Hands down, one of the biggest complaints from individuals who are trying to lose weight is hunger….constant hunger. It’s also one of the fears people have that keep them from getting on a weight loss plan in the first place!
And even though there are no magic tricks or quick fixes when it comes to losing weight, there are some very real tips that can ease the struggle and keep you going strong on your weight loss journey.
That being said, here are four great appetite-suppressing foods, that can help kick the hunger and keep you to feeling full longer. And when eaten in conjunction with an overall healthy diet plan, they can help contribute to greater weight loss.
We started the list with avocado because we think that it’s one of the best superfoods on the entire planet. You probably already know that avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats, but it’s a certain type of fat, called oleic acid, that packs the true appetite-suppressing punch.
Oleic acid is classified as an omega-9 fatty acid. When you eat oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil, your body converts it to a compound called oleoylethanolamide, or OEA. Studies show that OEA travels to the gut lining, where it sends signals of satiety to the brain. That means you’ll feel full and satisfied longer!
Avocado is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of ways like topping a crisp salad, mixed in a delicious weeknight dinner, or blended in a breakfast smoothie.
A word of warning though: while avocados can help suppress appetite, they also contain a lot of calories due to their high fat content. When including avocados in your meal, pay attention to the proper serving size, which is one-third of a medium-sized avocado.
Greek yogurt is made by straining out the liquid whey from regular yogurt. This process not only makes the yogurt thicker, it also makes it higher in protein per ounce. According to research, protein keeps you feeling fuller than fat or carbohydrates; so any food that is high in protein has appetite-suppressing effects. Research shows that when people increase protein intake to 30 percent of calories from just 15 percent of calories, they report feeling less hungry and typically eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Greek yogurt can be eaten as a snack or a breakfast by itself, but is also a wonderful substitute for mayo and sour cream in a variety of dips and sauces.
A single 5.3-ounce container of Greek yogurt contains around 15 grams of protein, compared to just 7 grams for regular varieties; but be choosy when choosing yogurt. Flavored Greek yogurts still have the protein, but they can also contain as much sugar as a can of soda. Plain, nonfat or low-fat yogurt is best.
Flaxseed packs a one-two punch when it comes to appetite suppression. It’s rich in both omega-3 fats and fiber, two nutrients that keep you feeling full. Fiber is especially beneficial because it has a “bulking” effect. It expands and pulls water into the digestive tract, which leads to feelings of satiety, and doesn’t contribute any calories. The fat in flaxseed can also slow increases in blood sugar levels, which not only reduces hunger, but irritability as well which is super important when reducing calories.
One tablespoon of whole flaxseed contains 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of fat; but make sure to grind your flaxseed before consuming it because your body can’t properly digest whole flaxseed.
Spinach contains compounds called thylakoids, which can contribute to appetite suppression and a reduced food intake. According to research, when thylakoids are eaten with a high-fat meal, levels of Cholecystokinin, or CCK, and leptin, two hormones that signal to your brain that you’re full and to stop eating, are increased. However, thylakoids can also reduce ghrelin, the hormone that tells your body that you’re hungry. When combined with healthy carbohydrates, thylakoids can also help reduce cravings for sugar and sweets.
Each one of these foods can be used so many delicious ways to keep you full and satisfied along your weight loss journey.
Let us know your favorite ways to eat these foods. Share in the comments below!