6 Appetite-Control Strategies that Helped Me Stop Overeating

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6 Appetite-Control Strategies that Helped Me Stop Overeating

It can be hard not to overeat. You eat a healthy meal at home, think you’re doing well, then you head out (to almost any destination) and are surrounded by junk food. You get hungry, and pretty soon you’re at the local burger joint, diet forgotten.

Or maybe you stick to the “right” foods, but they’re just so good that you can’t have just one portion. We’ve all been there. That used to be me.

The following six strategies have changed the game for me — now I’m healthier, enjoy my meals more and my appetite is low enough that, if anything, I have to make an effort to eat more.

1. ADD VINEGAR AND CINNAMON TO MEALS TO CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR

Looking to add some flavor to your food and noncaloric drinks? Forget the sugar; there are plenty of spices and flavors that will make your food both tastier and healthier. Vinegar, which has been shown to lower the glycemic index (which means you metabolize the food more slowly), adds acidic flavor to salad dressings, sauces and roasted veggies without a lot of calories.

For sweet-smelling warmth, add cinnamon to everything from coffee and smoothies to chili. Like vinegar, cinnamon slows the rate at which food transits from your stomach to your intestine — this keeps you full longer, and helps prevent the post-meal slump.

2. EAT WHEN YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY

When you get really hungry, you overeat. I know, groundbreaking stuff. When you overeat, you feel full, but then your insulin levels spike, causing you to feel tired, then hungry again … so you overeat again.

Instead of trying to resist hunger, beat it to the punch. If you eat when you’re either not hungry or only slightly hungry, you’ll eat less and tend to eat more slowly. Eating less throughout the day is great, but having more energy is certainly a nice bonus, too.


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3. DRINK WATER, NOT LIQUID CALORIES

In addition to tiredness and brain fog, mild dehydration can cause a sensation that’s easily mistaken for hunger. On the other hand, liquid calories such as juices and sodas don’t fill you up, and their rapid digestion causes insulin spikes. So pass on the sweetened drinks and stick with sparkling or still water — you can flavor it with lemon, strawberries or cucumber if you want, but don’t pack your drinks full of calories.

Aim to drink at least three-quarters of a gallon of water a day. Also, be sure to drink a glass about 20 minutes before each meal to take the edge of your appetite.

4. EAT SLOWLY

When you swallow food, there’s a sizable delay before you feel any satiation from it. This delay is usually between 10–30 minutes. Because of this delay, we tend to eat more food than we really need. And the faster we eat, the more we tend to consume, particularly later on in a meal.

The solution: Chew each bite 10 times. Following this simple rule will cause you to eat more slowly, allowing your mind to catch up to your stomach. You’ll also enjoy your food more when you take the time to savor it.


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5. HAVE A SMALL, FLAVORLESS SNACK BETWEEN MEALS

This trick was discovered by the late Seth Roberts: What he did was consume a shot of olive oil or a glass of water with a tiny bit of sugar (an exception to the rule on sugared beverages above) between meals. I prefer a handful of unsalted almonds. Doing this once a day dramatically reduced my appetite — this can be particularly true if you have a lot of weight to lose.

This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever tried, but it worked for me. The reason this works: It apparently regulates ghrelin, a hunger hormone, by weakening flavor-calorie associations. For this to work, the snack must be bland, and you should consume nothing else but water for at least an hour before and after the snack.

6. TRY THE “FRONT DOOR SNACK TECHNIQUE’

This is one of my favorite body hacks. Knowing that your willpower is reduced when you’re hungry, and there’s more tempting junk food outside the home than in it, you should fill up on healthy food before leaving home. Keep a healthy snack, such as jerky, almonds or kale chips, right next to your front door, and eat some before you leave home. This will cause healthy food to “crowd out” unhealthy food in your diet, and make it much easier to pass on the junk food.

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  • kk

    I am going to try some of these. Thanks.

    • Dot Wolfe

      Thanks for the tips. I also have an overeating problem, and am trying ha rd to overcome it! mama Lobo

  • tim

    I really enjoyed these tips. It seems I eat put of boredom at night.

    • kelyface

      I use to do that a lot. I found a caffeine free mint tea I liked and now when I get bored-hungry I’ll go to the kitchen, put on my water and prep my loose leaf tea bag. It’s a calorie free little night time ritual that really curbs my bad habit.

      • Hey, that’s what I do too! I’m actually drinking a mug of Tazo mint tea right now. If it’s flavor you crave, there are plenty of healthy non-caloric options.

  • rayjag

    Thanks for the tips to curb my appetite.

  • Katie

    Thank you sooo much! One of my biggest problems is overeating. I know I’m doing it and I still can’t stop myself. I will consume anything and everything I can get my hands on, but I am partial to chocolate or potato chips if they’re available. I don’t know how to stop myself. I’ve tried the almonds, the snacks, drinking water, etc., but nothing really seems to stop or curb it. I’m almost scared to eat because once I start, I can’t stop, even when I feel full to bursting. It’s very frustrating because I changed my diet and lifestyle so much in the past year and lost a lot of weight, but now I’m going to gain it back because I can’t stop shoving food into my mouth and I don’t know what to do!!!

    • Pink Hard Hat

      Katie, I think you should talk to a professional. It could be either psychological or a medical problem. Whichever, it appears you are out of control. No need to feel ashamed or helpless & remember you are not alone.

      You are wise to know there is a problem so be good to yourself & seek some help. ❤️

      • JoTracy

        First of all, as a female Construction Manager, I love your username!

        Second, I completely agree. This sounds like an issue of shame causing her to want to eat to feel good, which causes more shame. You are not alone Katie! We are all fighting to be where we want to be or fighting to stay where we are. Gum helps me!

        • Pink Hard Hat

          Thanks JoTracy

    • Ashvini Webster

      Katie, i feel your pain. I’m the same. once I start eating, i can’t stop because I have the taste of food in my mouth and i want more! One trick that helped me massively was to brush my teeth lightly AFTER meals, with a strong mint toothpaste. This took the food taste away and because I don’t like eating food with a minty mouth, i stopped thinking about food until I was next hungry. Bear in mind over brushing isn’t good so I would say lightly brush with extra minty toothpaste. Give it a go?

