Articles on appetite

The Exercise to Control Appetite

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many people try fad diets, pills, surgeries and herbal supplements to control their appetite in order to manage their weight. Lately exercise is being used as a more effective tool to curb hunger. Recent studies have suggested that if you stick with the right kind of exercise, you may change how your body interacts with food. Exercise does more than just burning calories it also regulates your hormones. Let us explain you what exercise does to our body -Effect on Appetite Hormone: Many studies have shown that a vigorous 60-minute running affects the release of two key appetite hormones, ghrelin and peptide YY. Ghrelin is the only hormone known to stimulate appetite and peptide YY suppresses appetite. It has been found that the running session caused ghrelin levels to drop and peptide YY levels to increase, indicating the hormones were suppressing appetite. However, a weight-lifting session produced a mixed result. Ghrelin levels dropped, indicating appetite suppression, but peptide YY levels did not change significantly.Intensity of Running: Intensity of running can also affect whether you'll be stimulating or decreasing your appetite after doing the activity. Higher-intensity have better appetite-suppressing effects than lower-intensity ones.Watch your Diet: Quality of food is more important than quantity of food in a healthy diet, so you should keep a check on nutritional quality of food. A balanced diet of complex carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin and minerals is really important for runners. Balanced meals for runners should comprise roughly 20 percent fat, 60 percent complex carbohydrate and 20 percent protein. Complex carbohydrate like grains and vegetables provide slow and steady fuel. Protein is essential for both tendon and muscle repair. The more often you run and the further distance you cover, the more repair work there will be for your muscles. Monounsaturated fat such as present in olive oil, flax seeds oil, nuts, and avocados are the healthiest fat to consume to obtain your fat calories. Also include enough water throughout the day to keep fluid levels up.Running also helps in keeping your heart young, and strengthens your muscles and bones. But running too far, too fast, too soon can strain your muscles and put you at risk for injury. Try to avoid slanted and uneven pathways. It is best to run on soft and flat ground. But if running causes you pain, stop and take a break. See a doctor if the pain continues for more than a few days.Exercise here is referred to a mid to high intensity workout that includes running, jogging, strength training, interval training. But unfortunately walking as a form of exercise marginally seems to affect body’s satiety (ability to stay full) mechanism as compared to the above mentioned form of exercise. Also for good results stick to an exercise routine for several months.

Drink Water to Control Appetite

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The code has finally been cracked. A natural appetite depressant has been found that can be included in daily diet without any prescription, has no side effects and does not shake your daily budget.Scientists confirm that drinking 500 ml of this magic potion before meals can help you achieve your weight loss goals much faster. The common name of this revolutionary liquid is “water”.According to the study, dieters who drank 2 cups of water before meals three times per day, lost about 2.5 kgs more than the dieters who did not increase their water intake.So what’s the water effect? It is believed that drinking water before meals fills up the stomach with zero calories. As a result, one tends to consume less food in the following meal and the total calorie intake is reduced. It also helps in portion control and hence is helpful in weight management. Replacing aerated and added sugar beverages with plain, fresh water also is an effective strategy to reduce calorie intake. All carbonated drinks and beverages with artificial sweeteners are harmful to health and are loaded with sugar which adds on to the waistline increasing risk of several lifestyle diseases. A single serving of these drinks can have as high as 10 teaspoons of sugar.According to experts, the human brain sometimes misinterprets signals of thirst as a sign of hunger, so one ends up eating extra calories instead of drinking zero calorie water.It is not exactly known as to how much water one should drink daily. Experts suggest that one should let the thirst signals of the body be the guiding factor. As per general recommendations, women should drink about 8-10 cups of fluids and men should drink about 12-14 cups.Drinking more water is simply harmless unless one has a medical disorder which leads to fluid retention. So the next time you feel like munching on a bag of chips or a packet of your favorite cookies, just grab a bottle of water and your cravings will vanish!

Six Yoga Poses to Curb Appetite

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Curbing appetite is the biggest hurdle for anyone trying to lose or manage weight. Even if you get enough physical activity in your daily routine but do not manage to control what you eat then losing weight can be next to impossible. So how do you really get to the bottom of this weight problem and solve this problem of eating more than required by your body? Well here are some easy to do yoga poses that may help you control your urge to eat. This yoga poses help control food cravings by helping the body regulate the release of hormones that control appetite (both the hormones that increase appetite as well as decrease appetite and cravings). Warrior pose II Stand straight with feet together. Take a large step towards the left and bend the knee as in a lunge. Keep the right ankle facing outwards. Bring both hands out on the side and hold it there for a few seconds.Picture credit:giphy.com">Picture credit:giphy.comDownward dog poseLie down on your belly and then raise your hips keeping your feet and hands on the ground.Keep head facing down and press heels towards the floor.Picture credit:giphy.com">Picture credit:giphy.comHalf boat PoseSit on the ground with legs straight. Bend your legs at your knee and keep it in the air. Keep your hands in front and hold it for a few seconds.Picture credit:yoga.com">Picture credit:yoga.comPlow PoseLie down on your back and relax for a few seconds. Slowly lift both your legs and take it behind your head and try touching the floor. If you can't touch, hold the pose till your maximum limit and hold for a few seconds.Picture credit:clickhealthtips.com">Picture credit:clickhealthtips.comExtended side angle poseStand like in a warrior pose and keep the hand on the bent thigh with the other hand over your head stretching the spine.Picture credit:lovemyyoga.com">Picture credit:lovemyyoga.comTree poseStand straight with arms on the sides. Raise your left leg and place it against the right inner thigh. Bring hands to prayer position and repeat for right leg.Picture credit:everydayhealth.com">Picture credit:everydayhealth.comThe results with yoga poses take time and requires being consistent.

