To understand how to control appetite, let’s first understand the concepts of hunger and satiety. Hunger is a sensation that occurs in the body when there is no food. The feeling of hunger is inherent in two manifestations: objective (“hungry” stomach contractions, prompting the search for food) and subjective (epigastric discomfort, dizziness, weakness, nausea).
Saturation is the satisfaction that comes after eating. There are two types: objective (stopping the search for food and “hungry” stomach contractions) and subjective (pleasant sensations). Appetite (Latin aspiration, desire) is a feeling of need for food, which regulates its entry into the body. The activity of the food center is closely related to appetite.
Sections of the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus collect incoming information about nutritional conditions, intake and assimilation of food, consumption of food reserves in the food center. Appetite does not arise due to the expenditure of the body’s reserves, but prevents this process. Appetite-forming stimuli change the signal value in accordance with changes in diet.
Last Updated: January 20, 2022 (A few hours ago…)
Physiology of human appetite
The physiological mechanism of appetite is to regulate food intake through a change in the level of food arousal. This level can be either low or high. The latter is accompanied by the urge to seek and eat. This is a conditioned reflex, which has been developed in a person for years and depends on the diet, habitual environment, and emotional state.
The set of structures of the central nervous system forms the food center, which regulates eating behavior. If the appetite is increased, then the excitement of this center is strong, respectively, it is more difficult to control. And if it is reduced, then the excitement is weak. Appetite also depends on the chemical composition of the blood, which inhibits or excites the food center.
How to control appetite
Here are some simple rules for learning how to avoid overeating and control your appetite.
Before going grocery shopping, make a grocery list. Break it down into categories. For instance:
- the seeds
- dried fruits
- Plan your diet 2-3 days in advance. Take advantage of special applications that make planning easier. Or write it down in your diary. This will make it easier to control your appetite, even while on a diet.
- Don’t snack on the go or in unpleasant company. Try to eat at home and then go on business.
- Eat no more than three times a day. Frequent and fractional meals – snacks that increase the stimulation of the food center, forcing you to eat again. By following this simple rule, it is easier to control your appetite in the evening.
- Start your morning with exercise. If you feel hungry, then divert attention by performing a complex of asanas, for example, “Surya Namaskar”.
- Don’t eat breakfast too early (6-7 am). The body has not yet woken up, so sudden surges in insulin in the blood are perceived by the body as stress. Postpone the first meal until 8-9 in the morning, then you don’t have to worry about how to curb your appetite during the day, while maintaining concentration on important matters and events.
- Don’t eat simple carbohydrates like scones, cakes, pies, or sandwiches for breakfast. They do not give the opportunity to control appetite, quickly increasing blood sugar levels and creating the illusion of a surge of vitality. Soon, sugar levels plummet, and a couple of hours before lunch, you feel hungry and irritable.
- Start your day with fruit. For example, ripe, juicy mango or grapefruit. A drop in blood sugar will not happen, and such a breakfast will give a lot of energy and increase efficiency.
- Stay alone with food, devote all the time to it. Do not look at your phone, tablet, TV when you eat. Don’t be distracted by talking or reading.
- Eat slowly, take your time, and chew every bite. This pace will help you control your appetite. And if it so happens that you have little time to eat, do not push the food into yourself, but postpone this process until a more favorable time.
- When preparing food, do not try, do not let anyone interfere with this process.
- Serve your food nicely and leisurely. Lay out each device in its place.
- Do not eat at night, then you do not have to ponder the question “Why can’t I control my appetite?” For sleep will be ineffective and meaningless. The result is sleep deprivation, which will cause the appetite-enhancing hormone ghrelin to rise. In this state, the risk of overeating is high, as a result – excess weight.
- Exercising physical activity raises levels of endorphins, the joy hormone that helps control appetite.
- In the evening, after work, take a walk. Give your body the opportunity to rebuild itself into a new wave. Do not rush home as soon as possible in order to seize the emotions accumulated during the day.
Foods that reduce appetite
- Fruits and berries. For example, grapefruit, orange, apple, fig, pineapple, pomegranate, plum, blueberry, blueberry, watermelon, melon.
- Vegetables. Zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. These foods have a low insulin index, with the exception of potatoes and sweet potatoes. A good time for vegetables is the second half of the day, when the issue of appetite control is very important.
- Green leafy vegetables. Lettuce, arugula, spinach, romaine, lettuce, dill, parsley, cilantro. All of them are the perfect addition to any meal.
- Legumes can also help curb your appetite. Mash, chickpeas, peas, lentils give you satiety for the whole day. Peanuts and cashews also belong to this group – it is better to eat them separately from the main meal, after an hour or two.
- Remember to drink water. The body can falsely perceive thirst as hunger.