      • That’s really clever Ashvini. The only thing I’d worry about is enamel damage; you’re not supposed to brush right after meals for just that reason. Maybe a palate cleanser of some sort that doesn’t taste great would do the trick too? You could also try clipping your nose shut to block you from smelling your food- Seth Roberts’ blog has some great info on that technique.

        • JoTracy

          Strong mint sugar free gum works for me! And fruity gum for when I crave sweets. ☺

          • Curious

            Why not just chew on a fresh mint leaf?

      • Amy

        I use peppermint oil. It works well too.

    • Katie, I’m so sorry to hear you have this problem. I agree with Pink Hard Hat; it sounds like it may be an emotional eating issue, as it seems like you’re eating well past the point where there’s nothing physically making you want to eat. It would be worth seeing a therapist about it.

      The only other possibility I can think of is that it’s just that you love the flavors so much it drives you to eat even when you’re not hungry. If that’s the issue, I’d suggest you try clipping your nose (pinching it shut with a clip, in other words) when you eat so you can’t smell your food. You can read more about that on Seth Roberts’ blog.

      • Carol

        John, that’s not entirely true. I had the same problem as Katie until I went through menopause and my hormones were no longer part of the problem. Almost every woman, has had experience with the cravings that come with our monthly cycles. Now I’m fighting the habit of 30 years of stuffing myself. I still sometimes have cravings, but nothing like the frantic desire to eat I had before.
        Katie should definitely see her doctor, but not all overeating is emotional.

      • priya

        Katie, try talking to someone. Call your mom, dad, sibling, friend. It can be embarrassing at first so just say you want to talk. Start walking and talking. Then walk away. Then soon you can tell them why and they can help you, by asking :are you really hungry” etc. Also, maybe jeep a food diary. I find that when I have to write down all of what I’m eating (if/when in binge) and see it add up, I’m less likely to eat so much. Best of luck

    • dp

      you may want to have some blood work drawn as well – you could be having some imbalances that are causing some issues – praying you find the right help to keep moving forward

  • megs

    Really helpful suggestions…thank u!

  • Kimmmm

    I have an active 3.5 yr old so when we go anywhere I always take a little healthy snack box with A combo of strawberries tiny tomatoes mini carrots homemade jerky and one or two rice crackers each to stop us eating food we’ve bought (which would be unhealthy takeaway) for our lunch.

    • That’s exactly the right idea! Smart dieting isn’t about cutting out the bad food- it’s about adding in the good food and filling up on it so you’re not hungry for the bad stuff.

  • Owain

    John I love this it all makes sense and is quite easy to follow, I find though that when I’m on my own and my family’s gone to bed, something goes of in my head and I give in to crap food and after I eat it I just feel shit and hate myself for doing it!!

    • Leigh

      I have that issue too. I started going to bed earlier. I’m rarely hungry in the morning. Gives you the sleep you need too, I never got enough sleep and always used food to keep going.

  • Cas Cracroft-Wilson

    Hey John I think you hit the nail on the head – I think smart snacking to manage hormones and blood sugar are crucial to staying on track and preventing “going off plan” -nice hacks !

  • KM

    I love the idea of adding cinnamon to my hot tea but I end up with a blob of cinnamon at the bottom of the cup and I can’t drink that last little bit. I tried warming it up more and stirring (and stirring, and stirring…) Any suggestions?

    • Ewa Basia

      Cinnamon essential oil!

    • darren

      Use a whisk (:

    • ABC

      I used to do the same,but there actually are side affects of too much cinnamon. I stopped using it for awhile. Now I find a smaller amount does the trick. I have a friend who opens cinnamon capsule for her tea. I love cinnamon!

    • Niamh Mullen

      Cinnamon on Apple slices is lovely

  • Shahsam

    PLEASE ALLOW ME TO ZOOM IN ON MY IPHONE to make it easier to read.

    • よしのみゆき

      It must be just your phone. I’m on my phone right now and can read everything perfectly fine. (iPhone 4.)

    • Niamh Mullen

      Lol

  • Helen

    I have to agree that a handful of almonds are really good in filling you up and stop you overeating,I don’t have time to eat in the morning with the school run going on so I grab a handful and away I go eating them as I walk,they taste bland and chewy but the good they do is worth it.ive got a lot of weight to lose so must step up my plan and use theses techniques,love cinnamon as well.well done and thank you

  • Mary

    I just started the almond thing about 2-3 weeks ago and it’s definetely helped curb my after work munchies! I keep them in the car and eat 20 (roughly 100 calories worth) on my drive home. Not only has it stopped me from “driving thru” but also from inhaling whatever I can the minute I walk in the door 🙂

    • Guest

      That’s an AWESOME idea. I never would’ve thought to do have them in the car. Might make me more patient on the roads too…=P

      • Priscella Russell

        My goal is 70 pounds and I just start so hopefully these tricks will help me.

    • NGH

      That’s a great idea Mary, almonds going on my shopping list and into my car tomorrow 🙂

    • Starlinguk

      20 almonds is 140 calories, just thought I’d mention it!

  • rosy

    Great article John!! Thanks!

    Quick q, I’m allergic to almonds, so what other bland snack do you recommend? Something protein based like natural peanut butter? Or, fruit with some seeds??

    • Seeds might do it; fruit would be too flavorful. A glass of water with a tiny bit of sugar dissolved in it would do, and is actually what Seth Roberts started out with.

    • Rose

      Try tiger nuts , a good tasty chew once you get going!

      • JD

        Yes, but they’re very dangerous to obtain.

    • Cindy

      Try raw, unsalted cashews.

    • Kay

      Pumpkin seeds have worked well for me as an alternative to almonds.
      They are really tasty and satisfying!

    • Dr. Suess

      Hi Rosy,
      I keep Raw Unsalted Walnuts halves around and trade off between those and my Raw unsalted Almonds when I run out of one. Raw walnuts are really tasty and have such healthy fats in them. You might give them a try! Beth

  • Becca

    So I have narcolepsy and will fall asleep a lot (even with being on Nuvigil and Adderall) and when I wake up (either being in the middle of the night or a few minutes at work) I am very hungry and crave sugar, bad! I’ll have a handful of raisins which helps the cravings but it happens so many times I end up eating a lot of them. They are high in calories and sugar so I know its the reason behind my recent weight gain. Any suggestions on what I can do? The cravings are so strong – especially at night that I cant go back to sleep or cravings wont go away unless I eat something with sugar.

