Watch late-night television and you'll see half a dozen advertisements for pills, shakes and supplements that promise to decrease your appetite. Unfortunately, there's no evidence to suggest that these costly nonprescription appetite suppressants are effective. Instead of wasting your money, take a few simple steps to diminish your appetite naturally. Address any concerns about your appetite and weight to your physician.
Eat breakfast. It's common knowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a morning meal will only help you manage your appetite if you eat the right type of food. Wellness director Lauren Whitt recommends breakfast foods such as plain, low-fat yogurt or egg whites, which are high in protein and which will keep your stomach full for longer.
Manage stress. When you are worried or anxious, levels of a hormone called cortisol increase dramatically in your body. High levels of cortisol are associated with an increase in appetite and cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods, according to Dr. Len Kravitz. Make a list of activities you can do when your stress levels are high, such as walking, calling a friend, deep breathing, taking a bath or jumping on the elliptical. Tape the list to the refrigerator as a reminder to work, not eat, through your stress.
Have a snack. Although it sounds counterintuitive, one of the best ways to decrease your appetite is to eat before you feel ravenous. Whitt recommends a small serving of an unsaturated fat such as nut butter or raw nuts. The oleic acid in these fats acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Another option is grapefruit, which lowers insulin levels in your body.
Plan ahead. Managing your appetite will take some preparation. Carry healthy snacks in your purse or briefcase so that you'll always have something available. Keep a pair of sneakers at your desk so that you can take a walk when you feel stressed. If you are too busy to make breakfast, whip up a smoothie or an egg white sandwich in the evening to take with you in the morning.