5 Foods That Curb Your Appetite

For many, the feeling of insatiable hunger just never seems to go away! But believe it or not, there are foods that can actually curb your appetite, allowing you to eat less and feel fuller. Following are five healthy options to help you successfully fight hunger pangs!

1. Soup
Water is actually the ultimate appetite suppresser, but having a glass doesn't satisfy the desire to eat or taste something. A great alternative is soup. High in water and low in calories, broths or vegetable soups (avoid the creamy kinds) can help you reach your weight-loss goal. In fact, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that men and women who consumed two servings of low-calorie soup per day lost 50 percent more weight than counterparts who consumed the same amount of calories in snacks!

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2. Pine Nuts

While all nuts are generally considered healthy, hunger-fighting snacks, pine nuts may be the best. They contain pinolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fat (a good kind of fat also found in olive oil and wild salmon) that stimulates hunger-suppressing hormones in the body. In a study presented at the 2006 American Chemical Society National Meeting, pinolenic acid diet supplements resulted in a 36 percent food intake reduction in overweight women. In fact, in Siberia, a handful of pine nuts is often taken with a meal to create a sense of fullness.

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3. Fruits and Vegetables

Your mother always told you to eat your fruits and veggies, and for good reason-both are not only high in nutrients but also high in fiber, which promotes a sense of fullness. Among fruits, apples, berries, grapefruits, and bananas all contain large amounts of fiber and water, while vegetables like artichokes, peas, broccoli, corn, carrots, and spinach are all packed with the diet-friendly substance. The best way to fight hunger with fruits and veggies? Make a salad. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that women who ate a simple 100-calorie salad before dinner consumed 12 percent less calories during the entire meal! Just make sure to opt for a low-calorie dressing!

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4. Lean Protein

New research has found that lean protein helps with fullness and hunger satisfaction, perhaps explaining why high-protein diets are effective for weight loss. However, health-conscious people be wary: make sure to look for sources of protein that are low in fat like fish, poultry, soybeans, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and milk. Lean protein may be especially effective at fighting hunger when eaten at breakfast, with scientists from Pennington Biomedical Research Center finding that overweight women who had two eggs for breakfast (five times a week over eight weeks) lost 65 percent more weight than women who ate bagels for breakfast. Omelettes filled with veggies and low-fat cheese and low-fat yogurt parfaits made with fresh fruit and granola are great options for a filling, hunger-fighting breakfast!

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5. Dietary fats

Consuming fat to lose weight might seem counterintuitive-but in fact, healthy fats are an essential part of your diet and can help increase satiation. Fats suppress your appetite by affecting appetite hormones and signaling to the brain that the body is full. The key here is understanding what constitutes a "healthy" fat: polysaturated and monosaturated fats are the ones you're looking for. These good fats are abundant in avocados, nuts, olive oil, whole-grain wheat, cereal, and oatmeal. Be sure to avoid consuming saturated fats and transfats commonly found in red meat and packaged foods. If you're looking for a mid-day snack to get you through your afternoon slump, try fresh avocado on a slice of toasted whole-wheat bread or a handful of almonds!

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

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