5 Ways to Control Your Appetite

Woman sitting at an empty plate ready to eat

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Does your appetite seem to be on over-drive? Don't worry you can learn how to control your appetite with a few simple tips and tricks. Check out these five simple tips for keeping hunger in control.

Divide and Conquer to Eat More Often

To prevent getting overly hungry, you can turn one eating episode into two or three smaller meals. Each meal will be smaller, but still satisfying.

For example, if you normally eat a bowl of soup and a sandwich for lunch, eat your sandwich at your regular lunchtime. Then heat your soup later as an early afternoon snack. Or split each item in half and eat just half of both your sandwich and soup serving at lunchtime and the rest a few hours later.

Fill Up on Fiber to Curb Hunger

If you are feeling especially hungry when you sit down to a meal, you may eat too much. You'll eat the wrong portion of food or refill your plate two or even three times. But you can curb this habit.

To avoid overeating, fill up on fiber-rich vegetables before you eat any other type of food. Veggies often function as a side dish, but using vegetables as a pre-meal appetizer can help control your appetite because the fiber fills you up first. If you still want seconds, another serving of veggies is ideal for rounding out your meal in a healthy way.

Act Like a Kid to Eat Less

Do you know why you eat when you're not hungry? If you have been giving up many of your favorite foods to lose weight, you might eat when you don't need to. You might be eating because you feel deprived. But you can fix this pickle if you act like a kid.

When you were a child you probably ate all your favorite foods first and left that pesky little pile of broccoli until the last second. If you want to control your hunger in a pinch, eat only the foods that you want and leave the rest. Just for one day, indulge your inner child to help yourself feel satisfied. 

Eat Enough at Mealtime

Regular, healthy snacks are a great way to keep your appetite in check. But snacking doesn't work for some dieters. Some dieters eat too much when they snack. They use the extra eating episodes to indulge in an overload of calories.

But you can skip snack time if you eat enough at your regular meals. If you are following a healthy diet meal plan that includes snacks, add those missing calories into your meal instead. Be sure to include protein such as eggs, lean meat, or fish in each meal as it will provide a longer-lasting sense of fullness and boost your energy.

Eat "Slow" Snacks

Remember that it takes up to 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that you have eaten and are full. So the longer it takes to eat a food, the more likely you'll be to control your appetite and eat less. Choose foods that require a lot of chewing and take longer to consume. Here are some ideas for snacks that will slow you down:

  • Baby carrots with low-fat dip
  • Reduced-fat cheese on whole-grain crackers
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Microwaved apple with cinnamon on top
  • Baked tortilla chips with salsa or fat-free bean dip

There is no single strategy that helps everyone to eat less. But if you try these tips you'll be sure to find one that will help you to control your appetite.

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