When it comes to weight loss, many of us, myself included, look for a magic bullet that will help us to quickly lose a lot of fat in the shortest period possible. Alas! That’s not how it works because losing weight will take as much time as it took for you to gain it in the first place. By now, we all should know that losing 1-2 pounds each week is the safe bet to slowly but surely win the weight-loss race.
In my journey, I have discovered several tips and tricks to help me lose weight once and for all and thus far I’ve lost 25 pounds. I still have a lot more weight to lose, but I’m well on my way. I like sharing the lessons I’ve learned as I go along, so for this article, I’ll be discussing foods that can serve as natural appetite suppressants.
Eating these foods and/or supplements will help curb hunger pangs for longer periods and lead you to consume fewer calories overall which leads to slow and steady weight loss. Let’s get into these natural appetite suppressants, first up:
Dietary Fiber – Psyllium, Konjac & Pectin
So what the heck is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber is the fiber found in fruits and vegetables that is condensed into a powdered or supplemental form. Normally I don’t advocate for taking supplements to replace actual food but in this instance, we get the best of both worlds – easy to take high fiber supplements that are wholly derived from plant sources.
The recommended daily allowance of fiber is between 25 to 30 grams, but most of us get only about half that amount because we don’t eat enough high fiber foods or find it difficult to do so. Fiber is essential to our dietary well being because it helps to rid the body of undesired compounds and helps us to stave off common diseases. Among fiber’s benefits:
- Clears out bad LDL cholesterol which helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes
- Slows the absorption of sugar and regulates insulin response
- Makes us feel full and discourage overeating
Given that many of us don’t eat enough of high fiber foods like lentils, beans, broccoli, etc., it’s a good thing that we can get dietary fiber from food-based products like psyllium, glucomannan/konjac, and pectin. Let’s take a closer look at each of these high fiber supplements and how they act as natural appetite suppressants.
Psyllium is a dietary fiber derived from the husks of the seeds of a medicinal plant known as Plantago Ovata. Psyllium husk is the primary ingredient in many commercially produced fiber supplements used to treat constipation, and mild diarrhea. It’s also been shown to lower cholesterol in people with high cholesterol as well as lowering blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Psyllium forms a gel when mixed with water so it can help to make you feel full for a longer time. Take caution to take plenty of water if and when using psyllium fiber supplements because it can cause choking otherwise. You can also use psyllium in your cooking, specifically for low carb or keto baked goods like my low carb bread rolls.
Glucomannan or konjac is a water-soluble fiber extracted from the roots of the elephant yam also known as Konjac root. Glucomannan is used to make the calorie-free food known as shirataki noodles. It’s also used as a food thickener and may come in a powdered form. Like, psyllium, care must be taken when consuming konjac powder and pills, and sufficient liquids (at least 8 oz.) must be taken in conjunction to avoid a choking hazard.
Glucomannan gives a feeling of fullness and effectively suppresses appetite when taken in advance of a meal. It’s even better if you make your meal using the actual yam or shirataki noodles. Glucomannan may also help lower cholesterol and is used to treat constipation.
Pectin is a soluble fiber derived from citrus fruits, apples, and other terrestrial plants. Pectin fiber binds to cholesterol in our digestive tracts and slows glucose absorption by trapping carbohydrates. Pectin has a variety of uses from culinary to pharmaceutical, but for our purposes, we can use it as an effective appetite suppressant.
As pectin enters our digestive tracts, it becomes a gelatinous mass that lends a feeling of fullness and helps us to consume less food and thus fewer calories. Pectin has also been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.
Taking these three forms of dietary fiber offers more than appetite suppression, you also get the benefit of lower LDL cholesterol levels as well as lowered absorption of glucose – especially important for people with type 2 diabetes.
By now you know how much I love and value avocados, not only for its nutrients but also because it’s a great appetite suppressant. The avocado is one of the few fruits with high-fat content, for example, one medium avocado has about 21 grams of mostly healthy poly and monounsaturated fats.
Technically a berry, you can eat avocado plain, or make avocado toast or guacamole dip. The high fat in avocados coupled with a high fiber content makes them an excellent appetite suppressant that keeps you full for hours.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in both fat and dietary fiber, making them a good choice for a quick snack when you’re feeling peckish. The sheer variety of nuts and seeds means that you’ll never be bored looking for ways to enjoy them. The easiest way is simply to buy a container of mixed nuts but feel free to explore by mixing and matching your favorites.
Among the best nuts and seeds for appetite suppression are:
This is by no means an exhaustive list of nuts and seeds that can help to suppress appetite. They are, however, a few that allow you to make a quick and easy snack when hunger pangs hit between meals. Popcorn is a perennial favorite, but you can also make a quick chia pudding with coconut flakes or a smoothie fortified with flax seeds. Just experiment with your favorites and come up with your own special mix.
If you’re not into nuts and seeds, fear not, Greek yogurt is also an excellent natural appetite suppressant. When I say Greek yogurt, I mean organic, plain full-fat Greek yogurt, not the sugary, chemical-laden versions available in stores these days. Plain Greek yogurt has several components that make it a perfect natural appetite suppressant, namely, it’s packed with protein which helps to keep you feeling full longer.
Greek yogurt also has other great nutrients like calcium and probiotics and it evens help to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of type2 diabetes. This superfood is one of the best and most delicious natural appetite suppressants you can find, just add a few berries and a sugar-free sweetener to reduce the tartness.
Final Thoughts On Natural Appetite Suppressants
Eating foods like avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, and Greek yogurt provide numerous benefits aside from weight-loss, because of their high fiber content, you get also get lowered bad cholesterol levels, mitigation of type 2 diabetes and better overall cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
Food is the cure to all that ails us as it gives us the nutrients we need to repair and rebuild our bodies. Eating foods rich in fiber also helps us to lose excess weight because these foods make us feel full quickly and for longer periods. When you’re feeling hungry and don’t want to overeat, reach for these types of foods to help you on your weight loss journey.
How do you control your appetite? Let us know in the comments. Until next time: Happy Eating!