    • Wow, I talk about sleep a lot, but narcolepsy is a bit outside my expertise to be honest. My first reaction was that you’re probably just hungry from being asleep for so long, but it sounds like a lot of the time you’re only asleep for a few minutes. I googled this issue and it seems like people aren’t entirely sure why narcoleptics get sugar cravings.

      All I can really suggest is that you resist the cravings and eat something lower in sugar instead, and eat it slowly. Cinnamon-coated almonds might be a good bet, as they’re sweet but actually have very little sugar. Beyond that, ask your doctor, because I’m not really sure why this happens.

    • priya

      I’ve heard eating more healthy fat helps. During the day, add some more healthy fats to your diet to help with the sugar cravings (I love add nuts/seeds to salads, or yogurt parfaits. Avocados are good too) good luck!

    • Htk

      I have narcolepsy as well. Try keeping a few almonds on hand or cut up a protein bar so if you need a little sweet you can spread it out throughout the day.

    • donna

      try a shot of cream, or a small teaspoon of coconut oil. Both help my sugar cravings.

  • Diane Tomkins

    This may be a change of subject. I can’t eat snacks and I don’t overeat when I’m hungry. This is why: when I eat I’m hungrier than before I ate. I know it’s a craving that will go away after 20 minutes. But until it goes away I’m looking for something else to eat. So if I eat a snack it won’t fill my stomach and for a period I will be lookin for more to eat. Also when I haven’t eaten for a while my stomach shrinks and I feel full before I finish eating. This is the only time I feel full. If I don’t eat for 4 or 5 hours in between meals it’s better for me. I don’t eat as much.
    Diane

    • That sounds like an issue with ghrelin overproduction- meaning the flavors are hyper-stimulating your appetite. Start drinking a shot of olive oil every day as per my second to last tip, or better yet clip your nose shut when you eat. A glass of water before each meal might also help by physically filling up your stomach, but the main thing is to weaken your brains flavor-hunger response.

      • Diane Tomkins

        Thank you very much I will try the shot of olive oil and water and holding my nose. After I eat my stomach feels like it’s stretched so it’s easy to put more food in. When I haven’t eaten in a while it feels like it has shrunk and I cannot eat a lot. That’s why eating between meals hasn’t worked for me. Thank you again, I really appreciate your help and your time Diane

        • Curious

          Don’t do a shot of empty of nutritional value fat Aja olive oil. Such crap advice, eat a handful of nuts if you want but avoid liquid fat.

          • Diane Tomkins

            I don’t want to really do anything. Like I said eating a snack only “stretches” my stomach and waiting 4-5 hours before meals shrinks it and I don’t over eat because it’s shrunk. I don’t understand why everyone is told to eat a snack so they don’t overeat at their next meal. That doesn’t work for me.

          • Colleen

            I think each person must find the trick that works for them. God created us all as unique individuals.

          • Diane Tomkins

            I think you are right. Sometimes you have to follow your “gut” and not do what the experts say though what they say works for other people.

          • Nat

            What if you workout in the mornings, What are your recommendations for pre and post fuel/ meals? I always find that I’m fine till after lunch when I get the 4pm slump and I’m constantly starving lunch onwards.
            What’s the rationale behind unsalted snack; almonds as opposed to something with flavour?

          • SusieQ

            Me either. The more I eat,well, the more I eat. It’s hard to stop the grazing. If I have strict and finite times to eat then I limit food to just those times. I carry water, tea instead which replaces the hand to mouth habit.

        • Yeah, remember the shot of olive oil is at least an hour apart from meals on either side- so more than an hour after lunch and more than an hour before dinner, for example. You might also try just eating more slowly- it sounds like you might have an unusually long delay before food sends satiety signals to your brain.

          • Diane Tomkins

            I think you are right about there being an unusually long delay before food sends satiety signals to my brain. I wear tight pants at Thanksgiving. That helps to tell me when I’m full because my brain sure doesn’t.

  • darren

    This is gold. Thank you. Down 70lbs, 35 to go!

    • Linda Wenger

      Good for you, I am down 43 pounds, want to lose at least another 30 or 40 pounds.

      • darren

        Good job!! Keep it up, random suceed-er! ( :

    • Sonja Brown

      I’m going to have to incorporate these tricks into my diet. I started weight loss march 13th 2015 n with meds (yes I’m being watched by my provider) eating healthy and moving more I went from 311 to 284 my goal is 170

      • Nichole Levels

        Congratulations

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      • Dr. Suess

        That’s great Sonja, I’m so happy for you! ♥

      • Kathy Alexander

        thats awesome!!!!I I weigh 266,have about 130 lbs to lose,Ive lost about 15 lbs…YOu may want to join my fitness pal,,,its great and alot of it is free,keeping track of your food by a daily diary,and exercise diary…and you meet so many great people in the same situation!!!!!!!!!

    • Nice! Keep it up man, you’re almost there!

    • dee

      good job!! keep going!! you got this!

    • GodAllah

      That’s GREAT!!! I’m down 8.5 in 2 weeks but on my way to 30lbs

    • Kimberly Ervin

      Fantastic!

    • davedave12

      gr8

  • mb33

    sounds simple – thank you for the tip

  • Gmoney

    Horrible advice in my opinion and known of it has worked in my experience. if you actually want to reduce appetite use either Ec stack, modafinal , or phentermine . Also try out a recipe called protein casein fluff from Matrin berkahn , very effective .

  • Susan

    My problem is I do not eat enough but drink at night my calories ..

    • Carolyn

      Try adding some sparkling water to wine or go for gin or vodka and slimline tonic-only 44 calories!

  • slyn45

    Light bulb moment, thanks John … Smart dieting isn’t about cutting out the bad food- it’s about adding in the good food and filling up on it so you’re not hungry for the bad stuff.

  • Carolyn

    I have found that when I am cooking and hungry a couple of pickled onions helps! After reading the article it probably has something to do with the vinegar reducing my sugar craving so it’s all starting to make sense!

    • That or you just love the flavor. Pickled onions are healthy and nearly devoid of calories- feel free to eat as many as you want!

