Suppressing one's appetite can be a true challenge with any diet plan. In order for many diets to work as advertised, there may be periods of hunger which must be endured. Fortunately, there are a number of foods which can curb the appetite without adding a significant amount of calories, fat or carbohydrates to the diet plan. These foods may not completely eliminate hunger pangs, but many of them will suppress the appetite long enough for the dieter to eat a regularly scheduled meal without snacking.
One food item which can curb the appetite is the common apple. An apple is loaded with natural fiber, which helps to create fullness without adding a significant amount of calories. Apples also contain natural sugars which could prevent a dieter's blood sugar level from bottoming out, a situation which often triggers a desire to consume extra carbohydrates. If you feel the need to eat a snack between meals, reach for an apple.
Another group of foods which may curb the appetite are green leafy vegetables. Kale, spinach, or cabbage, among others, can provide significant amounts of appetite-suppressing fiber while contributing minimal or even negative calories. The effort expended while eating green leafy vegetables often negates their caloric value, making them ideal appetite suppressants during or between meals.
Some nutritionists suggest that almonds or other nuts can help hunger between regular meals. Again, a high amount of natural fiber slows down the digestive process, and the protein found in many nuts has the same appetite-suppression elements of lean meats or protein shakes. A handful of almonds eaten between meals should be enough to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Speaking of lean meats and protein shakes, they can also be used to curb a person's appetite. It may seem counter-intuitive to eat a piece of lean beef or chicken by itself, but the protein contained in lean meats takes longer to digest than the carbohydrates found in other possible snacks. A few pieces of beef jerky may curb hunger between meals better than a bag of potato chips. Protein shakes made from natural spirutein may also provide the same effect on a dieter's appetite.
Although not strictly a food item, many people find that water is an excellent and effective appetite suppressant. When hunger pangs strike between scheduled meals, drinking at least one glass of water can help create a sense of fullness without adding calories. Water enhanced with powdered fiber supplements may be an even more effective solution.
Some dieters claim success against hunger pangs by consuming certain herbs or other natural supplements. Powdered guar gum can be purchased at many health food stores and used as a natural appetite suppressant. The powdered guar gum turns into a thick gel in the stomach, which creates a sense of fullness between meals. Overuse of products containing guar gum, however, can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, including a complete blockage of the large intestine. A natural product called hoodia is also said to curb the appetite, but users should educate themselves on the proper type of hoodia to use before purchasing it.
No food can completely eliminate hunger between meals, but foods containing high amounts of natural fiber or protein should help dieters prevent the worst of the symptoms and keep their blood sugar levels in check.