Hi guys, Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo, Texas.  Today we are taking a hard look at controlling our appetites.  This is something that everyone struggles with, it seems. Sometimes it can be hard not to overeat. If you need some extra help on controlling your diet or would like some nutritional advice about what you are putting in your body, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

Imagine this, you eat a healthy meal at home; think you are doing well. Then you head out to a meeting (a parent teacher conference/meet up with friends/shopping/you name it) and you get surrounded by junk food. What happens next? You get hungry and then you black out and the next thing you know you are in the drive through line at the local burger joint. Diet forgotten.  Sound familiar? Or maybe you stick to the eating plan pretty well. You are intentionally eating the right foods, but they’re just so good that you can’t have just one portion. We’ve all been there; it happens.  

We have narrowed down success for controlling your diet with the following 6 strategies. They have really changed the game for so many of clients that I wanted to share them with you today.  

Our clients are now healthier they enjoy their meals more, their appetite is more stable, and if anything they now have to make an effort to eat more rather than trying to eat less.

Strategy number 1: Add vinegar or cinnamon to meals to control your blood sugar

Now we’re not just talking any type of vinegar. If you’re looking to add some flavor to your food and get rid of the caloric drinks for a happier appetite, then forget the sugar there’s plenty of spices and flavors out there that can make your food both tastier and healthier. Apple cider and balsamic vinegar would be the two to choose for this. Both have been shown to lower the glycemic index which means that you metabolize food more slowly.  They add an acidic flavor to salad dressings, sauces, roasted veggies with a lot of calories. So for sweet smelling and warmth you can add cinnamon to pretty much anything: coffee, smoothies, chili, oatmeal, etc.  Like vinegar, Cinnamon slows the rate at which the food transits from your stomach to your intestine. This will keep you full longer and it does help to prevent the post-meal slump; that kind of fatigue afterwards.  For example, do you ever feel drowsy when you are at work around mid afternoon? You’ve eaten and now you are sitting in front of your computer and now you are really feeling like a nap would be a good option? Keep the fatigue at bay by applying this Strategy.

Strategy number 2: Eat when you’re not hungry

I know that sounds kind of counterproductive, but when you get really hungry you tend to listen to your appetite and overeat. I know, I know, it’s groundbreaking stuff. But think about it, when you overeat you feel full, but then your insulin levels spike. This increase causes you to feel tired then hungry again, so you overeat again; a vicious cycle many of are guilty of. Rather than trying to resist hunger we need to beat It to the punch. If you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re slightly hungry then you’ll eat less and you oftentimes more slowly. Eating less throughout the day is great and having more energy is certainly a nice bonus too.

Strategy number 3: Drink water not liquid calories

This is something that you’ve probably heard before, but in addition to tiredness, brain fog, mild dehydration can cause a sensation that is easily mistaken for hunger.  On the other hand liquid calories like sweet tea, juices and sodas don’t fill you up, but rather cause spikes in your insulin levels.  My point? Pass on the sweetened drinks and stick with sparkling water or plain water. You can flavor it with cucumber, lemon, or strawberries; infusion is never a problem.  Just don’t pack your drinks full of calories like sugars and supplements or liquid drops. Remember to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water everyday to be able to hydrate fully, and try to drink a glass 20 minutes before a meal in order to take the edge off the appetite.

Strategy number 4: Eat slowly

I cannot emphasize this one enough.  I have seen many clients in my days as a personal trainer in Amarillo, where my clients who are juggling work, home, and social lives prepare a nice meal and scarf down a portion or four.  This is not good.  When you swallow food there is a sizeable delay before you feel any sensation from it. Your stomach will tell you that your appetite is yet to be sated. This delay is usually about 15-30 minutes. Because of this delay we often eat more food than we need. Likewise the faster we eat, the more we consume. Particularly if we are eating later on in the meal. Towards the end of the meal we typically eat more, so the solution is to chew each bite 15 to 20 times and following this simple approach can cause you to eat more slowly giving your mind time to catch up to what your stomach’s trying to tell it.  Did you realize you will also enjoy your food more when you take the time to savor it?  Putting your fork down in between bites is also another way to do that.

Strategy number 5: Have a small flavorless snack between meals

Doesn’t sound all that great, but it is actually beneficial. This trick was discovered by the late Seth Roberts and what he did was consume a small shot of olive oil between meals. I prefer a handful of unsalted almonds, either way, it’s still flavorless.  Doing this throughout the day dramatically reduces your appetite. This can be really helpful if you have a lot of weight to lose. So often we eat things that are sugared and flavored and we want more of that. Unfortunately, we don’t ever get full. So it’s definitely one of the weirdest things I’ve ever really tried, but it works for me. The reason it works is because it regulates Ghrelin, a hunger hormone, by weakening flavor calorie associations. For this to work this snack really needs to be bland. Then  you should consume nothing else but water for at least an hour before and after the snack.

Strategy number 6: The front door snack technique

This one is an interesting one that somebody brought to my attention. knowing that your will power is reduced when you are hungry and there’s more tempting junk food outside the home than in it. You should fill up on healthy food before you ever leave the house. If you can do that you have a better chance of success.  So keep healthy snacks (like jerky, veggies, almonds, kale chips, etc.) right next to your front door and grab it before you head out.  This will cause healthy food to crowd-out the unhealthy food in your diet. Thus, making it much easier to pass on the junk food. Now that doesn’t mean to eat a ton of extra calories but kind of plan it into your day.

If you’d like to have some help with learning to make healthier food choices and how to reign in your appetite, feel free to contact us at 806-322-3188 or info@customfitness.biz . We would love to empower you with the tools you need to succeed in that realm. We will see you soon.