Having an appetite is usually a sign of good health. But when you take advantage of having an appetite, the last thing it's going to produce is a healthy outcome. You can become overweight and obese. In this case, your risk increases for debilitating diseases including arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. If you are already in this situation or want to prevent it from happening, there are several steps you can take to control your appetite--and it can be done without the use of synthetic substances.
Add more fiber to your diet. Fiber can't be digested in the stomach. When it comes to controlling your hunger, fiber can work to your advantage. When you eat foods that are high in fiber, they create bulk in your stomach that can fill you up quickly and keep you feeling full for an extended period. Foods that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts.
Increase your water intake. Water is a necessary nutrient for the body to function. It helps keep you hydrated, aids in metabolism and helps flush toxins from your system. To control your appetite, drink a glass of water before you eat a meal. This gives you a fuller feeling and causes you to eat fewer overall calories.
Eat multiple times during the day. When you eat a meal in the morning and don't eat again for five to six hours, you're going to become ravenous. This can likely lead to overeating and gaining weight. To keep your hunger under control, eat a small, balanced meal every two to three hours throughout the day. Make sure you make these meals a balance of protein and complex carbs that are high in fiber. Examples are baby carrots and cheese cubes, cottage cheese and chopped up peaches, celery stalks with peanut butter and a whole wheat pita with a chicken breast and raw veggies.
Eat at a slow pace. When you eat fast, you're more prone to eating higher amounts of food and your appetite can still be out of control. Eat slowly so your stomach can receive a signal that it's satisfied. It takes approximately 20 minutes for this to happen, so chew each bite thoroughly.
Eliminate trigger foods. Simple carbohydrates that are highly processed can spike blood sugar levels and force your pancreas to release insulin to stabilize them. This can cause you to have a burst of energy, then become tired and then become hungry again. Avoid foods such as crackers, cakes, doughnuts, candy bars, soda, processed fruit juices and sweetened teas.
Get enough sleep. If you're sleep-deprived, the hormones that help control appetite can become out of balance. To avoid this from happening, make sure to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. This is the recommended amount set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.