7 Natural Ways to Curb Your Appetite

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Appetite is both a psychological and physical phenomenon. Sometimes we eat when we're bored, stressed, or just because it's "time" to eat, even though we're not feeling hungry. Making simple alterations to our diet and lifestyle can greatly impact our body and long term health.1) Don’t skip Breakfast: Skipping breakfast or having an unhealthy breakfast will make you lethargic through the day. Your body needs food to run efficiently and depriving it of breakfast will eventually lead to health problems. Always start your day with a healthy breakfast.2) Keep yourself hydrated: Drinking water is good for general health. Water is also known to fill you up and keep you from overeating. Dehydration or not drinking enough water can be responsible for slowing down your metabolism. Drinkat least 8-10 glasses of water to help remove toxins from your body and boost your metabolism naturally.3) Exercise is important: Exercise helps curb your cravings and lose weight in a healthy way. It increases energy expenditure, burns calories, adjusts the signals of satiety and reduces food intake.4) Balanced meals: A healthy and balanced diet will control your appetite and provide you with all the essential nutrients. When our body receives all the essential nutrients, it will functionally optimally and will keep us from over eating.5) Snack healthy: Having snacks in between your 3 big meals also help curb your appetite. Select healthy snacks with complex carbohydrates or healthy fats. For eg., you can choose between roasted channa, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc. These keep you full for a longer time.6) Eat slowly with controlled portion: Controlling your portion size is a key to weight control. Always be a smart selector when filling up your plate. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full.7) Get enough sleep: A shortage of sleep lowers levels of leptin in the body, leading to poor control over diet and unnecessary cravings. A minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary every day. It can keep a control on your appetite.

Top 10 Natural Appetite Suppressants to Keep You Full

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Healthy lifestyle is achieved by a combination of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine. A balanced daily diet should contain 3 healthy meals and 2 minor in-between snacks. A healthy controlled appetite plays an important role to help maintain a balanced diet and a healthy weight. But you do not need a pill or some kind of a replacement meal powder to suppress your appetite or help control unwanted cravings. Some foods can be healthy and at the same time can act as appetite suppressants, helping you to stay full for longer.Following is the list of top 10 natural appetite suppressants -Almonds: These are packed with appetite controlling fibre with ¼ cup almonds providing about 4gms of fibre. They also provide healthy fats, vitamin E, and a fair dose of antioxidants. They help keeping the stomach full for longer and hence in maintaining a healthy weight.Oatmeal: It contains a wide range of healthy and vital nutrients in appropriate proportions. Half a cup of this superfood provides 5 grams of bowel healthy fibre. It has also been found to increase levels of appetite regulating hormone, hence helping in controlling hunger. A bowl of oatmeal in skimmed milk is a heart and bowel healthy breakfast to kick start your day in the right way.Water: Often when the body is thirsty we misinterpret the sign as a hunger pang and end up consuming extra calories. The next time you feel you are hungry, start with a glass of water. You might not feel the need to eat. Water also helps you stay hydrated and drinking a glass of water before meals is also a good practice to help control portions.Apples: An apple is a perfect mid-afternoon snack. Apple contains stomach filling soluble fibre and sugar regulating pectin to help you stay full and also maintain energy levels. Finally, apples require lots of chewing time, which helps slow you down and gives your body more time to realize that you're no longer hungry. Plus, they just taste good!Eggs: Eggs contain good quality protein and healthy fats which helps in keeping stomach full for longer. A breakfast with 2 egg whites,1 yolk is found to help control appetite from 24-36 hours.Lemons: Have a sweet tooth you just can’t control? Try having something sour. A salad with lemon dressing before meal or a glass of lemon water post meals can help you manage your sweet cravings and help you avoid extra calories.Soup: Studies have shown that those who start their meals with a cup of broth based vegetable soup consume fewer calories during their main course. Also, it is beneficial to maintain bowel strength and gives a healthy dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals.Green Leafy Vegetables: These are nutrient packed powerhouses which are low in calories and rich in fibre which allows you to enjoy plentiful of these without being guilty of adding extra calories and hence keeping hunger at bay.Spices: Adding Cinnamon in smoothies and tea, cloves and ginger in vegetable curries can help to control appetite. These spices help stabilize blood sugar levels and the meal is processed slowly hence keep you feeling of full for longer post a meal.Flax-seeds: They are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids and stomach filling fibre. Freshly grounded or whole, they can be added to curd, shakes and salads. A tsp of flax-seeds can help you stay satiated and fuelled at the same time.