  • Xochitl

    I love food and is hard for me to stay away from it. I’m not overweight I have a good figure and I try to have a balanced and healthy diet, but is hard for me to get fit due to my food cravings 🙁

  • Debbie May Joy

    how about being allergic to banana’s and avocado’s. i wish i could have those!!! no smoothies for me 🙁

    • Maria

      Make your own smoothies! I can’t digest dairy and they almost always put yogurt or milk in them. I got a hold of a used Vitamixer and make my own that way I know exactly what’s in them! Good luck!

    • kelly

      i feel you. im allergic to almost all fruits, its awful.

    • Cindy

      You can make a smoothie out of anything. Nonfat plain Greek yogurt, spinach, kale, protein powder (Be sure that its low carb, low sugar), you can add sugar free jello powder to flavor it or add fruit. Just remember that the fruit you add is sugar. Yes, a natural sugar, but still sugar and should be modified.

  • Peter Clarke

    i would be very suspicious basing conclusions where the cited studies in in one case involves only 12 individuals (vinegar) and the other (cinnamon) a met-analysis involving 311 spread over 5 studies.

    • cindy

      I completely agree!!!

    • Heather

      I thought the vinegar suggestion was interesting, but I’ve got tooth sensitivity so I think I’ll talk to my dentist first. I dunno… I do like using cinnamon in my oatmeal and I think it has other potential health benefits that make it worthwhile to incorporate into a diet. I think I heard about possible benefits for people who have arthritis. The diabetes benefits are less clear from what I understand but there’s little harm in adding cinnamon to foods when possible (avoiding cinnamon-sugar, though!).

  • ellen

    How much cinnamon & how much vinegar do you need to add to food to control blood sugar as mentioned? Just a sprinkle, a teaspoon, a 1/4 cup?

    • A teaspoon is about right for cinammon in coffee or tea, but if you’re coating food with it, use as much as tastes good. With vinegar, usually around a tablespoon will be effective, but again, if you’re using it as a dressing, use as much as you can while making the dish taste good.

      • Julie8412

        Are you speaking of Ceylon Cinnamon or just regular Cinnamon that you find at the grocery store?

  • ann

    Is red wine vinegar ok, or is it better to use distilled white vinegar?

  • grandma

    what about us older folks with dentures or no teeth? It is almost impossible to chew salads, fresh veggies, and nuts.

    • Sarah

      Have you tried smoothies? They are a great way to get in tough to chew foods, you can even add a lot of salad greens and veggies like carrots and broccoli.

      • debstead

        what kind of smoothies? any suggestions for recipe sites etc

        • Michelle

          At least in my experience, most fruit tastes pretty good together so I usually just throw whatever fruit I have on hand in the blender, along with some spinach and coconut water (don’t like it much on its own, but it works wonders for binding smoothies together without all the sugar and calories of OJ) and/or plain Greek yogurt. I actually just made one this morning, that was as such:

          -1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
          -6 frozen strawberries
          -1/2 cup blueberries
          -1/3 cup spinach (aka what I had left in the fridge)
          -1/2 cup Vita Coco coconut water (again, had it in the fridge)

          The other thing I would suggest is to just keep a bag of mixed berries in the freezer, and throw them in the blender with a banana, coconut water/water/milk, and maybe some Greek yogurt for a quick fix. Using at least one kind of frozen fruit usually helps it to hold together better. Just be careful with what kind of liquid you use, because it can significantly up your sugar count. Hope this helps!

          • Peggy

            Great idea, Michelle! This smoothie recipe looks really good and easy to throw together, and I always have frozen fruit and Greek yogurt on hand. No more excuses for unhealthy processed snacks!

          • Stephany

            I like pineapple, banana, coconut milk, coconut water, cinnamon and tumeric. It’s Creamy and actually quite tasty. I would start with 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric until you get used to the flavor. I also like to add 1 tbsp of peanut butter on days when I want higher protein.

          • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

            Peggy,I would like to add another suggestion, I make mine with either fresh or frozen fruit (if you by fresh on sale you can wash and dry at home then save some money and if you freeze bananas peel them first. I learned this the hard way) then I add lactose milk for calcium and protein and regulations yogurt,I don’t care for Greek yogurt also for same benefits. Spinach makes the color unappealing but you can’t taste it. Also Kashi cereal is great for its benefits. The great thing is you get all your fruit servings for the day. I usually split it for lunch and then for a special treat at night when we crave dessert. I totally agree stay away from juice stick we things that will benefit your body.

        • Marilyn Hollowell Arnold

          You can also use a different greenery with your smoothies

    • Go

      Just blend your food.

    • karenrice

      Green smoothies!

  • DM

    To quench my hunger and I’m always hungry I either take a healthy sip of pickle juice(vinegar) be careful of those sweet ones there’s sugar in them or a table spoon of mustard (I love mustard) very few calories and all kinds of flavor !!well it’s works for me. And oh yes, so do the almonds.

    • Tyler Mueller

      This is very interesting.What is it about the pickle juice that makes it quench your hunger? I tend to always have pickles around the house so I guess next time I will have to try this when I am craving to eat unnecessary food. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Miccala

    So what foods other then almonds/nuts, would you recommend for an unflavored snack?

    • That or seeds, or a shot of oil. There’s not a lot of food that’s truly bland enough. The guy who discovered it, figured it out when he ate sushi with no wasabi, soy sauce or anything, so I guess that would work.

    • steph

      GMO free unsalted soy nuts, edamame, unsalted seeds 🙂

      • Waso

        Actually, soy is bad for women. It messes with their periods. In men it creates more estrogen. Stay away from soy.

        • Terri

          Yep soy is bad news

          • Mark

            Yeah. I get kidney stones from so many foods. Soy
            and chocolate are at the top of the list. I wasn’t a chocoholic until I was an ice cream man @ thriifty drug in San Diego ca.

    • Cindy

      You can also go with a small apple with natural peanut or almond butter. But, use one that doesn’t have added salts and oils, or at least minimal sea salt.

  • Tyler Mueller

    Thanks for the article, I am an individual who likes to over eat. I find the adding cinnamon to food very interesting, and is something I am going to look into doing. My biggest issue is drinking water. I feel if I can drink a lot more water my appetite will go
    away. Instead I like drinking stuff with sugar or calories in it like Gatorade. I think the front door step technique is a great idea. A lot of the time I am hungry driving by a McDonalds and I figure I’ll stop and have a snack. If I force myself to eat healthy snacks at home before leaving I will have a much better appetite and have the possibility that I won’t stop at the local McDonalds. Thanks for the article and I look forward to trying some of these techniques in the near future.

