HUNGER BUSTERS!

Eggs for breakfast.  People who eat eggs for breakfast feel less hungry and eat fewer calories in total over the day than those who eat cornflakes, croissants or bagels.  In fact, starting the day with two poached or boiled eggs helped people reduce their intake by 400 calories over the next 36 hours.  Bases on these results you could expect to lose 2 pounds a month just by going to work on an egg.

Protein at lunch and dinner.  Try to include some protein – lean meat, chicken or fish the size of a pack of cards – at lunch or dinner to curb your appetite.  Protein-rich foods are good at prolonging the feeling of fullness because they stimulate the release of hunger-controlling hormones in the gut.

Stay hydrated. Before grabbing something to eat, check if you’re actually thirsty rather than hungry as it’s quite easy to confuse the two.  For fullness with no calories, opt for sparkling water – the bubbles help fill.

Super soup.  Soup can be more satisfying than some non-liquid meals.  When researchers asked women to eat a chicken casserole on its own with a glass of water, and with the same amount of water to make a soup, the women who ate the soup consumed 100 fewer calories during the day.

High fibre.  Swapping white bread for brown helps curb hunger as fibre holds on to water as it swells up in your gut creating a feeling of fullness.  Higher fibre foods also tend to be digested more slowly which also helps you to feel full.

Pick potatoes.  Ignore all the bad press about spuds!  New research that looked at the hunger-reducing properties of 38 different foods found that boiled potatoes came in at the top spot. Just stick to moderate proportions and avoid high calorie oil or butter.

Airy food.  These foods can tackle hunger for longer as they take up more space on your plate as well as in your stomach.  Opt for popcorn instead of crisps and a whipped chocolate mousse over a bar of chocolate.

Sniff peppermint oil.  People who breathed in a peppermint scent every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories per week than they normally would.  Food-related smells can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten.  Banana, green apple and vanilla had similar effects in other studies.

Healthy fats.  Oleic acid, a healthy unsaturated fat found in olive oil, nuts and avocados, helps take the edge off your appetite as it indirectly triggers hunger-curbing signals to your brain.  Just watch your portions – a filling snack would be a handful of nuts, a rounded teaspoon of peanut butter or a quarter of an avocado.

HUNGER STUMULANTS

Alcohol.  Booze is a well-known appetite stimulant.  What’s more, it also decreases your inhibitions so you’re more likely to lose control and not care about eating the wrong things.  It’s worse when you have it before a meal, so make it a rule to only drink with a meal and never more than a couple of glasses.

Sweet food.  Refined carbs like biscuits, sugary cereals and chocolate bars give a quick spike in blood sugar and then crash leaving you feeling irritable, jittery and hungry.

FILLING FOODS

  • Broccoli
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Mixed salad
  • Apples
  • Vegetable stir-fry
  • Spaghetti Bolognese (with lean mince, extra vegetables and whole meal pasta)
  • Baked beans
  • Lean ham
  • Baked potato
  • Boiled eggs

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