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Curb Your Appetite

  • h

For me a fresh, small apple before dinner has been a tasty way to alleviate the temptation to over-indulge at night or in anticipation of a large meal (parties, potlucks, buffet). But honestly, there are just so many apples (although the "name that apple variety" thread was tremendously helpful) a girl can eat!

So CH's, what foods, tricks or routines do you use to curb your appetite? Or is curbing ones appetite besides the point :)

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  1. Shouldn't you have titled this "Curb Your Apple-tite."?! (Sorry - couldn't resist.)

    1 Reply
    1. hee hee, very cute, cackalackie! There's an article on this very subject on AOL today and they feature the apple-eating strategy...will try to post the link but not sure it will work for everyone...


      Seems to work...well, I sometimes will have hot tea, either oolong or green tea, before a meal but broth works too.

      1. A few months ago I came across a book, "Three Apple a Day Plan" that is full of information on how apples work to curb appetite. It does seem to help cut back how much I want.

        Here's a link to it.


        I also just finished making a big pot of gingery, Asian Chicken stock that I love to sip something like that between meals when I think I'm hungry.

        He hound in me craves big taste so I find that things like this what are loaded with flavor satisfy me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          Thanks BostonZ...I'm going to take a closer look at that book next time I'm at B&N.

          1. re: BostonZest

            Oh, that reminds me of my father, who for the longest time claimed that all he ate during the day was apples, and then dinner. All that fiber's good for you and your system, he liked to say. (And probably, that whole "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is based in part on that. At least, it kept me from talking about apples, or food in general, to him [he's a doctor]. Of course, he didn't really lose weight until he started exercising and cutting out most of the carbs in his diet.)

            As for me, a cup of soup usually does it for me, or the below-mentioned hard boiled egg. I also like a piece of good cheese.

          2. Peppermint candy does the trick for me.

            1. A few walnuts are a great appetite suppresant!

              1. It won't curb your appetite but will prevent you from pigging out while cooking- brush your teeth before preparing something fattening like cake, brownies etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: emilief

                  That's a good idea. I have an awful problem with mindlessly putting batter and icing in my mouth while I bake. (I'm sure my guests would rather not hear that) Don't tell anyone, but once I actually scotch TAPED my mouth. It worked. I discovered you can actually wipe chocolate on a towel rather than lick it off your finger.

                2. a small bit of protein goes a long way. a hard boiled egg or a few chilled shrimp really take the edge off.

                  if i'm at something very fancy, i think about how tacky my lipstick will look and that helps me stop too! lol, vain, i know, i know...

                  1. What really curbs an appetite is eating a whole grapefruit. (or perhaps half for you). Some people have skipped meals after eating one, they're so full. It can be very satisfying. Find a variety of grapefruit that you like (red are great) and give it a try.

                    1. i second the protein trick... a few bites of turkey breast or chicken or hard-boiled egg whites. Almonds are a good choice too, but just a few.

                      Brushing your teeth works more for me if I want to avoid snacking after dinner before bedtime.

                      Also, in response to the grapefruit suggestion, half a grapefruit is a great trick, but also known to work is drinking a few servings of grapefruit juice throughout the day, say a half a cup at a time, or so, not even necessarily right before a meal.

                      Using vinegar, any kind but apple cider vinegar and cider vinegar have actually been studied, also helps to limit the amount you eat and speed up metabolism. Vinegar reduces the body's insulin response to carbohydrates and increases feelings of satiety. Sprinkle on food directly, or some advocate sprinkling some into a glass of water to drink prior to or with a meal.

                      1. I've emplyed the apple idea too. I really like tasting the different varieties and determining the various flavors, like wine.

                        I've found that making sure I eat a real lunch helps me to not overeat at dinner.

                        roasted green veggies for dinner are fantastic. They are both very filling and tasty.

                        sometimes a piece of chocolate about 15 minutes before dinner provides a very fulfilling flavor experience, making me feel less ravenous when dinner is ready. Plus it inhibits nibbling.

                        1. drinking an ice cold glass of water works for me, along with any fruit or veggie with a high water content (watermelon and cucumbers come to mind)

                          1. Apples actually make me hungrier. I have no idea how that works.

                            I prefer carrots, jicama, or raw kohlrabi.

