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Weight Loss » How To Decrease Your Appetite Permanently: Safe Tricks To Quench Hunger Pangs

How To Decrease Your Appetite Permanently: Safe Tricks To Quench Hunger Pangs

how to decrease your appetite permanently

One famous food quote says “Appetite comes with eating, but thirst departs with drinking,” meaning that once your natural desire to eat, it will not go away until you consume something. Some people cannot control their appetite, and this leads to consuming more calories than they need in a day, leading to obesity and the overweight condition that comes with numerous health conditions. It is, therefore, an interest of anyone to know how to decrease an appetite permanently so that you are eating only what is enough for your body to function optimally and for your overall well being.

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Interested in learning how to decrease your appetite permanently? You may have tried not to think about food as a strategy to curb your appetite, but your mind is too powerful, and therefore your stomach can not resist a good meal or snack. This may be because the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite and when triggered, stimulates hunger, and its levels drop only when we eat (35).

How to decrease your appetite permanently 

How to suppress your appetite mainly depends on the hormones which are communicating your need to eat to the brain. These include ghrelin that actually makes you feel hungry, and neuropeptide Y that particularly stimulates cravings for carbohydrates (9, 22). Since it may be impossible to control these hormone levels, it’s equally important to keep in mind that losing your hunger cues completely may not be a good idea as it may deprive you of the nutrients you need for your body to work well. You should try healthy ways to reduce your appetite which is a way to concentrate on reducing them to avoid overeating. 

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Hunger Control:  How To Suppress Appetite Naturally

Food, supplements, and other appetite suppressants may help in hunger control. Since manufactured dietary supplements may have dangerous side effects, it is best to go for natural appetite suppressants that are healthy and risk-free to help prevent overeating. Remember, starving your body may lead to relapse of overeating as well as other harms, therefore you should eat the right amounts of appropriate foods to reduce hunger and cravings. Here is how to not be hungry through consumption of recommend foods (12).

  • Proteins 

Protein rich foods have a low calorie count per gram, but have the highest thermic effect in comparison to other food groups, making them high in satiety.  A review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded that there is enough evidence pointing to the fact that a higher protein consumption increases thermogenesis and satiety than lower protein diets, this leads to reduced subsequent energy intake (33). Another review in the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that dietary protein is key in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and obesity, as it acts on the proper metabolic targets of satiety and energy expenditure in negative energy balance, preventing a weight cycling effect (11). It can, therefore, be concluded that eating enough protein may promote weight loss partly through controlling appetite. Some high-protein foods include eggs, lean meats, poultry, fish, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans and peas, soy-based products.

  • Healthy Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically those in algae oils and fish may increase the levels of leptin, a fullness hormone, in obese people (24). Consume other healthy fats from natural sources like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds to control your hunger. Note that diets that are very low in fat may increase your hunger, instead of reducing it, so consider following low-fat diets in moderation.

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  • High-fiber foods

Unlike other foodstuffs, fiber does not break down to be digested, it therefore stays in the body for a longer period and slows down digestion, making you feel satisfied all day long. Fiber-rich foods stretch the stomach, slowing its emptying rate and triggers the release of fullness hormones. More viscous, soluble fiber found in food such as oatbran, barley, legumes and psyllium may be more effective in reducing appetite compared to the less viscous ones, while fermentable fiber in the bowel produces  short-chain fatty acids which may help promote feelings of fullness and nourish the colon wall (36). High-fiber diets are linked to lower obesity rates, and a 2015 review on Trends in Food Science & Technology concluded that  foods high in protein and fibre are effective at generating satiety, because of their breakdown and release of nutrients (25).

Foods rich in healthy fibers include beans, pulses, whole grains, vegetables, chia seeds, almonds, apples, and avocados. When it comes to supplements, Glucomannan, essentially a complex polysaccharide carbohydrate found in the konjac plant is very high in fiber, but very low in calories. It has  a long-chain structure that makes it difficult for the gut to digest quickly. Some clinical trials confirm that it reduces appetite because its gel-like consistency expands in their stomach, tricking the brain into believing that your stomach is full (19). Fenugreek is another soluble fiber which may delay stomach emptying, make you feel satisfied, and inhibit energy intake. Your total dietary fiber intake should be around 25 to 30 grams per day.

  •  Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates from starch are nutrient-rich, therefore,may make you fuller, while complex carbs are digested slowly, reducing your appetite and satisfying your hunger. These can be found in whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown and wild rice, and quinoa. 

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  • Bulky, Low-Calorie Foods

When dieting, opt for high-nutrient, low-calorie food suchs as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans,which may prevent the stomach from growling, and at the same time allow you to burn more calories than you consume.

  • Solid Calories

Solid calories may be more effective in stopping hunger than liquid ones, one reason being that the solids require more chewing therefore more time for the fullness signal to reach the brain. Also, more time for chewing allows them to be in contact with the taste buds for a longer period, promoting the feeling of satisfaction. One randomized controlled trial in the journal Appetite concluded that bite size and oral-sensory exposure time may lead to higher satiation within a meal for equal calories (26).