  • mfanelli84

    Whenever I feel a sweets craving come on I boil some water add a slice of lemon, steep some cinnamon into the water, wait for it to cool and add a spoonful of all natural honey. It tastes delicious and it fixes the need for sweets. Make sure the water is no longer hot becsuse the hot water will kill the good enzymes in the honey.
    Added bonus it tastes like a lemon Starburst my favorite 🙂

  • Pete Read

    Love the unsalted almonds trick, and I already drink lots of water especially at work as I do 12 hour shifts, and I now take a pasta salad box with me and eat a bit every 3 hours which stops me getting hungry. As a diabetic it also keeps my sugars just right.

    • Gerie Wisdom

      Great idea about pasta

  • Pome

    Trying to stay the course with this app, I can say I’ve had success in the past with counting calories. I’m keeping my goals short. Trying to get off my B/P meds. Initial goal to loose 30lbs before my next B/P check in September 2015.

  • Meg

    For some weird reason eating almonds gives me a headache? Why? Has anyone else experienced this? I’m just curious to what the possibilities might be.

    • Cindy

      try raw unsalted cashews

    • John Fawkes

      No idea. Pesticides maybe? Could even be just the strain of chewing them if they’re really hard.

    • Seems to me I read somewhere that almonds have a certain degree of cyanide in them.

    • kat

      some of the foods that commonly cause headaches-bananas, nuts, chocolate. I was most surprised about the bananas!

    • michelle

      I have a tannin allergy and the skin on almonds is high in tannins. Most nuts with a skin on them are. Preservatives, MSG, food coloring, coffee, wine, chocolate, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tea, certain fruits like peaches and nectarines, eggplant, black beans and many others give me a headache. There is not much information about this allergy unfortunately. I have a feeling many others have it too.

  • Mark

    Thanx for the tips. My sis is type 2 diabetic. And, besides a lot of water intake, the right snacks sound like a great regimen.

  • Mark

    I started at 243. And, am currently at 180…two years later.

    • Guest

      I’m hoping to get there soon. Started where you did, want to end up where you are.

    • davedave12

      slow and steady —- I’ll bet 180 to 243 took longer than 2 years

      • Ohhiderr

        Dude, 180 to 240 for me took 3 months! Gotta love medication changes 😛 Going the opposite was twice that, and there’s still more to go but I’ll get there 🙂

  • May

    This reminds me of a bad habit I’m trying to kick: continuing to eat after dinner has ended. I picked it up from my dad and now sitting and talking at the table after eating dinner, it just feels a little wrong… So instead of eating a snack, I’ll instead drink a glass of water – replacing one thing with another (:

    A post on tumblr actually inspired this idea, where someone’s dogs brought pillows to the door each time the doorbell rang – and it was that mentioned that this was a technique used to get the dogs to stop barking at the door. Replacing one thing with another is way easier than just trying to abruptly atop doing something. Anyways, I suppose that humans and dogs were never too different in the first place (:

  • Andrej Kováč

    “When you get really hungry, you overeat. ” Somebody needs to try Intermittent Fasting or lowcarb diets…

  • Veronika

    Excellent article. i am loosing weight and sometimes i am thinking about how can I avoid some anxiety or those signs of “hunger”.
    i lost already 75lbs, 40more to go!!!!. 🙂

    • John Fawkes

      Well done Veronika!

    • Catz

      Just wow!!! It inspires me to lose more. Keep it up

    • Marilyn Hollowell Arnold

      Congrats Veronika

    • Dmember

      I think one soda cracker helps with hunger…just one.

    • Murray

      great job! just keep doing what you are doing because obviously it is working. Congratulations and good luck.

  • Nancy

    For older adults with trouble chewing, etc: There are so many nutritious shakes you can make that are delicious. I am fortunate that I have my teeth and have no problem chewing lettuce, etc. But sometimes I just don’t feel like eating a salad, or, quite frankly, I don’t feel like chewing. I always say “i’m drinking my lettuce”. Spinach is probably one of the most unnoticeable green leafy to put in a shake. I add what ever fruit I have, fresh or frozen, and some protein powder. Ginger is tasty to add as well. Yogurt or almond butter can give a nice texture and flavor too.

  • I don’t like the advice given to eat when you’re not hungry. I tell my clients the opposite as an RD.

    • RelativeChaos00

      I think he means to eat before you feel like you’re starving. That way you don’t miss the satiety cues when you are full.

  • Alan

    I am allergic to all nuts with the exception of cashews. Will cashews do the same thing as the almonds, or is there something else, that will work? Thanks.

    • La Bandita

      Nuts are nuts.

  • Bruce Jenitalia

    I’m a huge advocate of not drinking your calories.

    • epickett

      That’s what gets me – I really enjoy pop. Water is boring to me unless I’m really thirsty, but adding a ‘hint’ of flavor doesn’t to it for me. It isn’t enough.

      • Amandazon

        A little cautionary tale to hopefully provide some perspective: I too loved pop and guzzled it along with an alcohol and binge eating problem I was 230lbs before I decided I needed to get my life under control. I quit pop, alcohol, starting exercises and tracking my food intake and went vegan (for moral reasons not health, veganism while it can be incredibly healthy if done right is not a weight loss scheme). It worked but I had given up so much in one go I felt I needed a vice of some kind so I started drinking (guzzling) diet pop. Well it worked I got down to about 160 lbs but that wasn’t enough for me. I started using diet pop to fill the void while restricting more and more. Eventually I got down to 128 lbs. I’m a 6’0 tall woman. That’s 100 lbs in 2 years and suddenly, I’m experiencing all these internal digestive issues, hospitalized for extreme constipation. Had my gallbladder removed, and a host of other issues never linked to my weight and my eating habits. And here I am thinking I’m being incredibly healthy. I’m eating nutritiously dense (but not caloricly dense) foods, and because of the copious amounts of diet pop I feel full so it can’t be that I’m starving. My heart rate gets low, I’m cold all the time etc, etc. I’m on the road to recovery but it’s going to be a challenging one. Quit diet pop and trying to reverse diet out of this ( my metabolism is shot and I gained 30 lbs in 5 months just going from 1300 to 1600 calories a day which is still not enough for a 6’0 tall active woman who intensely exercises 6 days a week.
        Find a different solution now! You’ll struggle to lose weight with pop and other sugary drinks (and it’s just so bad for you) but diet pop is not the answer. I know that didn’t provide a solution but hopefully a little perspective to motivate you. I wish you all the luck! You CAN do it!