                            Also melon with lime, chile and salt seems so satisfying while it is very low calorie.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Snackish

                              If you don't eat apple with some protein, your insulin levels shoot up, and can actually cause a spike in hunger... I have the same problem. The solution is to eat a small piece of cheese with it... like one of those laughing cow wedges or a bonne bell light.

                              1. re: Emme

                                Ah ha! I've always wondered about apples. I have the same problem as you Snackish, to the point that I often avoid apples because of the painfully empty stomach I get immediately after. Nothing else causes quite the same hunger sensation for me. Thanks for clearing that up Emme.

                                - Lea

                                1. re: Emme

                                  I tried an apple before lunch today, and it did not help me either. I ate a bigger lunch than usual, thanks for the info. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

                                2. re: Snackish

                                  Weird. I eat an apple just about every morning and don't get that effect, but banannas make me HUNGRY!

                                3. These suggestions are terrific, keep em coming!

                                  I love melon w/lime but have never added chile

                                  Thanks for the reminder on high water content foods

                                  Sometimes I just have a baked apple for dinner..

                                  1. I always start with a salad with a low fat dressing.

                                    1. Interesting subject! My husband and I have recently been studying this very subject and what foods interact with your body (hormones, etc) to help slow down your hunger: fiber is the big one! So an apple or handful of nuts makes tons of sense. If nothing else, a glass of 100% fruit juice can work, too (even though it has lot of fructose, it has tons of fiber, too - Sugar has the opposite effect so it's important to be careful with the balance.) Occasionally I'll also take a fiber supplement before a meal.

                                      Also sometimes a glass of water helps, too. Not because it is 'filling' your stomach as a lot of people think but because often we mistake a 'hungry' feeling in the stomach for what is actually thirst. When I think I'm hungry I try to drink first and see if I'm still hungry ten or so minutes later. You'd be amazed how often you're getting the wrong signal from your tummy.

                                      Another interesting one mentioned is the grapefruit - but not in the way you might think. Recent studies show the smell of grapefruit oil really suppresses the appetite so it may not be eating it but rather the smell. I've been looking for grapefruit essential oil to burn in my house for a while.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: krissywats

                                        I humbly beg to differ. The reason I gave up drinking fruit juice is that it has NO fiber in it. The juice is extracted from the fruit, leaving the fiber behind. I leaned this from making gallons of carrot and fruit juice a few years ago.

                                        1. re: missclaudy

                                          Perhaps it depends on the juice. I'm looking at the label for my Red Jacket Orchard Fuji Apple Juice right now and it has 3g of dietary fiber in an 8oz serving. That's equivalent to almost a cup of brown rice, 2/3 cup of broccoli, or a handful of almonds (.6 of an ounce).

                                          The Cranberry apple I have is the same amount. Dunno what the difference is between this and other juices, but my juice has loads of fiber!

                                          1. re: krissywats

                                            Where do you buy it? I love juice and have given it up. Happy to hear this!

                                            1. re: missclaudy


                                              I get mine through the local delivery service but if you're close to NJ I bet you could contact the orchard and find out where they sell it locally. The fuji apple juice is the best juice I've ever tasted.

                                        2. re: krissywats

                                          Weight Watchers always recommended eating your fruit and not drinking it--I tend to agree because I enjoy the chomping and chewing and find I eat fruit more slowly.

                                          I have been drinking V-8 juice in the a.m. for years, also due to WW and a dietician. The # of calories is much lower than o.j., less sugar, etc.

                                        3. I truly believe each person has to find what works for him/her. An apple works for me, but the "handful of raw nuts" trick never did it. I can eat several handfuls of nuts and feel more starved than when I start.

                                          1. i had a friend who would fast every now and again and would down a glass of water mixed with about a tsp of cayenne pepper to suppress his appetite for the day. i believe cayenne pepper also acts as a natural thermogenic. :o)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: soypower

                                              Sounds like the recently publicized (but has actually been around for quite a long time) lemonade diet: water, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Paired with natural laxatives, it's also called The Master Cleanse. A Google search will turn up hundreds of responses.

                                              1. re: Pei

                                                I didn't realize this was a "diet." I had it suggested to me by a homeopathic health care professional to help drain my overworked lymph system after surgery: a "tea" made of half a fresh squeezed lemon, a dash of cayenne, hot water, and enough maple syrup to make it palatable, 2-3 times a day for about a week. It worked wonders for me and aided in my post surgical recovery. No laxatives, though.

