8 Ways to Effectively Reduce Hunger

Ol' Ghandi
If you’re anything like me, you face a vicious opponent a few nights every week. In my case, that adversary goes by the seemingly innocent name of Lay’s.

But she is a mighty devil in a shiny coating. And she wins our nightly battles almost every time we meet in the dark alley of my kitchen cupboard.

The face of our enemies may be different, but the battles usually end up in the same situation.

Scorched earth. Short term satisfaction. A wave of regret. A fatter tummy.

Rinse and repeat.

But don’t worry friends, for I’ve collected new weapons to use in the war on our deliciously evil foes. So read this, arm yourself, and get ready to kick the crap out of that box of Oreos the next time you see it.

(Literally or not — that part is up to you.)

8 surprising ways to lower your hunger and lose weight

1. Use a smaller plate

When piling heaps upon heaps of spaghetti on your plate, do you ever stop to think that maybe 3.2 kg of the delicious food might a bit too much?

Well, I am getting some protein with the meatballs at least.

While that is true, consuming upwards of 5,000 calories in a single meal probably isn’t the best way to lose weight.

So one easy trick to spurn your enemy is to diminish their playing field. Simply reducing the size of your bowls, plates, and food troughs has been shown to drastically reduce the amount we eat.

It’s thought that we may be affected by the Delboeuf illusion when visually assessing how much food to put on our plates. We humans have a tendency to think in relative sizes — and with food as a percentage of how much it fills our plates.

So unlike swords in battle, in this case — the smaller the better.

Tip #1: Use smaller plates, bowls, and feeding troughs.

2. Eat mindfully

In the battle against junk food, there’s one trick we can steal from our zombie allies — go for the brains!

Our own brains, that is.

Studies have found that using a technique called MB-EAT (mindfulness-based eating awareness training) can help reduce the amount of food we eat in any given meal.

How do you practice MB-EAT? There are several steps to practice and build habits out of, but here are a few of the core principles:

  • Eat slowly
  • Chew thoroughly and longer than ‘normal’
  • Don’t skip meals to avoid being ravenously hungry
  • Start with small portions first

As the name suggests, it’s particularly helpful with reducing binge eating for people that do that on occasion.

A stick figure saying guilty

And since binge eating is a typical marketing slogan these days for many of our favorite frenemy snacks — this can certainly help fight against it.

“I bet you can’t eat just one, fatty.” — Lay’s real message

Tip #2: Practice the art of mindful eating to reduce binging behavior.

3. Use a giant fork

On the other side of the battlefield, we have our proverbial rioting peasants armed with their pitchforks. And if we are going to send them into battle against the formidable ‘all-you-can-eat-buffet’, we should be preparing them to win!

And what better way to arm a peasant than to give them a bigger fork (pitch optional)? Screw swords, those are for the knightly folk. Deck out your kitchen’s peasants with larger forks and you’ll likely end up eating less food in general.

According to this paper, simply having a larger fork than usual could reduce the amount you eat by up to 10%.

Not bad, peasant!

Tip #3: Use a larger fork than normal (but not a spoon — seriously).

4. Eat gingers

Back in ancient Europe, armies of Vikings regularly used to invade lands looking for gingers to pillage and pilfer.

Nowadays we have evolved from those wartorn years into new battles with gingers. Instead of attacking them, we now grow them lovingly in our herb gardens and shop for them at the local grocers.

If you haven’t jumped on the ginger train yet, go run out to your local store and find the nearest red-headed bottle of spice labeled ‘Ginger’.

This Super Spice (patent pending for the 6th Spice Girl name) has been proven to help with inflammation, anti-oxidative stress, and blood sugar levels.

And now some scientists think it can also reduce your hunger from enhanced thermogenesis too!

Just be on the lookout for potential side effects such as heartburn or diarrhea in some people.

Tip #4: Incorporate ginger into your diet on a regular basis. Not the humans. And be wary if you’re susceptible to heartburn.

5. Eat dark chocolate

Not all of our enemies are actually what they appear to be. But a wolf in sheep’s clothing is only a bad thing if we aren’t the wolves.

In this case, our little cosplay puppy may just be that sweet-yet-bitter snack we call ‘dark chocolate.’

It’s thought the bitterness in dark chocolate and possibly a chemical it contains — called stearic acid — can contribute to slower digestion and a longer feeling of fullness.

So if you really need to go meet an enemy on the battlefield tonight, you might as well arrange to see a spy in sheep’s clothing.

Tip #5: Substitute dark chocolate as an occasional snack instead of other sweets.

6. Spice up your armor (and your meals)

Do you want to make your enemies cry at the mere sight of you? Well, if you got up really close to them with shields covered in hot peppers, you may just pull that off.

Or even with sweet peppers too — but your enemies may thank you for that one.

This meta-study found that two molecules in sweet or spicy peppers — capsaicin and capsiate — can help increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

They also found a linear relationship between the two — the more spicy or sweet peppers people ate, the more of an effect they found.

Although it wasn’t a huge effect overall, anything helps in the War of Cupboards these days. Now go spice up that undersized bowl of ice cream next time you can’t resist yourself.

Peter Piper picked a pale of peppers for a reason. He was on a diet.

Tip #6: Add lots of spicy and/or sweet peppers to your diet regularly.

7. Eat Omega-3’s

Omega 3, reduced adipose tissue, circulating leptin levels, metabolic syndrome — these are all words that the Oreo does not care about.

But Mr. Oreo should care — because you can use them to resist its sexy creamy filling.

By adding omega-3 oil to your diet regularly, there is evidence that it can help increase levels of the fullness hormone called leptin.

And that’s a good thing when thinking about reaching into the battlefield late at night for a little temptation and possible bloodshed.

You can supplement with omega-3 oil or find it naturally occurring in food such as fish and algae. Although whether algae can be considered food is a topic for another day.

Tip #7: Add omega 3 oil to you diet through fish, algea, or supplements.

Fight for your right (to be healthy)

The battle of the bulge isn’t easy, but it’s never a lost cause. Most of us struggle almost daily in trying to eat healthy, and the food industry isn’t doing much to aid us in this effort.

In fact, they may just be aiding and abetting the enemy — they do manufacture those delectable snacks after all.

Traitors!

But don’t fret, arm yourself with some of these tricks and live to fight the gut another day!

Just don’t reach into that dark cupboard battlefield without bringing your sword and shield first.

War can get messy — especially when eating Sloppy Joes.

A digital drawing of a fat stick figure man

Don’t eat him. Image by Author.


J.J. Pryor

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