snack ideas

7 Best Natural Appetite Suppressants

While appetite suppressant pills are a great solution for those who’ve chosen to get serious about committing to a healthy lifestyle, they’re only intended to help you stick to your weight loss goals for a few months. After the first pounds have been shed and you no longer need the pills, your diet should be supplying all of satiety for you, naturally. We recommend incorporating these seven super foods into your daily eats if you want to feel full, satisfied, and energetic, and continue your commitment to losing the weight for good.

1. Almonds

Just a handful of almonds have been shown to increase feelings of fullness in people and help with weight management. NPR says “the protein, the unsaturated fat composition, [and] the fiber” all very likely play a role. Also, almonds are low in carbs, which are notorious for appetite stimulation. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating almonds in between meals was more suffecient when attempting to subdue cravings, compared with when people ate them as part of a bigger meal.

2. Avocados

According to Healwithfood.org, the oleic acid found in avocados can help naturally curb appetite. In the body, it is converted into OEA, a lipid hormone, which activates an area in the brain that increases the feeling of satiety and fullness. And they provide healthy monounsaturated fats!

3. Apples

An apple a day keeps the cravings away! For quite a few reasons. First, apples are chock full of fiber and pectin, both of which help you to feel full. Also, apples help to regulate your glucose and boost your energy level. Finally, apples require a lot of time to chew them, which actually helps you to slow down and give your body the time it needs to realize it’s no longer hungry.

4. Flaxseeds

A 2012 study at Harvard University showed that participants who ate flaxseed lost 37 percent more weight than participants who did not. Why? Most likely due to it’s high fiber and healthy fat content. Flaxseed also contains a mucilaginous fiber that slows your digestive process and promotes nutrient absorption. And they make a perfect, crunchy addition to yogurt, smoothies, and salads.

5. Tofu

Tofu isn’t just for vegetarians! The rich, plant-based protein source also contains an isoflavone called genistein, which has been shown to suppress appetite and lower food intake. If you’re unsure of how to incorporate tofu into your diet, try adding it in to your next healthy stir-fry.

6. Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice offers a lot more to your diet than just a way to sneak in a serving of veggies. If you drink it before a meal, it’s likely you’ll end up eating 135 fewer calories! But make sure to look for the low sodium versions to avoid bloating.

7. Salmon

This one may come as a surprise, but when you eat fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna and herring, your body increases production of leptin, a hormone known for suppressing hunger in your body! Here are some other facts about how omega-3s can help your health.

What foods help you feel full and fueled? Share with us in a comment!

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Q & A: Shake It Up With Protein

We’ll acknowledge it right from the beginning: protein shakes have developed quite the reputation for themselves. They’ve been seen out and about with many a bodybuilder and serious gym-goer and have made no attempts to hide their ability to boost muscle mass. But at Greater Pittsburgh Medical Weight Loss, we look beyond that stereotype and see them for what they truly are: a (not chalky) delicious, nutritious way to power through the day for those who lift pens, purses, and Post-its, not just weights. Our Lifestyle Educator & Wellness Coordinator, Bernadette Kabay, is an expert; so, we turned to her for some tips on how to shake up your diet.

What role does protein play in weight loss?

BK: Higher-protein diets help people better control their appetites and calorie intake. Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs, along with regular exercise can reduce blood fats and help balance insulin levels. It also helps maintain lean tissue (muscle) while burning fat for fuel.

How much protein do you need on a daily basis?

BK: Generally, 30% of your diet should be protein, 30% healthy fat and 40% healthy carbohydrates.  If you are more active or trying to drop a few pounds, add a few more grams of protein.

Best sources of protein are found in fish, lean meats, eggs, and plant sources such as beans, soy, nuts and seeds. Protein shakes are excellent to fill in the holes and add an additional source of protein to help hold onto muscle and lose fat when dieting and exercising.

When do you think are the best times to drink a protein shake?

BK: As a replacement for breakfast when time is short or you’re on the go; 45 minutes to 1 hour before or after a workout; and mid-day when a healthy snack  is not available.

Can too much protein be a bad thing?

BK: Additional protein may not be appropriate for pregnant and nursing women, or for those individuals with chronic kidney issues or liver disease.

What’s your favorite flavor we have?

BK: I like the vanilla. I add our Reds powder to it, add a tsp of fiber and a little ground flax seed and water. Now, I have all three components of a meal in a glass! Healthy protein, healthy carbohydrate, healthy fat and fiber. For a summer morning start or after a workout, I may substitute 2 oz of orange juice for the Reds and it tastes like a vanilla creamsicle!

Have any more questions for Bernadette? Drop us a quick comment! 

Snack On Track

Snack On Track: 30 Healthy Snacks Under 200 Calories

Tired of eating the same old thing day after day? We’ve got you covered with 30 snacks that, with correct portion sizes, are a must-have for any health-conscious eater. Protein bars are easy, smart snacks, but sometimes you want to spice it up. Whether you’re in the mood for sweet, savory, or a bit of both, we’ve got 30 quick snacks for you to try. And they’re all under 200 calories, so you can easily fit them into your meal plan.

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Want more tips for staying on track with your weight loss goals?