  • Water

Drinking water just before every meal may leave you more satisfied, fuller, and less hungry after eating. In a randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Nutrition, it was established that consuming 568 ml water as a preload immediately before a meal minimizes calorie intake, and might be an effective way of suppressing energy intake and help in managing weight (20). It is believed that this amount of water is enough to stretch the stomach and trigger it to send signals of fullness to the brain. Since water empties from the stomach very quickly, it is recommended that you drink it just before the meal for it to be effective in controlling hunger (2). Another study in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine concluded that drinking excessive water played a role in reduction of weight, body fat, and appetite suppression (15).

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  • Soup

Taking soup before a meal may have the same effect as water. It has been established that taking a preload of low-energy-dense soup, in various forms, may make you feel fuller, allowing you  to consume satisfying amounts of food (28).

  • Decaffeinated Coffee

Is caffeine an appetite suppressant? Yes. Taking coffee may be your answer to how to suppress appetite. One study shows that drinking decaffeinated coffee may acutely decrease hunger and increase the satiety hormone peptide YY (PYY), which is produced in the gut in response to eating, promoting a feeling of satisfaction (10). Another review established that taking caffeine 30 minutes–4 hours before a meal may influence appetite hormones, gastric emptying, and feelings of hunger (7). However, some studies show that the effect of coffee on appetite varies according to gender, whereby there was no effect in women (8). The effects of decaffeinated coffee may last for up to 3 hours after consumption. 

  • Dark Chocolate

The bitterness of dark chocolate may suppress appetite better than milk chocolate, as confirmed in a 2011 Nutrition & Diabetes publication which found that participants of the study felt more satiated, less hungry, and had lower ratings of potential food consumption after drinking dark chocolate than after taking milk chocolate (13). Chocolate bars with about 70% cocoa contain enough bitterness to control your appetite. Note that the stearic acid in dark chocolate may also help slow down digestion, thus increasing the feeling of being full. Additionally, it has been established that smelling this treat may decrease hunger hormones as much as actually eating it (5).Therefore, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the craving for sweet foods, and suppresses energy intake, in comparison to milk chocolate.

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  • Ginger

Did you know that consuming small amounts of ginger powder may increase fullness and reduce appetite? Other than reducing nausea, inflammation, muscle pain,and blood sugar levels, ginger may also help curb your appetite. One research showed that ginger consumption resulted in improved thermogenesis and reduced feelings of hunger (16). There is need for more studies to be carried out on this topic to establish for a fact that indeed the thermic effect in ginger may lead to hunger suppression.

  • Mindful Eating

Since the brain plays a huge role in deciding when and what you eat, concentrating when eating may help you eat less and control your hunger. When you eat quickly or while  distracted, the brain may fail to recognize signals of hunger and satisfaction. Mindful eating may also help you concentrate on quality instead of quantity, therefore minimizes binge and comfort eating (21). One study in the  Appetite Journal concluded that those who ate in the dark unknowingly consumed considerably larger  portions of food than those who ate in the light (14). Also, visualizing the food you eat may trick your mind into believing you have already eaten them, thus decreasing your craving for them.

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  • Pepper

Capsiate in sweet peppers and capsaicin in hot peppers may help in hunger control by making you feel satisfied (31). However, they should be purposefully added to the meals because they may lead to resistance effects. Another study in the Physiology & Behavior journal established that although the urge to eat fatty, salty, and sweet foods tended to be decreased more in non-users than users after a 1 gram of red pepper test load, it did not vary after a test load with no red pepper, suggesting that people may become desensitized to the effects of red pepper with long-term spicy food intake (32).

Other than the above, honey may suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin, making people feel fuller for longer, therefore, instead of sugar, you could use honey. Also, Griffonia simplicifolia, Caralluma fimbriata, and Garcinia cambogia have compounds which may help boost serotonin levels in the brain, increasing fullness levels and decreasing carb intake (1).

Other non-diet measures to curb your appetite

  • Minimize Stress

Stress may increase your desire to binge eat and may encourage you to eat non-nutritious foods. Excess stress raises hormone cortisol levels, which may increase the drive to eat and increase food cravings (34). Research shows that mindful-based interventions may alter obesity-related eating behaviors, particularly emotional eating, binge eating, and external eating, therefore, you should try relaxing through practicing yoga and meditation, sleeping better, and socializing to tackle stress that may increase your hunger (21).

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  • Exercises

Working out before eating has been established to be an effective natural appetite suppressant. In one systematic review, it was concluded that an acute short period of intense exercise may impact on appetite by suppressing the levels of acylated ghrelin while simultaneously raising the levels of fullness hormones PYY, GLP-1, and PP that may contribute to alterations in food and drink intake after acute workout (4). Also, this comparative study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that exercising minimized neuronal responses in the brain areas consistent with minimized pleasure of food, reduced incentive motivation to eat, and reduced anticipation and consumption of food (4). Therefore, both resistance and aerobic workouts may increase fullness hormones, helping decrease your appetite and calorie intake.

  • Losing middle-body fat 

The hormone that triggers appetite and energy balance is called neuropeptide Y (NPY), therefore, when the NPY levels are high, your appetite goes up. Research shows that body fat, particularly the one found around organs may increase NPY production (23). Therefore, losing weight around your waist may help minimize hunger and appetite levels.

