Natural appetite suppressants

Avoid hunger pangs with these versatile diet options.

By Donna Fleming

Feeling constantly hungry may mean you are eating the wrong foods. Processed snacks, high in calories and sugar, throw blood sugar levels off balance and leave you wanting more. Try these alternatives, so you can feel fuller for longer.

When apples are digested, hormones send signals to the brain to tell you you’re full. One study has shown that people who ate an apple before their main meal, ate 15% fewer calories.

Green tea
This tea contains catechins, a substance that stimulates the body to burn more calories. Drinking three to six cups a day speeds up metabolism by up to 40%. It also contains antioxidants believed to produce leptin, which is responsible for controlling appetite and preventing you from feeling hungry.

Eggs contain a protein that staves off hunger pangs. According to a report in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, eating two scrambled eggs for breakfast resulted in the consumption of fewer calories for the rest of the day.

Pectin, a natural soluble fibre which slows down the digestive process, is found in lemons. US researchers recently found that this, combined with citric acids, can also slow the absorption of sugar after a meal.

An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that people who drank two glasses of water before eating, lost 2km more than people who didn’t.

Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which not only gives it its pungent smell, but suppresses appetite. It also releases hormones such as adrenaline, that has been proven to speed up your metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories.

A great source of protein, salmon is also packed full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can help reduce hunger.

Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, bok choy and lettuce contain plenty of fibre. Consuming high amounts of fibre sends a signal to your brain, telling you you’re full. These vegetables are also low in calories – in fact, it is possible to burn off the same amount of calories that they contain when you eat them!

Oat bran
A great source of fibre, oat bran is digested slowly, making you feel fuller for longer. It also helps lower cholesterol and is light on sodium. It can be sprinkled on cereal or added to baking. Try adding it to muffins, cookies, cakes and pancakes.

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