1. Drink before you dine. Feeling peckish? Drink a venti-size hot tea first, and then check 5 minutes later if you are still truly hungry. Since your stomach is about the size of a venti beverage, chances are you won’t feel hungry anymore (unless it is authentic hunger pangs!).
2. Eat first; resist later. Going to a dinner party? Eat a hard-boiled egg before heading out to curb your appetite by at least 25 percent! If you don’t eat eggs, another untold secret is to have an apple 20 minutes or so before heading out: its pectin acts like a natural appetite-suppressant while filling you up with vitamins!
3. Fill up on soup. Jump-starting a feeling of satiety by beginning your meals with a bowl of soup! High in fiber and vitamins, soup is an excellent way of stabilizing your hunger before enjoying a full meal. Gazpachos in particular are a favorite of mine; these cold, raw soups are packed with antioxidants which are otherwise often destroyed through cooking.
4. Try my “Ribbon Reminder”. If you are afraid you will eat too much at dinner, wear a thin ribbon tightly around your waist (even under your clothes if it doesn’t work as an accessory). When you’re eating and start to feel the ribbon tightening, take it as your body’s sign to slow down!
5. Goodbye sugar, hello stevia. Minimize your cravings by eliminating sugar from your daily diet and drinks. Opt for stevia in your coffee and tea, and if you really crave soda, you can buy unsweetened naturally flavored sparkling water, or even better, make your own! Get a Sodastream machine and add lemon slices, strawberries and/or stevia: each bottle of homemade sparkling water only costs 12 cents!
6. Snack smart. Eat pure protein before your carbs – vegetable protein such as hummus or animal protein like fish – so that your body gets the energy it truly needs instead of storing your meal as fat.
7. Start with Sobacha. Begin your morning with a cup of buckwheat tea and make it your go-to beverage throughout the day. Its fiber is highly appetite-curbing and its low glycemic index keeps you sated for longer periods of time, preventing those common hunger pangs that have you reaching for a snack.
8. Carry jerky on the go. Keep a supply of turkey jerky in your handbag for when hunger hits. Protein-rich and satisfying, chewing jerky will give your brain the time it needs to register you’re full before you indulge in anything else! A standard large pouch of jerky makes 4 servings and will bring less than 3% of total fat (no saturated) and will provide you with a good amount of ready-to-absorb proteins.
9. End your meal with mint. This tip is totally empirical and stems from my personal experience, which I have shared with my BootCampers over the years. Chew mint-flavored gum at the end of the meal, or brush your teeth with a mint toothpaste. You’ll be amazed at how you are no longer attracted by that piece of cheesecake or brownie. When you need to attend a party or function with a tempting buffet, arrive chewing mint gum so that you spend your first few minutes doing this instead of jumping on the rich foods. Empirical studies have shown that this tip can help you curb your appetite by 25 percent. Don’t forget to choose a chewing gum that does not contain toxic sweeteners.
10. Sleep tight! Several long-term, double-blind studies have highlighted the fact that sleep deprivation affects weight-gain. Hormones “leptin” (which reduces appetite) and “ghrelin” (an appetite stimulant) are produced proportionately when we sleep well, ensuring that our hunger and cravings are controlled. Avoid sleep deprivation by getting 8 hours of shut-eye every night; start unwinding at about 10pm for the perfect balance!