You might think food and a flat belly don’t go well together and, really, I wouldn’t blame you. After all, the more food you eat, the fatter you get, right?
Okay, but guess what? There are a bunch of natural appetite suppressant foods for weight loss out there. You probably have some of them in your pantry right now.
These include foods that are high in fiber, protein, healthy fat and a cocktail of compounds that help make you feel full faster and for a longer period of time.
Having said that, below will be a list of some food items that can put you on a smoother road towards healthy weight loss. I’ve divided them into either whole foods, spices, and drinks to keep things organized but don’t let the categories be a limit to how you use them.
Now, let’s start with…
Whole foods that stop hunger
Instead of those ultra sweet, sugary cereals that spike up your blood sugar and hunger from getting digested too quick, have oatmeal for breakfast instead.
Oatmeal has more fiber and less sugar compared to your ready-to-eat cereal which, according to research, helps suppress your appetite while making you more full.
Eggs are another breakfast staple and like oatmeal, they’re better than cereal at subduing your hunger.
Similarly, there’s research comparing the effects of eggs and cereal on satiety and blood sugar. Needless to say, eggs won that battle convincingly because of its significantly higher protein content.
Your body needs more time to digest proteins compared to carbohydrates which is why eggs are more satiating than cereal. Furthermore, this effect isn’t just limited to eggs. Per an article from Harvard, researchers have stated that any protein source would have similar effects.
This brings us to…
Almonds are one of the most well-known nuts for weight loss and with just one look at its nutrient profile, it’s not hard to understand why.
Specifically, an ounce of almonds carries 164 calories, 6g of protein, 14.2g of fat, and 6.11g of carbs with over half of its carb content allotted to fiber (per USDA). In other words, it’s relatively low calorie with a good amount of protein, fat, and fiber that help keep your appetite on the down low.
In fact, a research describes almonds as a “healthy snack option” specifically for its satiating effects.
I believe avocados are one of the best natural appetite suppressant foods for weight loss largely because of 2 reasons:
- First, it’s packed with healthy fats and fiber, and
- Second, I think the subtle sweetness works well as a replacement for more refined sugary food
Furthermore, there’s a single study that proves both my points.
This study from the Illinois Institute of Techonology substituted the carbohydrates in meals with avocados. The result is that the high fat, high fiber content of avocados resulted appetite suppression.
So, the next time you plan on eating a bunch of carbs for any one of your meals, try to replace at least some of it with avocado.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, there’s a lot of truth to that.
Specifically for weight loss, apples are 85.7% water which, by itself, is already an amazing appetite suppressant (we’ll talk more about this later).
Furthermore, apples are packed with fiber and are relatively low calorie, making them a great fit for virtually any weight loss diet. In fact, a medium-sized apple only carries around 95 calories but also has more than 4g of fiber (per USDA).
However, it won’t work if you don’t eat the actual fruit. Per research, apple sauce and apple juice, even when they’re infused with fiber, don’t have the satiating effects of whole apples.
Like apples, grapefruits are also highly touted for weight loss because they’re loaded with both fiber and water. It even has slightly more water than apples at around 88%.
Half a grapefruit also has less calories (51.7) and carbs (13.1g) than apples, so it might be better for you if you’re keeping track of those. Furthermore, research says that eating half a grapefruit before meals can lead to significant weight loss.
First of all, salmon is probably one of the best natural sources of protein and healthy fats in the world which is probably why a lot of bodybuilders, models, and fitness enthusiasts have this fish in their meal plans.
Plus, the high protein and fat content automatically already makes it more satiating than typical sugar-enriched foods that you can buy.
The protein and fat in salmon are more than just slow-digesting macronutrients though. Per research, they also have an effect on leptin and ghrelin — hunger hormones that control your appetite — that end up ultimately making you feel more full.
Just based on my own circle of people, tofu is one of the more polarizing foods I know of. It probably doesn’t even matter if you’re vegan or a straight-up carnivore. Some people just love it, and some people don’t.
But, as something that restricts appetite, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s one of the best — and that’s simply because it’s packed with protein and water. Per the USDA, 100g of tofu has 10g of protein and about 80% of its weight is water.
Although not specified, I believe this is the reason why tofu is scientifically backed to promote satiety.
Furthermore, studies show that soy protein can also reduce LDL cholesterol (or “bad” cholesterol) as well as triglycerides while boosting your metabolism. This not only makes it great for your weight, but also for your health in general.
