There are a huge variety of diet plans that work, as long as you find a way to eat less calories than you burn each day.
In part 1 I discussed that the secret to fat loss is appetite control, not necessarily a specific ratio of macro-nutrients.
In this section, I’ll share a few appetite suppressing tips.
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of everything that helps curb your appetite…
…just a few effective strategies I’ve used myself and with clients over the years.
My favorite strategy is starting the day with a black cup of coffee.
The movie clip above shows a lot of cigarette smoking, which I don’t endorse.
Why did I include this clip?
Because Bill F’n Murray…that’s why!
How about coffee? Is it healthy?
My friend Kris, runs an awesome blog called Authority Nutrition.
If you are concerned, I recommend you read this article he wrote about the health benefits of coffee (opens in a new window).
The approach I recommend is to drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach, and delay your first meal by 2-3 hours.
Waiting to eat doesn’t work well for everyone.
I’m not trying to pick on the ladies…
…but I have known some perfectly nice and normal women who turn demonic when they go too long without food.
If going without food makes you insane, then by all means eat!
…but if you can wait, fasting for the first part of the day does help a little to use fat for fuel and to hit stubborn body fat.
Coffee makes fasting the first part of the day pretty easy.
Apples are another fantastic appetite suppressant.
I was a big-time Fuji Apple Fan until my sister introduced me to Honeycrisp Apples.
I remember eating my first Honeycrisp Apple like it was yesterday.
This song captures that day perfectly!
“Some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this. Some people search for..e..ever for that one special kiss. Oh I can’t believe it’s happening to me..ee..ee (long pause). Some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this.” – Kelly Clarkson
Wow, that video does it to me every time (not really).
After I wipe the tears out of my eyes, I’ll be able to type again to explain the benefits of apples.
(You probably are feeling like you are waiting a lifetime for me to get to the point).
Okay…it’s pretty simple.
Apples are filling because of a combo or fiber, pectin and water.
There are roughly 60-70 calories in an apple.
In my opinion, there is no other 60-70 calorie food that is as filling as an apple.
Note: A lot of people avoid apples because of the fructose, worrying that their insulin and blood sugar levels will spike. Here’s the thing…apples have polyphenols. These are phytonutrients which not only stabilize your blood sugar, they also slow down the absorption and digestion of other carbs you eat along with the apple.
Apples are a great food to have handy when cravings kick in.
My advice is to eat an apple 15-30 minutes before a meal, to be satisfied with much less food…or use in between meals, to satisfy hunger for a couple of hours.
Here’s a link to the multiple health benefits of apples (opens in a new window).
Spicy (chili pepper-based) foods are also a proven appetite suppressant.
This includes jalapenos, habanero peppers, salsa, Tabasco Sauce, cayenne pepper, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Sriracha Sauce, etc.
Spicy food can have a positive effect on reducing your appetite.
There are two reasons that spicy food works well as a diet aid.
- Spicy food contains capsaicin, which is a natural appetite suppressant. And like coffee and apples, capsaicin has many other health benefits.
- If the food is really spicy, you tend to slow down in between bites to take a sip of water. Eating slowly allows time to feel full and is a proven strategy to eat less during a meal.
Apple Cider Vinegar is another effective appetite suppressant.
Apple cider vinegar has a variety of health benefits, one of them being appetite control. Apple cider vinegar also stabilizes blood sugar if you consume before a meal that tends to spike insulin.
The way I supplement apple cider vinegar will seem wrong…
…but I like to take it as a 1/2 shot in a shot glass.
Apple cider vinegar isn’t good for tooth enamel.
By using a shot glass, you can shoot the vinegar in a way that avoids hitting your teeth. Make sure you rinse out your mouth with warm water, even if you use this rockstar shot glass method.
*Important Update: Drinking apple cider vinegar straight can irritate and burn the throat. A better approach to ensure this doesn’t happen is to pour a 1/2 ounce into a glass and dilute with 4-5 ounces of water.
Warning: Your neighbors might believe you have a problem.
My kitchen sink has a window that looks directly across to my neighbor’s kitchen sink. I was shooting back some vinegar the other day and he gave me a funny look.
This was 10:00AM on a Monday 🙂
He probably thinks that I am a Don Draper wannabe.
Take vinegar before meals that tend to make you sleepy.
I’m a fan of protein shakes during the day when I’m working.
I realize that this is kind of an 80’s approach for staying lean.
Speaking of the 80’s, here’s a true masterpiece from that decade.
Important Side Note #1: My blog is a place where Nu-Metal is not allowed. You will not hear any of the terrible music normally associated with fitness and weight lifting. If you like the song “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” <—I have better taste in music than you (a fact I will someday prove with scientific research).
Important Side Note #2: Yes…I realize that Kelly Clarkson and Spice Girls aren’t outstanding artists. As corny as they are, they are still 10 times better than the cheesy Nu-Metal stuff most guys use as music when trying to make “hardcore” lifting videos.
Enough of my music rant.
Back to my point on insulin spikes…
Some sources of protein can spike insulin as much as carbs.
If you feel a little sleepy 15-20 minutes after having a protein shake or eating any other protein source, try the Don Draper apple cider vinegar trick.
Shoot down half a shot of vinegar before your shake or meal.
So just as a quick recap…
Here are the 4 natural appetite suppressants I recommend:
- Spicy Capsaicin-Based Foods and Sauces
- Apple Cider Vinegar
*There are obviously other natural appetite suppressants, but these are the ones I have found to be most effective.
In part 3, I am going to cover effective supplements.
I have only found a few that work well.