In the world of herbal concoctions and natural supplements that claim to suppress your appetite or “burn more calories”, you would be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t rely on stimulating your nervous system in order to control the appetite. Often people find that herbal and natural concoctions specifically designed for appetite control leave them with a jittery, disconnected or anxious feeling.
They can also lead to headaches, dehydration and even moodiness. After they wear off, some users may also find that their appetite kicks back in twofold or that they feel extremely tired and listless since the energy drop happens fast and without warning. If you’re looking for something that takes the edge off your appetite as a way to jump start a healthy weight loss program, here are some of the options you may want to look into.
5HTP is best known as a central nervous system relaxant. This amino acid is one of the precursors for the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin which is critical in mood regulation. It is also critical in the production of another important neurotransmitter which plays a role in not only facilitating healthy sleep patterns but also in manufacturing the youth hormone HGH, melatonin.
Both of these neurotransmitters help to naturally reduce your appetite without working simply as a stimulant because they work in secondary ways to suppress appetite. Serotonin replaces feelings of hunger because it makes you feel good naturally, without that constant feeling of wanting to gain pleasure through eating pleasure-inducing foods like sugary sweets or salty and fatty snacks.
The increased production of melatonin, which helps you to sleep soundly and deeply through the night, allows your body to recuperate fully from the stressors the day brings. This helps to lower cortisol levels (stress hormones), and replaces the need to constantly fuel yourself with food for energy when you’re tired and simply need more sleep.
Several studies have shown the sleep deprivation leads not only to over eating, but also to cravings that are not conducive to weight management. Cravings for simple carbohydrates, sugars and fats often accompany lack of quality sleep.
Cinnamon & cayenne pepper
Cinnamon is really quite impressive in how effectively it controls blood sugar. Controlling your blood sugar levels is absolutely crucial in preventing those “sugar crashes” where you momentarily lose al restraint and eat everything in sight.
It is the moments when our blood sugar is the lowest that we will consume large amounts of empty calories in the shortest period of time. Our bodies are literally starving for more fuel, and will do anything to immediately elevate those sugar levels back up.
Controlling and keeping these levels even all day long is key to maintaining a healthy, lower appetite level. ¼ – ½ teaspoon of cinnamon is all it takes to help get your blood sugar in the appetite-suppressing zone.
If you want to add a little kick to that, then combine it with some cayenne pepper (but be sure to take this with a lot of water. The combination of the two helps blood sugar levels and the cayenne really helps to also stave off cravings and to help keep the metabolism going.
Eat a breakfast high in protein
Recent studies in adolescents, who tend to skip breakfast a lot, showed a definite relationship between hunger later on in the day and the skipping of this important meal. The results revealed a real relationship between satiety and calorie consumption throughout the day and the eating (or not eating) of breakfast.
Particularly, the participants who ate a higher protein breakfast showed more restraint and less hunger throughout the day. Those that skipped breakfast tended to really make up for this lack of calories in the morning by eating a lot at night. Night time eating has been associated with obesity and weight gain. It is always best to concentrate calorie consumption during the day, when it still has a chance to be burned off by daytime activity.
Eating a breakfast that contains a solid balance of wholesome protein and fiber as well as a small amount of slow burning carbs is a one of the best ways to curb the appetite during the day. It also helped keep overeating in the evening hours at bay.
These are just a few suggestions to keep your appetite in check. These options will not give you that crash and burn effect because they are natural, subtle ways to control the appetite that don’t rely solely on over-stimulating your central nervous system to achieve a lack of hunger. They are also long term, safe solutions that you can use when you find your appetite is out of control or you’ve been bingeing on foods that create a big appetite (such as the holidays).
Danna Norek is the founder of AuraSensory.com, which offers a growing line of natural skin, hair and body care including a popular anti-aging face cream “Nourish & Hydrate” with vitamin C ester and MSM, a Hyaluronic Acid Serum for plump, firm skin all day and more natural beauty and personal care offerings.
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