9. Sweet potatoes
Ever since I first step foot in a gym (that was about a decade ago) in hopes of losing weight, the one thing trainers tell me to eat is sweet potato. It’s still carbs, yes, but it’s better than white rice and pasta in terms of sugar spikes and satiety.
Again, this is due in large part to the water and fiber packed inside this sweet tuber. Its effect on appetite is probably also why there are so many studies supporting its use for weight loss and fitness.
10. Spinach, salads, and other leafy greens
Spinach is a prime example of natural appetite suppressant foods for weight loss but, really, virtually all other green leafy vegetables fit the crtieria.
The green leaves of these vegetables have compounds called thylakoids which, according to research, reduces hunger, increases satiety, and minimizes cravings for all sorts of snacks from sweet, to salty, to even the fatty kinds.
Furthermore, they’re probably one of the best sources of insoluble fiber. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says these fibers act like brooms which clean out your digestive tract. In turn, the cleanse makes it easier to lose weight.
11. Dark Chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate. Not milk chocolate. Not candy. Dark.
A study that compares dark chocolate to milk chocolate shows that eating the former can make you feel more full and less hungry. And even if you count the calories from chocolate, you still might end up eating 8% less calories throughout the day.
Furthermore, the same research shows how dark chocolate can help you stop craving all those sweet, fatty, and savory foods.
Herbs and spices that suppress appetite
Add these herbs and spices to your recipes and they just might help you lose weight while eating flavorful food.
We also have a list of herbs and spices for weight loss that I highly recommend you add to your pantry. These include spices that boost your metabolism, herbs that can help you burn more fat, and of course, ones that help control your appetite.
But, since we’re focusing solely on appetite suppressants today, here are a few good examples:
12. Gymnema sylvestre
Honestly, I’ve only had food with this once and I didn’t even make it. You see, it’s hard to find this herb where I live. And if, like me, you can’t find any local store that sells it, you can always choose to get it from Amazon.
That being said, gymnema sylvestre is quite the unique herb as it has compounds that numb your tongue to the taste of sweetness. Apparently, this works when food is both naturally and artificially sweetened.
Per research, this desensitization is why people who use gymnema sylvestre eat less calories and crave less carbs.
Oh, and don’t worry. The effect isn’t permanent.
Also, another interesting thing about this herb is that there’s an actual study that aimed to determine the best sauce using gymnema sylvestre. Basically, the recipe involves water, vinegar, sweet potatoes, chili, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, onions, salt, citric acid, and last but not the least, the herb.
The most expensive spice in the world… and it helps you lose weight.
Per research, saffron helps limit your appetite and makes you less likely to grab a snack. The theory behind this is that the spice makes you happy and when you’re happy, you crave less food.
Also, saffron has powerful antioxidants that might help elevate your metabolism. That’s always great for weight loss.
Personally though, I find that it helps me lose weight because it’s way too expensive that I can’t afford to buy anything else. (lol. kidding.)
The thing that makes cayenne so popular around weight loss is its active compound capsaicin.
Research says that this compound not only reduces appetite but also increases metabolism and boosts the pace of your body’s fat burning capabilities. On that note, capsaicin is also what gives chili peppers their spiciness, so you can actually get the same benefits from other peppers, too.
What sets cayenne apart, however, is its availability. It’s literally in every supermarket I go to. Plus, its heat isn’t too intense either, making it both an effective appetite suppressant as well as an amazing seasoning.
Speaking of spicy condiments, wasabi is another one you can add to your diet. I’m sure you already know how delectable sushi is with wasabi and soy sauce, but have you ever tried wasabi and samgyeopsal? I’m telling you. It’s next level.
Anyhow, before I cover my keyboard with drool, wasabi gets its heat from allyl isothiocyanate — a compound that, as research says, might help fix insulin resistance.
This is particularly important if you’ve been overweight for an extended time period since all the food you ate while gaining weight likely also made you lose your normal sensitivity to insulin. Albeit indirectly, fixing this issue — which is what wasabi does — also helps you feel less hungry.
Speaking of insulin, research suggests that cinnamon’s active compound, cinnamaldehyde, can potentially do the following:
- Improve insulin sensitivity,
- Lower ghrelin (i.e. the “hunger hormone”) which might reduce your appetite, and
- Amplify fat burning
Clearly, all these effects can ultimately lead to weight loss. There are also claims that cinnamon boosts metabolism although there’s not a lot of research to back that up.
Nevertheless, cinnamon is packed with fiber. In fact, about half a tablespoon of cinnamon (7.8g) is fiber (4.14g) according to USDA records — and that alone is reason for me to believe in cinnamon being one of the best natural appetite suppressants in the world.
