How can I curb my appetite?

Question: I seriously need something to help curb my appetite. What are some foods I can eat to help with that? or is there a supplement I can take?

Answer: My favorite part of your question is that you asked about foods first and supplements second. As I dietitian, that is one of my mottos. Let's see what food can do first.

Regarding your appetite, there are a few things that can make a huge difference.

First, make sure you are eating a good breakfast with high fiber, whole grains and protein. Many times people will have a little bowl of cereal or a banana and wonder why they are so hungry an hour later. Choosing foods with natural fiber and protein requires more time for the body to digest thereby keeping you full longer. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact did you know:
  • Eating breakfast can prevent overeating later in the day. Skipping breakfast makes you feel ravenous later, and you may unintentionally overeat. In fact, skipping breakfast actually increases your risk of obesity.
  • Eating breakfast starts a healthy day. People who eat breakfast regularly tend to overall eat a healthier diet that is higher in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Eating breakfast gives you energy. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the energy stores depleted while you sleep. Skipping breakfast is associated with decreased activity and sluggishness, both physically and mentally.

Our new Living Well Breakfast is a great way to start the day. We have a fantastic variety of foods with protein, vegetables, and fiber. View the selection and nutrition analysis here: http://www.marketstreetunited.com/livingwell/breakfast.asp

Second, make sure that your meals are not too heavy in carbohydrates. They break down easily in the body and leave us hungry soon after. Again, like breakfast, try to include natural fiber (fruits/vegetables/whole grains), lean protein (turkey, beans, chicken, tofu), and some healthy fats (olives, olive oil, nuts, nut butters, etc). You should eat enough that you are satisfied and not feel hungry for 3-5 hours. Ideally, you'd want to eat 5-6 small meals per day about every 3-5 hours.

Third, make sure you are drinking enough fluids. Many times, our bodies are merely thirsty but we interpret the cue as hunger. Drink so that your urine is pale yellow to clear all day long.

Lastly, make sure you are eating the right amount of calories. At the appropriate calorie level, you should feel good and not excessively hungry. I would encourage you to work one-on-one with a dietitian to determine the calories you need for your age, height, weight and health goals. You can find one based on your zip code and with the specialty you are interested in here: http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdfinder/

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