Part of the reason we have a difficult time losing weight is that we let our appetite run our lives! Did you know that we can actually help control our appetites by eating the right/wrong kinds of food?? Here are five simple tips on ways you can help curb your hunger and control your cravings.

1) Eat breakfast. Eating a health breakfast, preferably containing some of the foods suggested below, will help control your appetite for the rest of the day, and will help you avoid grabbing unhealthy snacks before lunch.

2) Eat healthy fats. Eating “healthy fats” helps you absorb energy from your food slower, and keeps you feeling full longer. These fats help lower the glycemic load of your meal, which will help balance your insulin levels, and reduce your cravings for unneeded sugar or refined carbs.

• Nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, hazlenuts)
• Olive oil
• Coconut oil
• Fish or fish oil (omega-3s)
• Avocado
• Flaxseeds
• Pumpkin seeds

3) Eat foods high in Fiber. Fiber will slow down your digestive process, keeping you feeling fuller, longer. Your body actually has to work to digest fiber, so you can actually start burning calories just by eating it! Fiber is a great counter to sugar in your meal, lowering the overall glycemic load.

• Fruits and vegetables
• Rye
• Whole grains
• Beans
• Nuts
• Adding Chia Seeds to your food (Found in Whole Foods) will add fiber to any meal.

4) Avoid sugar. The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave. Refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, sugar, and white potatoes turn to sugar when digested, are quickly absorbed and spike your insulin levels, allowing your hunger to creep back much too soon. Remember, when you do eat foods higher in sugar, adding fiber to your meals is a good way to balance your sugar levels.

Avoid the following:

• High fructose corn syrup
• Alcohol
• Soft drinks
• Sugar sweetened beverages
• Artificial sweeteners

Be weary of the sugar content in the following, and try not to over eat the following foods:

• Bread
• Breakfast cereals
• Pasta
• Jellies and jams
• Canned fruit
• Frozen deserts

5) Drink water! Many times our body mistakes thirst and dehydration for hunger. You will be surprised at how drinking enough water can suppress many of your cravings.