It's hard to watch what you eat when your stomach is growling and your brain is calling out with cravings. Even when dieting, you should never ignore your hunger! Instead, stock your pantry with these foods to help keep you fuller for longer.
1. Water: Water is very important to a healthy body. Often, a craving can be cured with just a glass of water because your brain can misinterpret thirst for hunger. If a glass of water doesn't cut it, try something high in water content like fruits and veggies.
2. Apples: According to Dr. Oz, "Soluble fiber in apples, called pectin, reduces the amount of sugar and calories that's absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal… Apple pectin prevents spikes in blood sugar that lead to increased fat storage. It will help you avoid the blood sugar 'crash' that leaves you craving more food." Click here to learn more about what an apple a day can do for you.
3. Bran: Bran is full of fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate you can't digest and has zero calories. Bran is one of the best sources of fiber and will physically expand in your stomach, making you feel fuller. This is one of the best appetite suppressants out there! Take a teaspoon with a large glass of water, or add it into your shakes or applesauce for a more filling snack. It's best taken in the mornings or after dinner, but if you eat bran in between meals, drink water with it.
4. Edamame: You can have half a cup of edamame for about 95 calories. That alone makes it the perfect snack, but the eight grams of protein you get with it will keep you full until your next meal!
5. Almonds: Just a handful of almonds can give your body a boost of antioxidants, vitamin E and magnesium. They have ben shown to increase feelings of fullness, but don't eat too many, as the calorie count can add up faster than you might think.
6. Green tea: The benefits of green tea are seemingly endless. Green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that increases the hormone cholecystokinin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiation. It also stimulates your metabolism and helps you burn fat. Drinking green tea can leave you feeling full for two to four hours depending on what you've eaten that day, but over time, daily consumption can help prevent storage of extra fat and improve your body's ability to burn fat.
7. Avocados: Full of healthy monounsaturated fats, an avocado is great for keeping you full. Add some to your breakfast toast or into your salad at lunch to keep you from getting hungry before your next meal. Sounds good, right? Check out these 50 ways to cook with avocados!
8. Red wine vinegar: Adding this vinegar to your meals helps keep food in your stomach longer so the release of your hunger hormones is delayed. It can also improve your digestion! You can add a tablespoon to sparkling water or add it into your cooking.
9. Pine nuts: High in omega-6 fatty acids, pine nuts have the type of fat that can promotes weight loss while reducing the craving for food intake. They make for a great healthy snack or can be made into a yummy homemade pesto! Add pine nuts to a veggie dish, salad or even some noodle dishes.
10. Mint: Just the smell of mint is able to suppress your appetite! Plus, it has a calming effect. Light a mint-scented candle or drink some mint tea to help you cut back on the snacking.