IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE TRIED EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK TO KEEP HUNGER IN CHECK, THEN IT’S TIME TO TURN TO AN UNCHARACTERISTIC APPROACH TO HELP GET THE JOB DONE. TRY ADDING ONE OR ALL OF THESE ODD FOODS TO YOUR DAY TO FURTHER REDUCE HUNGER!
It’s no secret that hunger hits hard when you’re dieting. And the longer you diet, and further you reduce your calories, the louder your stomach growls. Maybe if you’ve been around the diet block a few times you’ve learned a few tricks like focusing on fluids, protein, and high-fiber carbs, but sometimes you need a bit more in your defense against hunger. Calm that hungry beast in your belly by making the following foods a regular part of your menu – within your calorie goals, of course!
#1: OLIVE OIL
Olive oil contains an abundance of heart-healthy, omega fats that provide immense health benefits. Aside from its high omega-3 content, olive oil is also rich in another omega fat, known as oleic acid, which is an omega-9 fat (the number represents the location of a double bond). This single nutrient may provide some serious appetite-suppressing benefits.
Olive oil may also help to control your appetite by providing fuel for a molecule known as oleoylethanolamide (OEA), which may serve as a hunger sensor in the brain. Once oleic acid enters the small intestine, it’s converted to OEA, which travels the blood stream and sends an appetite-suppressing message to the brain.1
OLIVE OIL (RICH IN OLEIC ACID) –> OLEIC ACID (SMALL INTESTINE) –> OEA –> TRAVELS TO BRAIN –> REDUCES HUNGER
Action Step: Consider coating the pan with olive oil before roasting your favorite lean protein or vegetables. You may also incorporate it as a salad dressing or to top off freshly baked bread. However, please note that olive oil itself is a high-calorie food. One tablespoon provides a whopping 120 calories! It’s important that you use olive oil as a source of fat for your day, rather than “in addition to” your usual intake. The former may lead to eating more calories than you need to reach your weight loss goal.
#2: WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that is known for its positive effect on muscle building. But it should also be high on your list of food you regularly incorporate to curtail your afternoon cravings. Whey protein is composed of several bioactive compounds, or small molecules that exert powerful effects in your body. One of these compounds, Glycomacroprotein (GMP), increases the production of the satiety hormone Cholecystokinin (CCK), which is a hormone produced in the small intestine that sends satiety signals to your brain.
A study published in the journal Appetite sought to determine the role of GMP played in appetite regulation.2Researchers provided subjects with a regular whey protein or a GMP-depleted whey protein before they sat down to an all-you-can-eat meal.
Subjects who drank the GMP-depleted whey protein ate significantly more food than the traditional whey protein group, which researchers attributed to the appetite-suppressing impact of GMP, given that was the only difference between groups.
Note: Don’t worry, your whey protein contains GMP. The GMP-depleted version was created in the lab.
Action Steps: Consider making whey a staple protein source that is regularly incorporated. Have a shake as a mid-morning snack, or, make a delicious, high-protein, peanut butter pudding in the evening.
#3: RYE BREAD
One of the great things about all whole grain breads is that they typically contain a hearty amount of fiber, which slows digestion and promotes fullness. What’s unique about rye bread, however, is that it’s rich in nutrients known as non-cellulose polysaccharides (distinct type of carbohydrates), which love to bind with water.3 This affinity for water is what allows rye to have such a strong impact on your appetite.
Choosing rye bread may enhance water absorption while the bread is passing through your digestive system. This leads to more space being occupied in your stomach, and ultimately, a stronger satiety signal being sent to the brain.
In a study published in “Food and Nutrition Research,” researchers examined the impact rye had compared to wheat on appetite and food consumed.4 Subjects were fed either a breakfast composed of rye cereal, or, refined wheat bread. They were then fed a pasta lunch and instructed to eat for pleasure at a provided dinner.
Those who consumed the rye breakfast group experienced prolonged satiety, lowered hunger, and less desire – as reported throughout various check points the next few hours – compared to the wheat breakfast group.
Action Steps: Try replacing rye bread for any of your favorite whole-grain options throughout the day to further curb your appetite.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
I’ll be the first to admit these claims sound crazy. But considering that there has been studies funded to further look into the purported benefits should lead you to agree that there’s at least something here. The significance of the benefits in this article is unknown, but if it’s an easy tweak to your day that helps you withstand an afternoon craving, then in my book, it’s 100 percent worth it.
- Schwartz, G. J., Fu, J., Astarita, G., Li, X., Gaetani, S., Campolongo, P., … & Piomelli, D. (2008). The lipid messenger OEA links dietary fat intake to satiety. Cell metabolism, 8(4), 281-288.
- Burton-Freeman, B. M. (2008). Glycomacropeptide (GMP) is not critical to whey-induced satiety, but may have a unique role in energy intake regulation through cholecystokinin (CCK). Physiology & behavior, 93(1), 379-387.
- Isaksson, H., Fredriksson, H., Andersson, R., Olsson, J., & Åman, P. (2009). Effect of rye bread breakfasts on subjective hunger and satiety: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition journal, 8(1), 1.
- Isaksson, H., Sundberg, B., Åman, P., Fredriksson, H., & Olsson, J. (2008). Whole grain rye porridge breakfast improves satiety compared to refined wheat bread breakfast. Food & nutrition research, 52.