It’s stunning how often we eat out of boredom, nervousness, habit, or frustration—so often, in fact, that many of us have actually forgotten what physical hunger feels like. If you’re hankering for a specific food, it’s probably a craving, not hunger. If you’d eat anything you could get your hands on, chances are you’re truly hungry. Learn how to recognize these feelings mistaken for hunger, then find ways other than eating to express love, tame stress, and relieve boredom. But talk to your doctor if you think you’re always hungry for a medical reason. Here are 10 medical reasons you might be hungry.
Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.
A whiff of peppermint may keep hunger at bay. “A study found that when participants smelled peppermint every two hours for five days, they consumed nearly 1,800 fewer total calories that week and rated their hunger level significantly lower than participants not exposed to peppermint,” Bauer says. She suggests lighting a peppermint candle, chewing on peppermint gum, or sipping on peppermint tea to get the appetite-suppressing benefits. Learn about 13 other things experts won’t tell you about weight loss.
Even if you do meet your goal, it's nearly impossible to keep off the weight over the long term: "The amount of restriction required [to maintain that number] will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct," Dr. Seltzer says. And since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, he adds. That could mean gaining more pounds than you lost in the first place.
In addition to decreasing your appetite through hormone regulation, nutrients or essential oils used for safely promoting weight loss can help tip the scale in your favor in several other ways, such as burning more stored body fat for energy (these are known as thermogenics), improving balance of blood sugar levels, curbing cravings for junk foods or sweets, improving thyroid health, increasing release of “happy hormones” or endorphins like serotonin, and possibly giving you a bit more energy throughout the day to be used for extra physical activity.
Thought I’d brag a little about my weight loss. First I lost a lot of weight, then I got sloppy in the summer/fall, suffered a sugar relapse and gained some back, and now I’ve lost it all again. And then some. This has to be the easiest weight loss ever. No calorie-counting, no weighing of food, no hunger or self-starvation. A lot of energy, and I’m stronger than ever. I’ve broken personal records in ALL exercises at the gym, in the running track, in fact everything I’ve tried. This despite the fact that I used to exercise double the amount when I ate a high-carbohydrate diet, but didn’t come close to where I am now in strength and good shape.
Ashwagandha tea gives you a better outlook on life and reduces stress hormones that can wreak havoc on your waistline. A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine found that “Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.” When it comes to weight loss, stress is not your friend. A recent study at Penn State found that people who react badly to stressful situations have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies—and inflammation is directly tied to obesity, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When anxiety rides high, you’re also at the mercy of stress hormones such as cortisol—known as “the belly fat hormone” for its ability to pull lipids from the bloodstream and store them in our fat cells.
"To a lesser degree, black tea has been studied and appears to work more in the intestine by preventing the fat absorption versus green tea. Both teas play a role in microbial gut health leading to an anti-obese environment," explains Valdez. "Overall, whether it be green tea, black tea, white tea, or lemon tea, they all have zero calories and provide hydration, which can be an opportunity to assist with weight loss versus consuming sugary beverages or alcohol. If you want a little antioxidant water, tea is a nice choice. And if you can't tolerate coffee, tea is a perfect substitute."
Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios and hazelnuts,as well as their nut butter variants, aren’t only delicious but are also handy snacks to take on the go. Their high protein and calcium levels will keep you satiated, and you won’t need much else to satisfy hunger pangs. Calcium-fortified plant milk such as soy, almond and rice milk are particularly nourishing. Why not try making your own homemade almond milk or cashew cheese?
Whether you already follow a vegetarian diet or are just looking to go meatless sometimes, this 7-day vegetarian meal plan makes it easy to eat meat-free and lose weight. Eating more plant-based foods is a great way to boost your health. A vegetarian diet has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer. In this 1,200-calorie vegetarian weight-loss meal plan, we make sure to include plenty of filling foods so you feel satisfied—not starved—while cutting calories. Protein rich beans and tofu, high-fiber whole grains, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, like nuts, help to keep you feeling energized all day long. Coupled this healthy plant-based meal plan with daily exercise and you're on track to lose a 1 to 2 pounds per week.
The ingredient list in this natural appetite suppressant will inspire confidence in taking it. There is a fair amount of caffeine, so you will need to be careful combining it with other caffeinated foods and beverages, but the rest of the ingredients list consists of herbs you’re sure to recognize. And, if you’re familiar with the benefits of these herbs, you’ll trust this supplement can do as it advertises: suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism while burning fat cells.
You need to consume a variety of vegetables and fruits to obtain all the necessary nutrients and minerals required by the body. A dietician would tell you to eat across the rainbow, i.e., you need to consume vegetables and fruits in all colors. This way, you can obtain optimum nutrients from these plant-based foods. Have papaya, apple, grapes, grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, plum, pear, pluots, figs, peach, blueberries, strawberries, starfruit, green apple, watermelon, and muskmelon. Have mangoes in moderation.
The German and Finnish militaries issued amphetamines to soldiers commonly to enhance warfare during the Second World War. Following the war, amphetamines were redirected for use on the civilian market. Indeed, amphetamine itself was sold commercially as an appetite suppressant until it was outlawed in most parts of the world in the late 1950s because of safety issues. Many amphetamines produce side effects, including addiction, tachycardia and hypertension, making prolonged unsupervised use dangerous.
Meal planning is a vital component to ensure proper nutrition and weight loss, and, thankfully, supermarkets now sell pre-packaged vegetables that are table-ready in minutes. Examples of fast-and-easy dishes include quinoa bowls with tempeh; a mixed stir-fry blend of broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms; eggplant cutlets with marinara sauce, vegan cheese, and basil; and soba noodles with greens. If these meals are beyond your scope, meal delivery services such as HelloFresh and meal-planning services such as PlateJoy provide easy-to-follow recipes that are pre-measured and dietitian-approved.
Another weight loss aid that is available in the UK is orlistat, a medication that works by reducing the amount of fat absorbed by your body from the food you eat. It is a prescription only medication and a GP or online doctor need to assess whether it’s suitable for you. Orlistat does not affect your appetite and you need to eat a low fat diet while taking it.