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  • Sleep

Other than making you relax, quality sleep in itself may help curb your appetite. One clinical trial in the Annals of Internal Medicine established that short sleep duration is linked to decreased leptin levels, increased hunger and appetite, and increased ghrelin levels, and in another 2013 stuy, short-duration sleepers had lower satiety quotients than those who slept for the recommended hours (6, 27). Therefore, it is important to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day to control your hunger throughout the day. 

Note:

Other tips to suppress your hunger are:

  • Do not skip meals
  • Eat healthy snacks 30 minutes before meals
  • Avoid added sugars and refined food items
  • Find a nutrition system which optimizes your health

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 How Long Does It Take For Your Stomach To Shrink

The stomach is like a rubber band, therefore it is flexible and can change in size. The elasticity can make it quickly snap back to normal size after a  huge meal, but it may not continue to get smaller even if you start eating much less because once you become an adult your stomach remains almost the same size.

Control of your appetite plays a big role in your weightloss journey; however, instead of worrying about how to decrease your appetite permanently, focus on natural appetite suppressants that will help you control hunger in a healthy way. You need to eat right to focus on a healthy lifestyle that will help you manage your appetite and hunger pangs. Remember to consult a dietitian to discuss your options so that you can know how to improve your eating habits and reconnect with your appetite cues in a healthy and effective way.

If you want to do even more for your body, why don’t you supplement a healthy diet with some exercise? Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 10 Natural Appetite Suppressants That Help You Lose Weight (2020, healthline.com)
  2. 18 Science-Based Ways to Reduce Hunger and Appetite (2017, healthline.com)
  3. Acute Exercise and Hormones Related to Appetite Regulation: A Meta-Analysis (2013, link.springer.com)
  4. Aerobic exercise reduces neuronal responses in food reward brain regions (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  5. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women (2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. Brief communication: Sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite (2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  7. Caffeine, coffee, and appetite control: a review (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  8. Caffeine reduces spontaneous energy intake in men but not in women (1988, sciencedirect.com) 
  9. Chemical In Brain Is Most Potent Appetite Stimulant Ever Found (1985, apnews.com)
  10.  Coffee, hunger, and peptide YY (2012,pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  11. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  12. Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss (n., ods.od.nih.gov)
  13. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake (2011, nature.com)
  14. Dining in the dark. The importance of visual cues for food consumption and satiety (2010, .sciencedirect.com)
  15. Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  16. Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  17. How to Curb Your Appetite When It Feels Out of Control (2019, shape.com)
  18. How to Decrease Your Appetite (2020, wikihow.com)
  19. How to Decrease Your Appetite Permanently: Killing Old Habits (2018, instantknockout.com)
  20. Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  21. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Obesity-Related Eating Behaviors: A Literature Review (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  22. Neuropeptide Y in normal eating and in genetic and dietary-induced obesity (2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  23. Neuropeptide Y is produced by adipose tissue macrophages and regulates obesity-induced inflammation (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  24. Omega-3 fatty acids: a review of the effects on adiponectin and leptin and potential implications for obesity management (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  25. Optimising foods for satiety (2015, sciencedirect.com)
  26. Oral processing characteristics of solid savoury meal components, and relationship with food composition, sensory attributes and expected satiation (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  27. Short sleep duration is associated with a lower mean satiety quotient in overweight and obese men (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  28. Soup preloads in a variety of forms reduce meal energy intake (2007, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  29. Stress inhibits PYY secretion in obese and normal weight women (2015, link.springer.com)
  30. Ten natural ways to suppress appetite (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
  31. The effects of capsaicin and capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  32. The effects of hedonically acceptable red pepper doses on thermogenesis and appetite (2011, sciencedirect.com)
  33. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review (2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  34. What is eating you? Stress and the Drive to Eat (2013, .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  35. Why Does Hunger Vanish When You Ignore It Long Enough? (2017, livescience.com)
  36. Why Is Fiber Good for You? The Crunchy Truth (2018, healthline.com)
Jedidah Tabalia

Jedidah Tabalia

Jedidah is a passionate writer with over 5 years of experience in researching and providing content on healthy eating habits, specifically in relation to nutritious dieting, exercising, and weight loss that contribute to a person's overall well-being. She injects her go-getter mentality and can-do attitude into every article because she believes that happiness begins with good health, so the more people she inspires to embark on a healthy journey, the better. Jedidah provides tailored, evidence-based content that will ensure her readers that fitting healthy diets and workouts into their hectic lifestyles is not only possible, but easy and affordable.
She believes that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and a steadfast commitment to a healthy lifestyle is bound to pay off.

Soraya Ziou

Soraya Ziou

Hi everyone! I am a Canadian Registered Dietitian (RD) who graduated from the University of Ottawa, Canada. I worked at the Montreal Pediatric University Hospital and the Ottawa Heart Institute before joining the International Clinic of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. With a strong interest in community nutrition, I worked in Haiti and in Syrian refugee camps affected by the scourge of malnutrition. I am passionate about food and its science!

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