Here’s something I believe you should always, always have in your pantry. You can add it to food or you can make tea out of it. Its versatility is partly why it’s such an incredible ingredient.
Another reason is that it has virtually everything you want in a weight loss food.
Turbo-charging your metabolism? Check.
Fat burning? Check.
Inhibits the creation of new fat cells? Check.
Stops the absorption of fat? Check.
Suppress appetite? Definitely.
In case you were looking for it, the scientific proof for everything I just said about ginger is right here.
Like virtually all other fibrous food, fenugreek fiber is capable of making you feel fuller, less hungry, and eat less calories throughout the day. Furthermore, there’s evidence suggesting that the more fenugreek fiber you eat, the better its effects on satiety get.
To incorporate this in your diet, I suggest buying fenugreek seeds. They can be easily ground up to make powder but you can just as easily boil them for tea or cook them up as part of a side dish.
What drink suppresses appetite?
19. Garcinia cambogia
As far as I know, garcinia cambogia is one of the more well known natural appetite suppressant foods for weight loss and that’s largely because of its active compound hydroxycitric acid (or simply HCA).
Research suggests that garcinia cambogia can safely control your appetite because of this same compound.
If I’m being honest though, garcinia cambogia isn’t my favorite on this list, in large part, because it mostly comes as a supplement rather than whole food (I want to chew my calories, okay?). Also, it’s hard to find the fruit where I live, so I hardly ever come across one.
Having said that, if you’re lucky to find fresh garcinia cambogia, give this juice recipe from Jenny Travens of Food52 a go.
20. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has been one of the more talked about drinks for weight loss and I swear I almost always get the same 2 questions:
“Is apple cider vinegar an appetite suppressant?”
For the first question, we have an entire article dedicated to just answering it, so go check it out if you have the same concern.
For the second question, yes, ACV does have the ability to suppress your appetite. It’s specifically because it contains acetic acid which, according to research, is at the center of what it does.
Moreover, having 1-2 tablespoons of ACV per day has been associated with less weight, BMI, and fat.
Caffeine is the reason why people are so into coffee and it’s also the reason why it’s so great for weight loss. Or, to be more specific, research suggests that it’s great for slowing down, if not preventing weight gain over time.
The theories behind this is that caffeine boosts metabolism while also regulating your appetite.
However, be sure you’re drinking black coffee as all the added sugars in your Starbucks frappuccino adds a ton of needless calories.
22. Green tea
Like coffee, green tea has caffeine so it also has all those same benefits on satiety and metabolism.
More than that though, green tea also has epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG) which almost has the same positive effects of caffeine. But as research suggests, green tea is the superior weight loss drink simply because it has both.
23. Yerba mate
I’ve been hearing more and more yerba mate over the past few years and when it comes to weight loss, I’ve been getting nothing but good feedback.
Honestly though, it still needs a bit more research but from the evidence we have so far, it seems capable of slowing weight gain, reducing appetite, and increasing metabolism. Also, it seems able to reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose.
24. Whey protein
Just so you know, these last few drinks are relatively obvious additions but I feel like you should get to read about them anyway.
Having said that, whey protein is supplements help get your body more of this muscle-building macronutrient. This helps because there’s strong evidence that high protein diets seem to be better at boosting your metabolism while also promoting satiety.
I’ve been personally using Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard whey protein for over a decade now and I’ve got to say, it’s not only great for weight loss and muscle growth, it’s also quite tasty.
First of all, milk is an amazing source of whey protein. So, of course, it’s also going to promote satiety and a faster metabolism.
However, milk also has casein — a more slow-digesting kind of protein.
This is important because, according to research, whey is better for the short term whereas casein is better for the long term when it comes to satiety — and with milk, you get both.
And last but most definitely not the least, water is as basic as gets to being an appetite suppressant.
A lot of the foods you’ve seen here have water in them, especially the fruits.
The logic behind this is simple: when your stomach is full, it sends that message to the brain and ultimately gives you the feeling of satisfaction.
Now, when you’ve already filled your stomach with water before your meals, you’re going to need less food to feel full. Thus, suppressing your appetite. This is why many studies support the use of water as a weight loss agent.
As you can see, a lot of these natural appetite suppressants can easily be bought in your local supermarket. I believe this availability is largely why it’s so easy to incorporate these foods and drinks into your everyday life.
With that said, go and stock up. These kinds of foods will be vital If you want to lose weight and keep the weight off.
Oh, and please tell your friends about us! It’ll mean a lot even if we were able to help just 1 more person