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7 Ways to Control Your Eating Habits

7 Ways to Control Your Eating Habits

Ways to Control Your Eating Habits

Learning to control your eating habits is often easier said than done, but there are several techniques that you can use to control your hunger and reduce your food cravings as much as possible. These techniques will help you with your appetite, but the important thing to do is to stick to mostly healthy natural organic foods and eliminate junk and processed foods as much as possible from your diet. An appetite for processed foods is actually a learned trait, and because of this fact it can also be unlearned. You can reset your appetites to crave natural organic foods but it takes effort, and every little step that you take matters. A detoxifying diet like the HCG diet can get you on the right path and help reset your metabolism and appetites, but if you can't start the diet right away you can try some of these techniques that you might find helpful for controlling your eating habits.

Method #1 - Don't skip your main meals

If you skip your square meals - breakfast lunch or dinner, you are much less likely to want to gorge on snacks and junk food. No matter what, your body is going to get the calories it needs, and you need to get most of your calories from whole organic foods (and preferably all of them). If you find yourself skipping breakfast and then eating way too much later on in the day, you need to start eating breakfast or eating a meal as soon as you get hungry in the morning. Starving yourself never works and many studies have shown that it leads to obesity as a result of overeating when you actually do eat. Balance your meals throughout the day and you're likely to stop gaining excess weight, and try to eat as many whole foods as you can.

Method #2 - Eat mostly whole organic foods

It can't be said enough, you should try to eat as many whole foods as possible, and ideally most of those foods should be organic. Processed foods are high in calories and easy to eat too much of, and they are purposely designed to not be satisfying so that you want to eat more. They are made with textures and compounds that actually stimulate the appetite rather than reducing it, and they are often rich in simple sugars and carbohydrates while having minimal nutritional value. The reason why people overeat these foods is because of how little actual nutrition that they provide. You are much better off eating whole foods and high quality organic meats with every meal; natural foods are the best fuel for your body and you will find that you have more energy than ever when you stick to these foods for most of your diet.

Method #3 - Drink non-sweetened fluids/water throughout the day

Drinking water throughout the day will help you avoid eating too much during your meals, and it also assist with digestion. Most people don't drink enough water, and the recommended amount of 8 to 10 glasses isn't that easy to get on a daily basis when you aren't actively trying to drink that much water. Always keep water with you where you go, and be sure that you are drinking it in combination with anything else that you might be sipping on throughout the day. If you drink coffee or tea in the morning be sure to drink water with those drinks as well so that you don't get dehydrated, and try to drink filtered water or spring water whenever possible as tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other compounds that might be harmful.

Method #4 - Sleep on time

Getting enough sleep is essential for controlling your appetite. When you stay away too many hours of the day, your body needs to compensate for the energy loss and the lack of sleep. To compensate, you will inevitably end up eating more than you should. Studies have found strong correlations between getting to little sleep and overeating, and people who tend to eat a more balanced number of calories per day tend to get better sleep. Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones involved in appetite, and studies have found that these hormones are produced in higher amounts when you get less sleep. Getting at least seven hours of sleep helps to regulate these hormones. Studies have found that people on restricted sleep schedules eat as many as 500 more calories than people who got a regular amount of sleep, so the effect can be quite dramatic.

Method #5 - Snack on fiber rich foods

When you do need to snack, don't reach for a granola bar, chips or candy. Snack on a piece of fruit or another fiber rich food like most vegetables. Pretty much any fruit or vegetable barring a few of the starchy varieties are a good option for a snack compared to processed foods. Nuts are also a great option as they are rich in fiber and high in healthy fat and protein. No matter what, you never want to snack on foods that are low in fiber. Fiber rich natural foods will take longer to digest and give you a feeling of satiety that other foods can't. You will notice that you will want to eat much less when you snack on fiber rich foods, and you should try to keep them with you wherever you go.

Method #6 - Drink coffee or tea

Caffeinated tea or coffee is one hunger suppression method that isn't the healthiest in the world, but is far better than snacking on junk food. The caffeine in coffee and black tea or green tea is proven to work to suppress the appetite, and in some cases it can hold you over for a while, but you don't want to become overly reliant on it. This method can even be bad if you tend to overeat when you actually do get to eat. If you have trouble with snacking, try this method or try combining coffee with fiber rich foods like fruits or high protein foods like Greek yogurt and fruit. The hunger suppressing effect of caffeine combined with the blood sugar stabilizing protein and fiber can be very effective at controlling hunger, and it may very well work for you.

Method #7 - Don't feel guilty about eating more healthy foods

When you actually stick to organic, whole foods for the majority of your meals (and hopefully all of them), you don't have to feel as guilty when you eat more of them. These foods are the natural fuel that you were meant to consume, and even when you eat a few more servings than you should you won't put on excess weight like you would with junk foods. Vegetables and fruits are low in calories and you can enjoy several servings of them without guilt, as long as your recipes don't contain unhealthy additives like sugar, wheat, and other carbohydrates or unhealthy fats. The key is to use good quality natural recipes for your meals. The raw form is the best way to get the nutrients and vitamins in natural whole foods. You can enjoy eating most fruits and vegetables raw in as many servings as you would like because this is the best way to eat them and you won't have to worry about the negative health effects of any additives.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

8 min read