        • epickett

          I have NO worries about getting hooked on diet pop. I may be able to ‘tolerate’ diet Pepsi, but that’s it. I just need to find a way to STOP drinking pop, even though it tastes so good to me…

          • LipSmackingFun

            Try infusing fresh fruit or drinking lemon water. It’ll help & taste delicious!

          • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

            Does it taste as good as losing a pound? Water is great! I too was a coke drinker and not diet coke I find diet soda too sweet. LOL But I gave it up because I was drinking useless delicious calories so I get it, truly. I have to drink really cold water and it has the same effect as the coke did,refreshing. It took time but the pros are so many that I found they out weighed the cons. Every habit takes time to break, it’s like being unrealistic about losing weight to quickly, you put it back on because you haven’t adopted the new habits of making good food choices, so it’s unrealistic to think that you won’t crave it or go through withdrawal, you may. I had a short temper and headaches the first couple of days, but I had a goal. I hope this helps.

          • epickett

            I didn’t drink any pop for February and part of March, probably about 6 weeks total. I didn’t have any *physical* withdrawal symptoms at all. But, I guess I didn’t see enough pros to keep going… I have to work on that.

          • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

            All right, that’s great just take it 1day at a time. But don’t turn to juices because just as worthless. Stick to water.

          • ginamero

            The phosphorous in these drinks you love so much leach calcium from your bones. They rot your insides and your liver has to work very hard to get rid of all the excess chemicals along with the strain on your pancreas with every gulp. You may not have ‘SEEN’ the healthy effects but your insides were more than likely very grateful for the reprieve.

        • ClearwaterBeachBum

          Amandazon:
          Are you eating meat protein? I was talking to one of our resources for healthy living and he was telling me about the health issues associated with the vegan diet. I wondered if you were eating meat again and if your symptoms subsided.

          • ginamero

            Vegans do not eat meat protein. She was clear on that. There are absolutely NO health issues from eating a proper vegan diet I do not care what your Healthy Living Guide told you – he/she is ignorant of vegan diets.

            For moral reasons I started one on October 18, 2016, and I’m here to tell you I’ve never felt better. Animal products are unhealthy – PERIOD. My joint pain is gone, holding water is gone, bloated gut is gone. I never had a weight issue so I wasn’t looking to lose weight but I did drop some as I can tell because my clothes are lose. Please, eat meat if you want to but DO NOT tell us Vegan/Vegetarian types we are the ones with a bad diet. If I could live my life over the two things I would have done from the start are eat vegetarian/vegan and use a menstrual cup instead of putting all that bleached cotton and absorbent chemicals into and on my body because some random Health Guide told me to. Go ask a vegetarian or vegan bodybuilder, professional athlete (Robert Parish, Hank Aaron, Joe Namath, David Carter, ect.) Dairy and animal fats cause joint inflammation – how you keep fooling yourself that gorging on animal flesh is healthy mystifies me. I have known the benefits of eating vegetarian/vegan for decades – I just loved the taste of flesh. I wish I hadn’t been so foolish.

          • ClearwaterBeachBum

            Ginamero:

            Please take a moment to re-read my post and point out where I gave Amandazon any instructions or commands. I would appreciate understanding where my request for information confused you. I wrote my post using proper grammar and respect. I was asking if she was eating meat now, because of the sudden onset of the internal health issues. I see where she wrote the post seven days ago and in the post she wrote about the 100 pounds in two years. I apologize for mixing up the post date. I wondered if after two years, she returned to eating meat and how she felt.

            I look forward to having a civil and constructive conversation with everyone to learn the health benefits of the choices people made/make.

            If you are interested in having a dialogue, I am curious about the water you are drinking. in February 2016, My Lovely and Beautiful Bride was advised by one of our environmental medicine doctors to only drink Mountain Valley Spring Water, or Starkey Spring Water in glass bottles. If you are drinking water from glass bottles and not plastic, have you felt any difference in your health? Prior to this, she only drank water in plastic bottles, never from the tap because of the chemicals in the municipal water systems and pipes. We provided our 14 year old puppy with distilled water, to reduce chemicals because of the health issues she had.

            Since switching to glass bottles, My L&BB’s blood tests have shows a reduction in the plastic chemicals. We are still battling other issues and are looking forward to learning from others what diet and lifestyle changes helped them.

          • NGH

            I couldn’t agree more.I am vegetarian When I was pregnant I told my midwife I was worried in case my vege diet might affect my unborn baby. SHe asked me to keep a diary of what I ate, when she read it she said “Looks like you eat better than most meat eaters” x

          • Sue Ellen

            ginamero I am truly happy for you that you have found a way of eating that works for you and that you feel so good. The only issue I take is you said “DO NOT tell us Vegan/Vegetarian types we are the ones with the bad diet.” Then you go on to say “how you keep fooling yourself that gorging on animal flesh is healthy mystifies me.” So we are to not tell you how bad your diet is, but you can tell us how bad ours is??? How about we all just respect each individual’s way of eating. I would never tell you your way of eating is unhealthy, and I would hope that you wouldn’t think just because this way of eating works for you, it’s the best way for everyone. I used to be Vegan/Vegetarian and I remember that preachy stage wanting to tell the world they had it all wrong and morally i was somehow superior because I have seen the light and if everyone would just eat how I am eating their health would be amazing. Well guess what the reality for me when I was a vegan/vegetarian is I felt awful, it was not good for me at all. However on the Paleo diet I feel fantastic, which is also a way of eating that helps with inflammation. My blood work is amazing, all my vitals are amazing. Bottom line is this, each person should find what works for them and then not demand it works for everyone.

