When hunger strikes do you automatically reach for food? Appetite control is a problem for many people, and in some cases they’re eating out of boredom rather than true hunger. If you’re getting adequate calories and enough of the three major macronutrients in your diet, eating more food could lead to fat gain. So don’t head to the refrigerator when hunger strikes, try these appetite-suppressing strategies that don’t involve food.
Brush Your Teeth
When hunger tugs at your tummy and you know you’ve already eaten enough, pull out some mint or cinnamon toothpaste and polish your pearly whites. The fresh taste of mint or cinnamon will curb your desire to eat, and it can help save on dental bills too.
Quench Your Thirst
Some people mistake thirst for hunger. When hunger strikes head for the refrigerator – but not for food. Prepare a glass of iced green tea instead. Green tea helps to ease hunger and give your metabolism a boost. Don’t like the taste of green tea? Substitute water flavored with lemon or another non-caloric drink. If that doesn’t satisfy your hunger, sip a cup of coffee or a sugar-free hot cocoa to reduce your desire to eat.
Take a Brisk Walk
When hunger strikes, lace up your walking shoes, and take a brisk walk. If you’re feeling even more motivated, take a run. Exercise temporarily suppresses appetite by lowering the appetite hormone ghrelin. It’ll take your mind off that chocolate chip cookie too.
In a study carried out at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, participants who sniffed the aroma of peppermint, banana or apple when a food craving hit lost 30 pounds over a 6-month period. Keep a bottle of peppermint oil handy, and take a sniff when the urge to snack strikes.
Try a Little Zen
Meditation also helps to curb cravings. According to the American Psychological Association, mediation makes you a more “mindful” eater. When you meditate, you become more attuned to your hunger signals so you’re less likely to eat out of boredom. When a craving strikes, close your eyes and focus only on your breathing until the craving passes. This helps to relieve stress too, which is another cause of mindless snacking.
When you’re tempted to head to the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream, call a friend or do something else you enjoy. When your mind is distracted by something pleasurable, it reduces the desire to seek gratification through food.
The Bottom Line?
When hunger strikes, you don’t necessarily have to satiate it with food. Use one of these food free strategies to help the craving pass, and enjoy the calories you’ll save.
Jennifer Doerr “Good scents can help you lose weight – Think Healthy”. Shape. FindArticles.com. 19 Aug, 2011.