Let’s face it when we are working on changing our nutrition to decrease our calorie intake and limit our exposure to processed food, we can use some help overcoming cravings & the natural increase in appetite that some people feel in response to a lowering in calorie intake.
Remember, the first thing is to never drop your calories more than 20-30% of your needs. Whichever end you can handle, stay there. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
2) Low carb vegetables especially leafy greens – These are extremely low in calories, but are very high in micro nutrients & fiber. As a result they are the most nutrient dense food. These do not have to be counted (carbohydrate or calorie wise) but obviously contribute to your 10 fists of fruits & vegetables daily.
3) Soluble fiber – this can be either in the form of a fiber supplement (Benefiber, etc…) or a specific supplement like PGX (soluble-fiber like). Guar gum, Xanthan gum or Pectin could all work individually or combined together (and mixed with liquid). These will essentially swell up in the stomach and hold the food in the antrum (lower part of the stomach) longer before emptying. This ensure that your satiety (fullness felling) lasts longer. Again, doing this 15-20 minutes before a meal can significantly reduce your appetite at meal times.
4) Fresh apples or pears – these fruits contain a high amount of soluble fiber (pectin) and water. So eat one of these 15-20 minutes before a meal and combine with 1) to see maximal results. Remember to count the carb and calorie content of this choice.
5) Broth, – this combines number 1) (water) with the flavor of chicken or beef and some of the nutritional content if made from scratch that help decrease appetite. Choose chicken or beef broth that is lower in sodium (if store bough it will still be relatively high).
6) Green tea or lemon in hot water – these provide an astrigent/sour flavor which override the taste buds and effectively shut down our perception for sweet and salty for a period of time following consumption. These are great strategies not only to use at meal times but also for times when you might be struck with cravings for sweet or salty foods (i.e. junk foods), for example in the evening.
I hope you find these strategies useful! Try them and see what they do for you!
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Have a great day!
Dietitian Dan T