Lack of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
You are too busy to eat and yet you are putting on weight. Are you getting enough sleep? Maybe this is what really sabotaging your weight and not your diet. Lack of sleep makes us crave more cups of coffee/tea or high sugar food like biscuits to perk us up. All this result in added calories. Besides if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. Getting little or disturbed sleep causes hormonal imbalance which leads to weight gain. Sleep is very important. Here are some facts about how sleep might be affecting your health -Lead you to Overeating: Many studies have shown that your diet and your sleep patterns are related. Lack of sleep can lead to disturbed physiology of your body. So, when you do not get enough sleep it may lead to cravings and over-consumption of calories because when you are craving for food it is so easy to get tempted to reach for a cup of coffee and a doughnut for a quick shot of energy. But this will only adds up to your weight so sleeping at least eight hours each night helps you in managing your weight.Hormonal imbalance: Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep increases the chances of getting obese. Many studies have shown that when you do not sleep enough it disturbs your hormonal balance by increasing the level of ghrelin hormone. Ghrelin is a hormone known for its affect on appetite and disturbed level of ghrelin hormone leads to increased appetite. Disturbed hormones level also lead to irritation or frustration feeling without any specific reason.Effects your metabolism: When your body is deprived of sleep your metabolism slows down and will not function properly. It directly affects your weight loss as your body is not working effectively in burning the calories. That slowdown triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which increases appetite. Your body thinks it needs more energy and that’s why you feel hungry.For better health and to manage your weight it is important to get 8 hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble sleeping try to have a routine of at least 30 minutes exercise during the day and keep pre-bedtime activities relaxing.

Food Cravings--Dieter's Worst Enemy

Dr. Renu Garg, Homeopath
Cravings are one of the biggest reasons why people have problems loosing weight.Here I'll share with you some simple ways to prevent or stop unhealthy food and sugar cravings....Drink Water.Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings.If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. You may find that the craving fades away, because your body was actually just thirsty.Drinking water before meals may reduce cravings and appetite, as well as help with weight loss.Eating more protein may reduce your appetite and keep you from overeating.It also reduces cravings, and helps you feel full and satisfied for longer . Increasing protein intake may reduce cravings by up to 60% and cut the desire to snack at night by 50%.Distance yourself from the craving.When you feel a craving, try to distance yourself from it by chewing gum ,going on a walk,or taking a shower i.e.shift your mind onto something else. A change in thought and environment may help stop the craving.Plan your meals for the day or upcoming week.By already knowing what you’re going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the following meal, you will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings.Avoid getting extremely hungry, it may be a good idea to eat regularly and have healthy snacks close at hand.By being prepared, and avoiding long periods of hunger, you may be able to prevent the craving from showing up at all.Fight stress.Stress may induce food cravings and influence eating behaviors, especially for women .Stress raises your blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain weight especially in the belly area.Try to minimize stress in your environment by planning ahead and also by meditating .Mindful eating teaches you to distinguish between cravings and actual physical hunger. It helps you choose your response, instead of acting thoughtlessly or impulsively .Eating mindfully involves being present while you eat, slowing down and chewing thoroughly. It is also important to avoid distractions, like the TV or your smartphone.Get enough sleep.Sleep deprivation may disrupt normal fluctuations in appetite hormones, leading to cravings and poor appetite control.Eat proper meals.Hunger and a lack of key nutrients can both cause certain cravings.Therefore, it’s important to eat proper meals at mealtimes. This way, your body gets the nutrients it needs and you won’t get extremely hungry right after eating.If you find yourself in need of a snack between meals, make sure it’s something healthy. Reach for whole foods, such as fruits,nuts, vegetables or seeds.Don't go to grocery store hungry.Grocery stores are probably the worst places to be when you are hungry or have cravings.First, they give you easy access to pretty much any food you could think of. Second, they usually place the unhealthiest foods at eye level.Eating before you go to the supermarket helps reduce the risk of unwanted cravings and impulsive buying. Never — ever — go to the supermarket hungry. I am pretty sure that the above ways would work for most people to shut down a food or sugar craving.But of course, the best option by far is to try to prevent these cravings from showing up in the first place.To do that, toss all junk foods out of your house. If you keep them within close reach, then you’re just asking for trouble.Being aware of your cravings and their triggers makes them much easier to avoid. It also makes it a lot easier to eat healthy and lose weight.