a normal sign from your body that it’s time to eat again, it’s not fun to constantly feel hungry, especially if you’ve just finished a meal. That may be a sign you’re not eating enough or not eating the right combinations of foods.
If you’re trying to lose weight, living with certain health conditions, or adopting a new meal routine like intermittent fasting, you may be wondering how to
Hunger and appetite are complicated processes though, and they’re influenced by many internal and external factors — which can make reducing either one difficult at times.
To make it easier, we put together this list of 13 science-based ways to help reduce hunger and appetite.
Adding more protein to your diet can
The appetite-suppressing effects of protein aren’t just limited to animal sources like meats and eggs either. Vegetable proteins including beans and peas might be just as useful for keeping you satisfied and
Getting at least 20–30% of your total calorie intake from protein, or 0.45-0.55 grams per pound (1.0–1.2 grams per kg) of body weight, is sufficient to provide health benefits. Yet, some studies suggest up to
Thus, it’s important to remember that there may be another type of diet that better suits your dietary habits and personal preferences.
Protein is a nutrient that helps keep you full. Getting sufficient protein in your diet is important for many reasons, but it may help promote weight loss, partly by decreasing your appetite.
A high fiber intake helps fill you up by
In addition, eating fiber helps produce short-chain fatty acids in your gut, which are believed to further
A recent review even reports that viscous, fiber-rich beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils can
Still, the methods of studies examining how
Nevertheless, few negative effects have been linked to high fiber diets. Fiber-rich foods often contain many other beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and helpful plant compounds.
Therefore, opting for a diet containing sufficient fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds can also promote long-term health. What’s more, pairing protein together with fiber might provide
Eating a fiber-rich diet can decrease hunger and help you eat fewer calories. It also promotes long-term health.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking water might suppress hunger and promote weight loss for some people.
Scientists believe that about
Interestingly, starting your meal with a broth-based soup may act in the same way. In an older study, researchers observed that eating a bowl of soup before a meal lowered hunger and reduced total calorie intake from the meal by
This may not be the case for everyone though. Genetics, the type of soup you eat, and various other factors are all at play. For example, soups with savory umami flavor profiles might be
While the neurons that regulate your appetite for both water and food are closely related, there’s still much to be learned about how exactly they interact and why drinking water might also
While it’s important to stay hydrated — drinking water shouldn’t replace your meal. In general, keep a glass of water with you and sip it during meals or have a glass before you sit down to eat.
Drinking low calorie liquids or having a cup of soup before a meal may help you eat fewer calories without leaving you hungry.
Solid calories and liquid calories may affect your appetite and your
Solid foods require more chewing, which might grant more time for the
Another theory as to why solid food help reduce hunger is that the extra chewing time allows solids to stay in contact with your taste buds for longer, which can also
Aim to include a variety of textures and flavors in your meal to stay satisfied and get a wide variety of nutrients.
Eating thick, texture-rich foods rather than thin or liquid calories can help you eat less without feeling more hungry.
Under normal conditions, your brain helps your body recognize when you’re hungry or full.
However, eating too quickly or while you’re distracted makes it more difficult for your brain to notice these signals.
One way to solve this problem is to eliminate distractions and focus on the foods in front of you — a key aspect of mindful eating.
As opposed to letting external cues like advertisements or the time of day dictate when you eat,
Nevertheless, it appears that mindful eating works best for limiting food cravings and increasing your awareness around food when it’s paired with a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and other
Eating mindfully has been shown to decrease hunger and increase feelings of fullness. It may also reduce calorie intake and help cut down on emotional eating.
When your appetite or hunger levels are high, it can be especially easy to eat more than you planned.
Eating slowly could leave you feeling more satisfied at the end of a meal and reduce your overall calorie intake during a meal.
You might have heard that eating from a smaller plate or using a certain size utensil can help you eat less.
Yet, other studies have found conflicting results.
Researchers are beginning to understand that how the size of your dinnerware
The benefits of
Experiment with different plate and utensil sizes to see for yourself whether they have any effect on your hunger and appetite levels or how much you eat overall.
Eating from smaller plates may help you unconsciously eat less without increasing your feelings of hunger, though the results of this technique can vary greatly from person to person.
Exercise is thought to
Overall, exercise appears to have a relatively positive effect on appetite for most people, but it’s important to note that
In other words, there’s no guarantee the results will be the same for everyone. However, exercise has many benefits, so it’s a great idea to incorporate movement you enjoy into your day.
Both aerobic and resistance exercise can help increase fullness hormones and lead to reduced hunger and calorie intake. Higher intensity activities might have the greatest effects.
Getting enough quality sleep might also help reduce hunger and
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most adults need
Getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night is likely to reduce your hunger levels throughout the day.
Excess stress is known to raise levels of the hormone cortisol.
Although its effects can vary from person to person,
Stress may also
On the other hand, some people react differently to stress.
One study found that acute bouts of stress actually
Whether you’ve noticed that you tend to feel hungrier when you’re under stress or often find yourself stress eating in tense situations, consider some of these techniques to alleviate your stress:
- eat a healthy diet rich in stress-relieving foods
exercise regularly sip green tea
- consider a supplement like ashwagandha
try yoga or stretching limit your caffeine intake
Reducing your stress levels may help decrease cravings, increase fullness, and even protect against depression and obesity.
Ginger has been linked to many
When it comes to appetite, ginger actually has a reputation for
Still, more studies in humans are needed before strong conclusions about
In addition to adding flavor and settling your stomach, ginger may help decrease feelings of hunger. Yet, more research is needed to confirm this effect.
Snacking is a matter of personal choice. Some people like to include snacks as part of their daily meal routine, whereas others don’t.
If you’re having trouble regulating your hunger and appetite levels throughout the day, some
To promote feelings of
- healthy fats
- complex carbs
For instance, a high protein yogurt
In fact, eating a serving of high protein yogurt in the afternoon not only helps
Eating a protein or fiber-rich snack will likely decrease hunger and may prevent you from overeating at your next meal.
The relationship between appetite, hunger, and cravings is complex and includes many biological pathways.
Researchers are still
Some people tend to
For most people, it’s not necessary to completely cut your favorite foods out of your diet. You can and should eat your favorite foods, after all.
If you have a craving for a certain specific food, enjoy that food in moderation to see whether it relieves the craving and lowers your appetite again.
Enjoying the foods you crave in moderation might be more effective at reducing hunger and cravings than depriving yourself of them completely.
Hunger and appetite are normal bodily functions.
Typically, they’re simply a sign that your body needs energy and it’s time to eat.
The tips mentioned here are just a few simple ways to reduce your appetite and hunger during times when it feels like those sensations are higher than normal.
If you’ve tried these things but still find yourself feeling hungry more than usual, consider talking with a healthcare professional about additional support for regulating your appetite.
Just one thing
Try this today: Did you know that emotions like boredom can sometimes be confused with hunger? This article on boredom eating can help you discern between true hunger and emotional hunger.