          • Robin

            Touché! Thank you, Sue, for your comments. By the way, swelling and joint inflammation is not from meat products alone. How about salt (should not have more than 2000mg per day- much is hidden in our foods. Check the labels!) and preservatives (cause inflammation)? Best is consuming foods with two or less added ingredients, dark fruits and vegetables (antioxidants) and ditch the sugar. Not just being a vegan.

          • Dr. Suess

            I’m so happy you found a method of eating that works for you morally and has provided great health benefits as well. :O)

        • ginamero

          I now consider myself extremely lucky I despise soda. I did a NY Resolution once and didn’t touch it for 7 years – that was back when water was not sold in stores so I went thirsty often…now, I have no problems, water is everywhere for a price…just not free anymore. Thanks for your story and do NOT listen to the idgits about protein and a vegan diet…these fools know nothing about protein and it’s harm or how it can be gotten from plants – all they know is what others tell them to think.

        • Amy

          Yes, diet soda is not the answer. Hope you get better soon.

        • Robin

          Wow Amanda, you have been through it! The gallbladder issues happened to my husband too after he lost 40 lbs after being grossly overweight for 10+ years. I think the key is to go slowly with weight loss. Blessings to you, hope all is well now!

      • JB

        I don’t like water that we get here in the states, it’s hard unlike other places in the world I have lived. What works for me is adding flavored BCAA’s to my water and I can drink it like juice. There are BCAAs that don’t use artificial colors of flavors if that’s important to you as well.

        • Pb

          Fresh mint, lemon , or lime and ginger blend it with water add ice is really good and refreshing.

      • ginamero

        Have you tried Slamming it? Whaling it? Shotgunning it? I can get 32oz down in one run. Without even thinking about it, when I’m hot I will tilt the bottle up and down it. Warm, cold, whatever – often people stop and stare then say WOW. My response is, “You should see what I can do with beer.”

        Also, hot mugs of water – this is a total hack on my part. Takes time but I get so many of them down it gives me something to do and sip and also cuts my late sneak eating down…especially if I put a cinnamon stick in.

        Figure out what works for you and ditch that devil water…it’s a body’s nightmare.

      • Desert Flower

        Have you tried La Croix flavored waters? I know it’s not the same, fizzy but a bit bland, but I enjoy them when I want to have something other than water. No sodium or artificial sweeters.

        • epickett

          No, I haven’t – thanks for the tip. Although if it’s bland, that may be the same as the suggestions of adding fruit to water for a hint of flavor. It doesn’t have enough flavor for me to like it.

      • Pat68

        Have you tried Crystal Light? Some are sweetened with Stevia and are pretty tasty. I like the Crystal Light Pure Raspberry Lemonade. That only has 3 grams of sugar.

        • epickett

          Thanks – I’ll try that as well!

      • Robin

        Have you tried the “ICE” drinks? Zero calories, but carbonated, flavorful and vitamins. A dietician recommended the to me while I was transitioning from sodas to water. Just a thought! 🙂

  • Nichole Levels

    Alot of you have accomplished much success I just wish I could to I been at it since 2012 but I’m up and down . I do good and fall off all the time. I wish I could be consistent and lose 50 pds etc

    • Renae

      You can do it, I understand you though, I lost 40 pounds and was finally in onederland. Then lost a job 2014, I fell off self sabotaged, ended back up in 2015. But now I’m 223, started at 229 last week, highest 240. I noticed if I don’t log and drink lots of water and eat breakfast. I don’t lose. Just never give up. Keep trying

      • Nichole Levels

        I won’t I just wish a make a huge accomplishment already

  • Sylvia Smith

    I like the cinniman and vinegar suggestions and the Almonds

  • bill

    All great tips. I keep some almonds or carrots in the car, and it often saves me from fast food joints. Eating SLOWLY though, is the biggest secret. Turn off the TV, eat meaningfully, put your fork down in between bites, take tiny bites, and take a sip of water or tea in between. For me it makes 3 ounces of steak feel like a pound, and I’m just as satisfied when I’m done.

  • Penny O

    I have found that the less sugar & flour I eat, the less I crave them. It’s still difficult when I see junk food at the grocery store, though.

  • Sarah LaCroix

    MFP, why do you keep on publishing this pseudoscience bullshit?

  • clj810

    I especially like the tip on adding cinnamon or vinegar to my foods. I was already doing that with cinnamon. I will try it with the vinegar. Thanks for the tips!

  • Stay Motivated

    Awesome! Im at 57kg or 125lb and im trying to get down to 100lb or so! I want long term diet though not a quick temporary fix:)

  • Mark

    Just eat a whole foods, plant based diet that actually contains FIBER!! If you eat the majority of your calories from whole plant foods you won’t even need to think about controlling your appetite! You feel fuller longer and still lose weight without counting calories! Plus you’ll have all of the health benefits that accompany the fiber and micronutrients in your diet! 50 lbs down!

  • Heaven Chavez

    Hi what type of meds, I need some help! Do you mind sharing? For Sonja brown…

  • Cheryl

    I have recently been put on heart meds and I have used them as an excuse for eating. I have swelled up and am retaining fluids. My chest hurts from the over eating. And since I also recently stopped smoking in having insomnia. Which means every time I wake up now I’m in the kitchen. Eating, Eating, Eating. I’m frustrated. I know I need to stop, but I still keep going. Please help.

    • Amanda

      Try sugar free gum or sugar free hardy handy to curb your desire to smoke. My mom did that and it seemed to help. Also a hot bath or melatonin before bed time can help with the insomnia

  • Dr. Suess

    So many great ideas! Love reading all the tips, excited to put them into play! I appreciate you passing them on John 🙂

  • JB

    Great tips. Th one that worked for me is consuming a bland snack at some point in the day between meals, it made a huge difference. I also drink kombucha, it’s pretty low in sugar (2 grams per serving) and it takes away the ravenous hunger so that I can eat like a human rather than a dinasour when I finally have a meal in front of me 🙂

  • C

    2, 5, and 6 can backfire. Those “tricks” simply pack on the pounds for me. Eating when I’m not hungry is exactly why I’m fat to begin with, even eating healthy foods!

  • Kawanis

    How much water and olive oil?

  • jalapenopepper

    Cinnamon in my coffee helped me cut any sugar and/or sugar substitute out of it. I now can drink a small coffee with just a splash of milk and a few dashes of cinnamon. My drink has gone from 200+ calories to 50-60 calories.

