8 Natural Ways to Suppress Your Appetite (Without Pills)
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Losing weight should be a healthy and liberating process, not a lousy starvation diet.
And when we talk about appetite suppressants in this article, we don’t mean starving yourself or tricking your body into starvation in any way.
We’re talking about feeling more satisfied from our meals and avoiding boredom eating as much as possible.
The worst part about this is that we’re often not really and truly hungry.
We have cravings.
And we have limited willpower to just say no. To not walk over to the freezer and grab that piece of chocolate.
Nothing in this article is a magic pill for curing hunger. That doesn’t exist (unless you want a weight loss pill, which is an entirely different thing).
But adding more of the suggestions into your daily routine WILL help make resisting hunger habitual, which is key to stopping the bad food habits.
The following are scientific strategies that anyone can implement to naturally suppress the appetite and promote weight loss in a healthy and natural way.
1. Eat protein at every meal.
The absolute best first step that you should take in this process is to eat more protein during mealtimes.
This is the best way to feel more satiated during and after your meals and is why it’s a core component of our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge.
High protein meals have been shown conclusively to decrease appetite after meals and have even been shown to help people naturally reduce their calories by 441 per meal. (1, 2)
Every meal should contain a lean source of protein. Here are some great sources:
- Lean chicken, beef, lamb, etc.
- Fish (salmon is amazing for you)
- Whole eggs
- Protein smoothies or shakes (healthy recipes here)
- Nuts and seeds
- Other healthy vegetarian protein sources
Incorporate more protein into EVERY meal.
2. Drink coffee (decaf works too).
This is my personal favorite and go-to for staving off hunger in the mornings.
I pair coffee in the morning with intermittent fasting to eat less in the morning and avoid a big breakfast on my stomach first thing in the morning.
I’m actually pretty sensitive to caffeine too, so I opt for half-caffeinated or even decaf as it gets later in the day.
And strangely enough, it’s decaffeinated coffee that has been shown to reduce hunger and actually beats regular coffee and caffeine as an appetite suppressant(3, 4).
Coffee already has some incredible health benefits, including antioxidants, increased focus, and so much more.
BUT… remember to always try to drink your coffee black or with very few additives. If black isn’t your thing, a very small amount of milk or cream is acceptable.
But make sure to avoid sugar at all costs and absolutely no processed coffee drinks. We’re talking about the home-brew kind here!
3. Sip some peppermint tea.
This is another one of my personal favorites that I use to get me through the afternoons and evenings — especially the after-dinner sugar cravings!
Just the scent of peppermint tea has been shown to greatly reduce cravings, and people who drink it generally consume 1,800 calories fewer than normal (5).
Try to reach for this instead of the after-dinner chocolate or throughout the day whenever the hunger starts to set in.
Also, try to go for organic peppermint tea when possible.
P.S. Peppermint tea also helps with headaches, bloating, and colds or the flu, so if you’re feeling any of this, grab a warm cup! (6).
4. Drink more water.
I know, I know. This one seems obvious.
But I’m serious. You’re probably not drinking enough water. Most people don’t.
This one is definitely habitual.
I know I get into routines where I drink a LOT and then when I travel or something else disrupts my routine, I fall off the wagon again.
The thing with drinking more water is that we often mistake being hungry for actually just being thirsty.
It sounds dumb but it’s true. Google it if you don’t believe me.
And then go chug a full glass of water and tell me if you’re still just as hungry.
Try to challenge yourself to drink 100 ounces of water per day — spread throughout the day (so you don’t spend the morning in the bathroom).
For further reading, check out our article on drinking water to lose weight.
If you’re not a big fan of water, try adding some lemon, lime, other fruit, or opt for sparkling (not as good because it contains sodium).
5. Add apple cider vinegar to your water.
This is another one of my favorites to drink in the afternoon to fight those 2-3 pm snack (boredom) cravings.
Try mixing 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into a 10 oz (or more) glass of water.
It has a pretty potent taste, so adjust those measurements as you see fit.
It can take some time getting used to, but I promise it’s SUPER effective at helping you fight through the cravings.
Apple cider vinegar works as a natural appetite suppressor and also simultaneously helps detox the body. It can be a very effective weight loss tool when used properly.
It is made by crushing apples, squeezing out their juices, and fermenting the sugars into alcohol, which is then fermented into vinegar.
Make sure you find the kind with the “mother” in it, like this one, because it contains healthy proteins and enzymes.
Only the raw, unfiltered brands provide maximum health benefits.
If you absolutely can’t stand the taste of it, you can get it in a pill version, but it won’t help as much with suppressing the appetite specifically.
6. Up your spice game.
This one is a bonus for me because I’m from the South and we looove our spicy food!
I don’t eat my food super spicy, personally, but I do love a little bit of a Cajun kick to most of my savory meals.
Eating peppers and spicy foods has been shown to increase metabolism and help curb appetite (10, 11).
Start cooking with more peppers (which also add fiber as a bonus!) or even just pepper seasoning.
Try cayenne or Cajun seasoning, but just be careful with some mixed seasonings that they aren’t too high in sodium.
Sriracha is a pretty good sauce to add, but make sure to check the ingredients label for added sugar and sodium.
7. Eat more whole foods.
This is similar to adding more protein to your food. If you also pair it with whole foods filled with fiber that help you digest that protein…
You have the perfect combination for satiation.
The more satiating a food is, the less likely the stomach will become hungry after eating (6, 7).
Whole foods will fill you up without filling up your waistline.
Check out these foods ranked on their fullness factor that will leave you full without overloading on calories.
Here are some suggestions:
And pretty much every other fruit or vegetable.
Just be careful with some fruit as it can be high in sugar (even though it’s natural) and can still hinder weight loss in larger quantities: oranges, grapefruit, berries, etc.
8. Avoid sugar and processed foods.
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.
Eating empty calories will only leave you hungrier and craving MORE after you finish eating.
Sugary and processed foods are what wreak havoc on your system, cause insulin resistance, and absolutely sabotage your weight loss efforts.
I understand that it’s not feasible or realistic to ask you to cut out these types of foods completely.
I get it. I eat sugar too.
But I do try to minimize it and I try not to make it part of my daily habits.
Some sneaky “healthy” processed foods that are still not great for you:
- Oats (try whole oats rather than quick oats)
- Granola bars (I don’t care how healthy they claim to be)
- Most dairy products
- Bread (even whole wheat) and pasta
Good rule of thumb: Try to avoid anything in packages as much as possible.
Need some help building better food habits and getting your diet on track?
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Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article on natural appetite suppressants for healthy weight loss or have any questions!
Hm why is popcorn on the list of healthy foods to eat daily?
Popcorn is actually really great for you when it’s made properly! It’s extremely high in antioxidants and also rich in many nutrients, including folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins B, A, E, and K. It’s also high in iron, potassium, and zinc.
The key is how you make it. If you can air pop it and avoid using oils, one serving can come in at around 30 calories – which is SUPER LOW and makes it a great low-cal snack! Otherwise you can cook it on the stove in a saucepan with 1 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil and sprinkle a little sea salt on top.
Avoid processed popcorn that is packaged and microwavable, because it’s filled with bad oils, butters, and preservatives.
Hope that answers your question!
I’ve tried the cayenne thing, but I just can’t stand it! It’s way too spicy for me. Do you have any other suggestions?
Randy, I totally understand! It’s powerful stuff. Try cinnamon, instead! It’s not quite as effective as cayenne, but cinnamon also has a whole host of health benefits as well. So it’s really great to have in your diet as well! 🙂
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