Eating too much of any food -- healthy or not -- will cause you to put on pounds. Even if you try to cut back, your appetite could undermine you and cause you to take in more calories than you need. You can naturally curb your desire to eat with foods you find right in your own kitchen. Know how to design meals to satisfy you with one serving, rather than several.
Fats for Fullness
Avocados, seeds and olive oil may be high in calories, but they have appetite-controlling qualities that make them a positive addition to your diet. A particular type of fatty acid, called oleic fatty acid, has the power to send hunger-curbing messages to the brain, according to what researchers determined in a study published in "Cell Metabolism" in 2008. In addition, Omega-3 fats, such as those found in salmon, can also suppress hunger by stimulating the release of a hormone called leptin.
Cayenne pepper and other hot spices can squelch your appetite. They contain compounds called capsaicin and capsiate, which a study published in "Chemical Senses" in 2012 determined that these compounds help discourage hunger sensations. If you're not up for hot spice, however, consider using more ginger in your dishes, as ginger helped reduce hunger sensations when consumed as a hot drink between meals, reported a study published in "Metabolism" in 2012. Cinnamon, along with nutmeg and cloves, may also help reduce your appetite by moderating your blood sugar levels.
Fiber-Rich Snacks for No Seconds
Almonds may be high in calories compared to "light" snacks, but they leave you feeling fuller so you consume fewer calories at other meals. When people added an extra 1 1/2 ounces of almonds to their daily meals, they maintained their weight because they naturally ate fewer calories at other meals, states a study published in a 2013 issue of the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Popcorn may have an even greater fullness effect. In fact, a snack of popcorn was more satisfying than pretzels, party mix or almonds, according to a study published in "The FASEB Journal" in 2012. The researchers suggest this is because of popcorn's whole grain and fiber content.
Protein-rich foods increase your feelings of fullness, which may be why diets higher in protein can be successful in helping you lose weight. Increasing your intake of protein daily from 15 percent to 30 percent results in a reduction in appetite that can lead to significant weight loss, reported a study published in a 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Whey protein, a derivative of milk sold in powdered form and added to recipes, may be particularly effective in suppressing your appetite. In a 2010 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition," a study showed that whey protein consumed four hours before an unlimited buffet led to fewer calories consumed when compared to tuna, egg or turkey meals.