When you are stressed, your body kicks up production of the hormone cortisol. “High levels of cortisol can lead to an accumulation of abdominal fat as well as other chronic health problems,” says New York City nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, the founder of Nutritious Life. Cortisol also causes the body to form a resistance to leptin—a hormone that sends the signal to the brain that you are full, she says. “The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you secrete, and the less able you are to tell when you are full.” There’s more to it too, she says. “During times of stress, we tend to crave high sugar, high carbohydrate foods that produce serotonin and make us feel calm and in control. So, reducing stress will help reduce these cravings.” She suggests carving out a few minutes to practice deep breathing each day. “Close your eyes, clear your mind, and breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth,” she says.
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Sip and soothe the central nervous system with this tea. The hop, a component in beer, is a sedative plant whose pharmacological activity is due primarily to the bitter resins in its leaves. Hops increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps combat anxiety. New research suggests simple food choices can make the difference between feeling anxious and feeling calm and in control — and that’s a big deal. Eighteen percent of the population suffers some form of anxiety disorder, and experts say everyday worry can quickly snowball into a crippling condition if it’s not dealt with swiftly. And it all begins in the kitchen. Anxious? Avoid these Foods That Make Anxiety Worse.
Drinking two glasses of water before each meal helps to tame a ferocious appetite, says Bauer.” If water bores you, jazz it up by adding slices of citrus or cucumbers—or a shot of fruit juice,” she suggests. (Here are more flavored water recipes that will make you want to drink up.) Bonus: “If you swap in seltzer water, the bubbles create an even greater sensation of fullness.” Another way to hydrate is to crunch on water-rich veggies—lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, and celery. “With more than 95 percent water, these five filler-uppers will keep your appetite in check.” Eat more of these 38 fat-burning foods that help you lose weight.
An appetite for spicy food may say certain things about your personality—but more importantly, spicy foods can act as natural appetite suppressants. “The active ingredient in many spicy foods is capsaicin, a compound that acts as a natural appetite suppressant,” adds Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of DrAxe.com, bestselling author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition. Not only that, he says, but capsaicin also boosts metabolism so your body burns more calories throughout the day. “Except for bell pepper, all pepper varieties contain a good amount of capsaicin and can be easily added to everything from salsa to soups and sauces,” he says. Cayenne peppers have other health benefits too. As a bonus, “adding a few dashes of the spicy stuff will slow down your eating,” which could lead to your eating less overall, says New York City-based nutritionist Joy L. Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, the founder of Nourish Snacks, the health and nutrition expert on The Today Show, and author of several books including From Junk Food to Joy Food.
Hunger is your body's way of communicating that you need to eat food. Your body gets energy from nutrients in foods. Without energy, your body cannot function, so it's vitally important to pay attention to those cues. Lots of diet foods and strategies are designed to convince your body that you're full, so you eat less and subsequently lose weight. But, over time, eating foods that trick you into feeling full can lead to binging, overeating, and malnutrition. For example, if you eat appetite-suppression crackers all day, you might feel full, but you'll also be depriving yourself of other nutrients. The same goes for sucking on these lollipops all day.
Ah, quinoa. This healthy, rich-tasting whole grain/seed has so many nutritional riches that it puts refined grains like white rice to shame. Tofu is the perfect sidekick because it’s both waistline-friendly (per bite, tofu tends to have about one-third the calories of meat and poultry) and heart-friendly (tofu has no artery-damaging saturated fat or cholesterol).
Put into a soup pot 1 can of no-salt-added red beans (drained), 4 cups low-sodium vegetable juice like Knudsen’s Very Veggie Low-Sodium Juice, 2 to 3 teaspoons oregano or Italian-style seasoning, and 2 cups of any veggies you already have sitting in the refrigerator bin, such as carrots, celery, and onions. Rough-chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces and bring to a boil, simmering until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. If desired, top with a tablespoon of fat-free sour cream.

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