In the ongoing struggle to lose weight – or maintain a healthy weight – controlling your calorie intake is absolutely vital. This can be hard for many reasons. Primarily, because food is delicious. And, in a cruel twist, calorie-dense foods tend to be the most delightful of them all. So, then, controlling your hunger is a key first step toward successfully controlling your weight. To help, here are four healthy ways to curb your appetite.
- Drink more water. You’ve heard it millions of times before but, just to drive the point home: Water is incredibly good for you. Surprisingly, though, good ol’ H20 might just be the missing ingredient in your weight-loss arsenal. A 2010 study, published in the journal Obesity, took overweight adults and separated them into two groups: the first group ate a low calorie diet while the second group had a low calorie diet plus 16oz of water before every meal. At the end of the 12-week study, everybody lost weight. No big surprise there. What was shocking, though, was that the water group lost an average of 4lbs more than the nonwater group. The accepted theory is that the water made the subjects feel full and therefore more likely to eat less at the subsequent meal.
- It might seem counter intuitive but a solid workout could actually make you less hungry. Studies in the past have shown the people who are given total control over their calorie intake tend to eat less immediately following their workouts, but for years researchers didn’t fully understand why. A 2012 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, finally answered the question, though. The paper reported that exercise essentially decreases the amount of pleasure you get from food, in addition to the strength of sensations of hunger but reducing your brain’s sensitivity to chemicals that produce these feelings. It’s important to realize, however, that these changes are only temporary – taking place immediately after your workout.
- Eat more protein. Modifying the overall makeup of your diet can have a powerful impact on your hunger. For example, favoring more protein-rich foods is one of the most important changes that you can make to help control your appetite. To demonstrate this fact, consider the findings of a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers put their subjects on three different diets. The first was a calorie controlled diet, designed to maintain their current weight at 15% protein, 35% fat, and 50% carbohydrate. Next, they ate 30% protein, 20% fat, and 50% carbohydrate. Finally, they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted as long as their macronutrient profile was 30% protein, 20% fat, and 50% carbohydrate. Not only did the high protein diet product the largest amount of weight loss, it did so despite the fact that the dieters were in control of their calorie intakes. The researchers found that this occurs as a result of proteins influence on our hunger hormones, naturally reducing appetite. To get the most out of this effect, try investing in a high-quality protein supplement like Gnarly Whey that will give you all the protein you need in a convenient little package.
- Eat more fiber. Another seemingly minor change you can make to achieve control over your appetite is to work more fiber into your diet. Since fiber is the part of the plant that actually cannot be digested by your body, this makes complete sense. Similar to water, fiber fills you up and reduces your overall feelings of hunger – an effect that research shows can even impact the amount of food that you eat 75 minutes later. As a bonus, fiber provides no calories on it’s own is adding it to your diet won’t risk any extra weight gain, either.
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