  • John

    Eat when you’re not hungry? Isn’t that basically the definition of overeating?

    • La Bandita

      haha – that’s the definition of a bad decision. Eating all day and all night is overeating.

      • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

        Not when keep to correct portions. John eating when your hungry simply means as stated before is to not wait until you are starving. Starvation will cause you to eat anything in site which cause you to make poor choices. It is healthier to eat mall portions throughout the day so you don’t go into starvation mode. Take healthy meals to work as well as healthy snacks. Don’t forget to drink your water as well. And eat vegetables as main part of meal and meat as a condiment. You can have a carb,but also a condiment. If you like potatoes switch to sweet potatoes. There is a barrila penned pasta that is made of actual healthy things that taste better then regular pasta. It’s also more filling. But watch portion. It’s a daily habit that takes a while to become a norm,but you can do it with small start then add another change and then another. I don’t know of anyone who has done this all at once who didn’t go back to old ways. Habits are hard to break but think about it you have been eating the way you presently do all your life so it will take time to adjust but it can be done if you want to change. I guess the question is how badly do you want to change and are you willing to into this not expecting to lose weight quickly, rather focus on making this your new way of eating,retraining yourself. Good luck.

    • Amy

      The point is to not wait so long that you feel like you are starving. You will end up eating too much too fast.

  • Dmember

    “….mild dehydration can cause a sensation that’s easily mistaken for hunger. On the other hand, liquid calories such as juices and sodas don’t fill you up….”

    So liquid calories are not an “on the other hand” at all. Because neither of those things satiate hunger.

    I’ve found that I don’t ever lose weight unless I’m feeling hungry…if I’m not feeling hungry, then I’m either maintaining or not losing weight at all. Look…there’s no way around it. Losing weight is not fun and it’s sure not easy.

  • Shannon

    These are great! Thanks John!

  • Rick Meuse

    ?I’m grateful for any tips for working toward my goals. Thank you.

  • Rex1949

    I am going to try this. I have the same problem everybody else does. Being overweight plus snacking at times and adding to many calories on me. The. Tips I read here sound excellent. I am planing to try this. And hope to loose weight now. Plus don’t have to worry about overeating so much as I use to do.

  • sag2982

    Thank you

  • Marjorie

    Enjoyed reading your tips on help for over-eating. In 2014 I began my lifestyle change due to the fact that I was a diabetic on insulin. I lost 112 lbs. and was able to get off insulin. I have only been maintaining now for several months. I am now getting serious now so that I can reach my goal. I need to lose another 60 pounds and I will be where my BMI should be.

  • Kwei Quartey

    Kale chips! Now why didn’t I think of that!

  • Anna Morningstar

    These were terrible… seriously

  • Marcos Perez

    Disagree eat when hungry and until full. No grazing spikes insulin not allowing you to burn fat as you want.

  • Marcos Perez

    Oh forgot to add you wanna stop over eating eat more fat !!!! Keeps you full longer !!!

  • MARY

    If all wrinkle creams are so great and going so fast, why the high price and the AUTO SHIPPING. Why can’t consumers make up their own mind. If it works and the purchaser likes it, they can then get another jar. I know a lot of people would like to try this product for the trial period without being obligated to keep receiving a monthly supply and outrageous bill. Why must the cost be so high? I think if the price were more reasonable, more people would purchase. This is my opinion, anyone else feel this way?

  • Timmy D

    Congrats to everyone on their weight loss journey. So many of these are very inspiring and give that extra foot in the “bottom area” for motivation. I started my journey in February of 2016. I peaked at 261lbs and KNEW something had to be done. I stopped buying ALL those delicious cakes and cookies as well cutting off ALL soda. I then started a couch to 5K program to get me moving. I couldn’t even jog for 2 minutes without being out of breath and seriously thought about giving up so many times I can’t even count. Well, now I’m jogging at least one 5K per week without stopping to walk or take a breath, I’m down to somewhere around 201-205lbs depending on the time of day and have lost at LEAST 4 inches to my waist. I’m now at a plateau and can’t seem to drop any more weight, but little things as explained in this article might be my solution.

  • Pat68

    The article mentions jerky as a healthy snack. Can you recommend some healthy jerky that’s not loaded with sodium?

  • Robin

    Those are good tips, but I have to disagree with the “eat when you’re not hungry”. Personally that seems to be part of how I gained weight. Just completed a program called “Naturally Slim”, which suggests getting ‘moderately’ hungry (not ravenous) before eating, because this is when your body is burning calories. Another tip is to only drink water with a splash of orange juice added for flavor and energy.
    I did like the front door technique. Thanks for the article.

    • Savannah Johnston

      As many have pointed out, they’re not saying to eat *whenever* you’re not hungry, they’re saying not to wait until you’re starving.

  • Ashley

    I currently weigh 230 and want lose about 70 pounds 100 would be perfect I am taking the apple cider vinegar and a weight loss supplement please help me with any suggestions.

  • Savannah Johnston

    I tried drinking a small glass of water with a tiny bit of sugar, and it was so gross that my appetite is ruined. Does that count?

  • Kelly Taylor

    Love these ideas. I am new to this. My doctor put me on this to try to reduce my weight, I started on 5/23/17 and I weighed in at 293lbs. my goal is 165-170 pounds. Long way to go. Due to thyroid issues and adult onset Asthma. It is making this harder. So far I have lost 3 pound in 3 day so I am hopeful. I would love more ideas for breakfast ideas and other ways to curb my hunger between meals and snacks.

  • kadisha

    Thank you for this..

  • Tammy Blair Royer

    Have tried so many different things and gained back plus more. Will give this a try.

  • Getting There

    I do a version of of your “front door” hack. I drop an Apple, nuts, or jerky in my purse and grab a bottle of water on my way out. Especially if I know I’m going to be out for a while. Now I can add your other tips to my arsenal. Thanks!

  • Lesley Grainge

    I totally agree. I know these tips work- especially the one about almonds although I had not understood why this one worked until reading this. Thanks .

  • Jennifer White Baillie

    The front door hack is the best. I keep a banana, grapes or almonds in my lunch bag to eat on the way home from work. Then if the commute is slow, I am set. I have my ice water and a snack so I don’t eat the first thing I see when I get home from work. I lost 35 pounds from Sept 2016-Jun 2017.