I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds, dropped eight clothing sizes and got my BMI from obese to normal. You might think cravings are the hardest part of dieting. I’ve found it’s constantly feeling hungry that’s harder. Here are 26 ways, an alphabet from A-Z , on how I take charge of hunger so it doesn’t control me.
Take acai and apple cider.
Take a brain break. Sometimes, your body is craving a change of pace, not food.
Get off the computer or cellphone. Electronics must come pre-loaded with hunger-causing software. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, but I notice hunger pangs more staring at a screen.
Avoid appetite suppressant drugs. Many contain sibutramine, which causes increased blood pressure, interacts adversely with some medications and can cause heart problems, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Drink water. Sometimes you’re thirsty, not hungry.
Avoid ephedra, ephedrine and DHEA. These control hunger, but can make you jittery, confused and irritable. Exercise to boost metabolism naturally.
Fill up on fiber and feel-full foods. How’s that for an alliterative mnemonic? Sweet potatoes, apples, oatmeal, melon, flaxseed, broccoli, salads, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, fruit give fullness for few calories.
Avoid caffeine except for green tea, guarana, green coffee. Track total caffeine intake and adjust based on how you feel.
Hoodia gordonii has been called into question, says WebMD, but I’ve used this plant-based supplement successfully to control appetite.
Avoid internet-marketed appetite suppressants. The FDA says many aren’t natural and are dangerous.
Find joy. Depression causes apathy. Plus, you may mistake sadness for hunger and try to fill the emotional void with food. Ironically, “comfort” eating makes us fatter and more miserable.
Keep calm and ignore hunger pangs. If after eating, you still feel hungry, wait 15-20 minutes. It takes that long for food to hit your stomach so you feel satiation.
Live, love and learn. An active mind, productive life and positive spirit keeps you too busy to dwell on food.
African mango helped me shed weight by curbing cravings.
Enjoy nature. Fresh air is a natural antidepressant plus addiction breaker. Open your mind to beauty. Free it from food preoccupation.
Go outside. Exercise. You may come back hungry, but you’ll have at least earned it.
Take pumpkin seed–garcinia cambogia– a natural appetite suppressant.
Quiet hunger by quieting your mind. Meditate, pray. reflect on blessings.
Take raspberry ketones (natural hunger tamer).
Skip social networking. I ate and drank way more than I realized when I stayed up late on Facebook. It’s part of how I put on 100 pounds.
Avoid temptation hot spots–fast food joints, restaurants, bars, entertainment and sports venues–where the only options are high calorie foods. Don’t keep junk food around.
Unplug the game station and TV. Idle viewing and gaming leads to mindless snacking.
Break the vicious cycle. I work at home and don’t get out much. The fatter I got the more I hid myself in shame. Now I volunteer and enjoy hobbies.
Watch wine and booze. Alcohol increases appetite.
Nix boredom and loneliness. These are inextricably linked to placebo eating (using food to fix problems). Get out and meet people.
Yoga centers the mind. It brings balance which helps overcome cravings and addiction.
Zumba! Or swim, walk, bike, swing with your kids–exercise lifts your mood and helps stop you from eating to cover negative feelings.
Are you getting the idea that controlling hunger is about controlling your mind as much as behavior? Weight loss is mind over matter!