- Seaweed. Kelp, spirulina, seaweed, wakame. Add these iodinated protein foods to salads, side dishes, or eat separately.
How sleep reduces appetite
Sleep is closely related to the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin suppresses appetite and ghrelin stimulates. When the sleep is sound, prolonged (7-8 hours), then the level of leptin is high. This contributes to a decrease in appetite, an increase in mental and physical activity, and an excellent mood. If the sleep is short and unproductive, then during the day the hormone ghrelin will dominate, prompting overeating. Physical activity and mood will tend to zero. It is important to understand that sleep quality is very important in the regulation of these hormones. Go to bed before midnight, closer to 9-10 o’clock in the evening, wake up early in the morning, at 6-7 o’clock. Only in this case, sleep will help reduce appetite and control eating behavior.
The relationship between appetite and diet
Diet is a valuable tool in life. If you do not adhere to the daily routine, then the efficiency of vital activity tends to go down and it becomes impossible to control appetite. Create your own diet and stick to it.
A few tips:
- Eat no more than three times a day. Avoid snacks – they are just an additional stimulation of the food center.
- Try to eat at the same time every day, this will help to better regulate the work of hormones that control appetite.
- Do not eat too early or too late, in the first case the body is still sleeping, and in the second it has been resting for a long time.
- More fresh fruits, berries in the morning, and vegetables in the afternoon.
- Exercising in the morning and walking after work are great times to give your body a new tune.
- Sign up for an evening yoga, fitness, dance class, or go for a run. This will distract you from thinking about food and even lose weight.
How food volume affects appetite control
Excess food interferes with the subtleties of the mind.
— Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Jr.) —
The more we eat, the more we want to eat – this is a fact that is often neglected. Overeating causes a feeling of heaviness, pain, distention in the abdomen, and shortness of breath. Drowsiness, lethargy sets in, efficiency decreases. Food has sank into the stomach with a heavy load and will remain there for a long time. This is due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxes the muscles, soothes and activates the digestive processes, while at the same time the blood in the body is redistributed. A larger volume of blood is directed to the digestive tract, pouring out from other organs, including the brain.
The abundance of food starts the digestion processes for a long time, thereby exhausting the body, depleting its resources. Not surprisingly, some will take a nap after such a meal. The body needs strength to digest this volume.
Try to eat food that is not oversaturated with all kinds of ingredients, seasoned with countless sauces or seasonings, they do not give you the opportunity to control your appetite. Eat simple yet balanced foods that are easy to digest, fill, and energize. Take your time in eating food, give a chance to the signaling system of the gastrointestinal tract to send information to the brain about satiety.
Combating the psychological causes of increased appetite
Psychological causes of increased appetite:
- The habit of overeating, imposed from childhood by older relatives, society in kindergarten, school, etc. This habit creates the feeling that the appetite is controlled by someone else.
- Overeating as a way to seize dissatisfaction with oneself, bitterness after a working day, quarrels, bad news.
- Premenstrual syndrome. A condition in women when hormones weaken the ability to restrain emotions and appetite.
- Disruption of hormonal regulation due to imbalance in diet and sleep, inability to adequately control appetite.
- Fat metabolism disorders (obesity) as a result of changes in hormonal regulation and psychological state.
- Binge eating disorder is bulimia. It is accompanied by a rejection of oneself for eating behavior without making attempts to change it.
- Idleness and boredom. Another reason that prevents you from learning to control your appetite.
These reasons have one thing in common – increased appetite and overeating. One way or another, they all overlap with each other.
Here are some ways to overcome xthem:
- Establish a clear diet, wakefulness, sleep and strictly follow it, no matter what.
- Eat healthy foods: berries, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, cereals, legumes.
- Stop for a minute when there is a desire to stop controlling yourself, an appetite appears and you want to seize unpleasant sensations. Observe yourself, your train of thought. Watch your mind. Find the cause of your dissatisfaction. Try to solve it.
- Try cutting out animal products. Meat and dairy products contain antibiotics, growth hormones and the stress hormone cortisol.
- Exclude from the diet everything that is obviously harmful: alcohol, tobacco, refined sugar, salt, spicy, spicy, fried and fatty foods.
- Avoid eating very complex foods, read the ingredients on the labels. Do not buy products containing preservatives, antioxidants, stabilizers, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers. These foods will not keep your appetite under control.
- Drink clean, fresh water.
- Get started with physical activity. You can start with walking, simple exercises, exercise and gradually, unexpectedly for yourself, come to jogging in the morning!
- It will be useful to visit the yoga room 2-3 times a week. Yoga will allow you to listen to yourself, calm your mind and body.
“Appetite comes with eating, and greed comes with appetite.”
— Folk wisdom —