Appetite and Weight Loss
Imagine if you could take a drug that would suppress your appetite and make you
feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time. You would, of course,
eat less and much more easily maintain or even lose weight. Well, there is
no reason to take a drug for this: the answer lies in the foods that you
Many foods actually provide much greater satiefy and greatly control appetite. This
is very important when you are losing weight, especially if you are not by
nature a person with steely discipline when it comes to eating.
Examples abound, but below we are going to discuss some of the heavy hitters
that will help you lose that health-and-hormone-harming spare tire around your
Let's start with almonds. Almonds are a counterintuitive choice when it comes to
losing weight, because they are calorie dense, i.e. they pack a lot of
calories in a small volume due to their high fat content. However, they have a huge advantage:
they are extemely satisfying of appetite and satiety. One study of obese
women, for example, found that they were able to control their weight just by
eating a handful of almonds every day.  In other words, just one food can
actually make a difference when it comes to appetitie control.
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Another example of this is dark chocolate. One study out of Copenhagen
showed that men who first consumed dark chocolate later consumed 15% less pizza,
which adds up to a lot of calories.  Participants consumed 100g of dark
chocolate and, sorry, but milk chocolate did not produce the same results.
The reason? Cacao contain compounds that slow down digestion and make you
feel fuller longer as well as appetite regulators and cannabanoids. It's a
pro-pleasure pleasing cocktail and dark has more of the chemicals that make a
Other researchers did an even more thorough mapping of appetite to a wide variety
of foods in a set of studies in 1995 and 1996.  The researchers in the
lead study gave participants 240 calories of various foods and then queried them
on appetite and satiety. The results were very interesting and a strong
key to appetite control. In fact, they built what they called The Satiety
Index that can be used by just about anyone to control overeating. Here
are some of the top foods - and notice that they are both healthy and control
appetite - on the Satiety Index per
this article on Diabetes Net:
- Fish, beef and eggs
- Potatoes and oatmeal
- Whole grain foods
- Grapes, apples and oranges
In other words, most of the healthy foods are also very satisfying and keep your
appetite satisfied for a longer amount of time. An important additional point
about this same study is that junk foods were consistently among the
worst scoring items on the Satiety Index. In other words, not only are
what I call sugar fat foods, such as cakes and doughnuts, calorie dense but they also leave you
feeling less satisfied and more likely to eat again at a sooner time.
Food is not the only thing that can effect appetite: there are significant
lifestyle factors as well. One supplement, fish oil, has been found to
increase satiety and help satifsy appetite in overweight people. 
Eliminating stress is also a critical lifestyle change as chronic stress alters appetitie in
most people according to a recent study out of the Netherlands.  Stressed out
people, especially those sensitive and vulnerable, eat even though aren't truly
hungry. And one interesting study found that women - the same is likely true for
us guys as well - who eat lunch watching television end up eating more in the
afternoon. Why? The authors speculate that one has "reduced
vividness of the memory of the lunch". Yet another reason not to fry your
brain in front of the tube, eh?
NOTE: You may want to read my link about the
Controversy Regarding Beef and
CAUTION: If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, please discuss any changes with
your doctor first. Certain supplements, foods and even juices can alter absorption rates of certain medications for example. Play it safe.
1. North American Association for the Study of Obesity: The Obesity Society
Annual Scientific Meeting 2006,"The effects of almond consumption on energy
balance in adult females"
2) Eur J of Clin Nutr, Sep 1995, 49:675-690, "A satiety index of common foods."
3) Eur J of Clin Nutr, Dec 1996, 50:788-797, "Interrelationships among
postprandial satiety, glucose and insulin responses and changes in subsequent
Obesity, 2008, 17(1):72–77, "Acute Stress-related Changes in Eating in the
Absence of Hunger"
5) University of Copenhagen. "Dark Chocolate Is More Filling Than Milk Chocolate
And Lessens Cravings." ScienceDaily 23 December 2008. 22 March 2010
6) Appetite, 2008 Nov, 51(3):676-80, Epub 2008 Jun 14, "A diet rich in long chain
omega-3 fatty acids modulates satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during