If you’re looking to shape up and slim down this year or in preparation of the next, you’ll no doubt be all too aware that in order to do so you will need to get plenty of exercise, and consume fresh, healthy, nutritious, and low fat foods. Dieting and getting fit and healthy is all well and good, but you need to be realistic too. There will be times when you get uncontrollably hungry and begin craving foods like never before. How you react to these feelings and cravings could very well decide whether you succeed or whether you fail on your quest to lose weight and/or get fit and healthy. Eating the same foods over and over again is bound to cause you to crave junk foods or unhealthy foods or foods that could derail your progress but you must remind yourself that giving in to these cravings could spell disaster. The good news however, is that as well as simply reminding yourself how bad it is to give in to temptation, you can also cut cravings and help suppress feelings of hunger by eating and drinking certain foods and drinks.
Apples – You’ve heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and it is actually far more accurate than you probably will have realised. Apples are fantastic for keeping hunger at bay and suppressing cravings because they contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber when consumed, is broken down in water in the digestive system and forms a thick gel like substance that coats the walls of the stomach and the intestines to help us feel full for longer. As a result of this, after eating a regular meal, the fiber helps reduce the amount of sugar and calories that are absorbed into our blood streams. This in turn reduces the infamous “sugar crashes” which many of us experience that leaves us craving more sugar. Apples are also nutritionally balanced as they contain vitamins and antioxidants.
Green Tea – Green tea is packed full of healthy ingredients including powerful antioxidants that benefit the body in numerous ways. One of these ingredients is known as EGCG that has been proven to help increase the natural production of hormones which promote feelings of fullness after a meal.
Pine nuts – Pine nuts are naturally high in calories but the calories come from healthy fat sources including omega 6 fatty acids. This fatty acid is known as pinolenic acid and it too have been linked with the increased production of hormones responsible for satiety. Helping to promote increased levels of hunger suppressing hormones means we will be less likely to crave unhealthy foods. The nuts are ideal as they can be sprinkled over foods, used in pesto for a delicious marinade or consumed on the go as healthy snacks.