                                            2. The South Beach Diet guy recommends a tablespoon of metamucil in water before a meal (before dinner I think) to fill you full of fiber which slows down your rate of digestion and gives you a feeling of satiety. Not very Chowish but it seems like a good idea.

                                              1. I am the LAST person on earth to suggest anything to do with helping anorexia along. The proof is here, read my posts. postshttp://www.chowhound.com/topics/348661?query...

                                                1. I find a nice steaming bowl of broth does the trick... especially in the winter, sometimes the "hunger" comes partly from being cold; and after getting warm from the broth and having that heavy feel in the tummy I'm not as hungry as I thought I was.

                                                  1. I eat a huge/rich lunch late-ish (3-4) on the days where I don't have to go out to eat. It will never work with a soup and salad lunch. You'll need to eat a ton of protein, carb and fiber. Afterwards, I'll generally feel satisfied with either a very light dinner (only salad, or soup or sauteed bowl of broccoli) or a snack (fruit or hummus with crudite). Of course, it gets dull if it becomes a pattern, but it works for me on days where I go to the gym after work and don't want to eat tons of food late.

                                                    Also, I've found that drinking soy milk or a protein drink helps to stave off hunger too.

                                                    1. Ice water with lime juice, honey and a lot of cayenne pepper. Drink the entire glass. Works wonders.

                                                      1. My favorite afternoon snack (in general--not necessarily for appetite suppression) is a few slices of Granny Smith apple with a bit of Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter.

                                                        For MY info: does cayenne in capsules have the same effect as when it's mixed with water? I love spicy, but I'm not sure I could drink cayenne (tried it as a cough suppressant). Ick.

                                                          1. I grab a small handful of almonds or cashews. Works like a charm.

                                                            1. For me, hot tea. It's one of my regular "diet" tricks - substituting a pot of tea for a snack, and occasionally for lunch as well. The ritual of brewing and serving helps take my mind off being hungry, and the tea (sometimes with a single sugar cube) really takes the edge off my appetite.

                                                              I agree with some of the above posters that have commented that often what we interpret as hunger is really thirst - I noticed that a lot of the time when I crave something cold to eat, I'm actually thirsty, and water or tea fixes me right up.

                                                              1. I've been reading the You on a Diet book and they suggest a handful of walnuts 1/2 hour before you eat. The book goes into details as to why it is suggested and is really a good read, just interesting medical stuff without all the technical words.

                                                                1. I usually go with a handful of nuts, or a few cheese & crackers, 1/2 a Balance Bar or a small mug of cereal & cold soy milk. Those cup-of-soup packets are great too! Fruits & veggies alone just don't curb my hunger either. I drink a large glass of cool water after a snack too - helps wash it down & fill my stomach.

                                                                  Having small snacks like these really help me to NOT pig out at restaurants or pot-lucks, etc.

                                                                  1. I believe there was a study that showed that people who eat eggs for breakfast typically consume 10-20% fewer calories over the course of the day. I've definitely found that I am less hungry on days where I eat eggs for breakfast.

                                                                    I also eat 5-6 meals a day, ~500 calories each, which keeps my insulin from spiking. I also avoid food or drinks with refined sugars for the same reason. Eating more during the day typically keeps me from eating more at night. Snacks I eat include almonds, cottage cheese, & beef jerky.

                                                                    1. a handful of nuts do the trick or even a cup of roasted corn or roasted barley tea (both korean)

                                                                      1. I support the nuts comments. Generally not letting my blood sugar spike is a good idea, which means lots of protein and fat based snacks. For example I find going for the full fat latte will make me full for hours, whereas if I go for a skim one I want a snack shortly after (and often a sugary one). In the end the richer choice makes me eat less. Also snacking a lot, which means eating before I'm hungry. That's because the second I feel hunger I'm convincet that I'm REALLY hungry. And as you all probably know, it takes 20 minutes to get the feedback from your body that you've eaten enough, so by that time you've overeaten.

                                                                        Baisically everything I used to do in the 90s (eat low fat, try not to eat too much in a day, be vegetarian, eat mostly carbs) was wrong for appetite management.

                                                                        Another counterintuitive appetite supressant is a regular cardio workout. But in my experience, not weight training, which makes me ravenous beyond what my body is reasonably using to build muscle.