Healthy Appetites and Healthy Eating

by Garreth Myers

Do you often feel that you eat a lot more or perhaps much less than you should? If yes, rest assured that you are not alone. Millions of men and women around the world look at recommended healthy meal plans or portions at restaurants and realize that their appetites are either too big or too small. This is probably why there are several appetite suppressants or stimulants easily available in the markets. These products claim to adjust your appetite for healthy eating. Fortunately, you can make adjustments to your appetite that is, you could either increase or decrease it naturally, without using any commercial products. Natural ways to alter your appetite usually have fewer side effects, as compared to products that are available commercially. Given below are a few tips that can help you control your appetite:

  • Plan your meals in advance, so that you know how much you are going to eat. This keeps your prepared and gradually, you will actually end up eating as much as you plan. However, make sure that you plan your portions carefully, so that you neither starve, nor stuff yourself.
  • Try to eat 5 to 6 smaller meals a day, instead of 3 square ones. Start with breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. This should also be the most substantial meal that you consume. Make sure you don't skip this meal, no matter how much of a hurry you are in. After that, try to have a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack or tea and an early dinner. Make sure that your dinner is not too heavy. If required, you could have a glass of milk, or something light after dinner, making it your sixth meal of the day. Your last meal of the day should be the lightest.
  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, to stabilize your appetite. Many of us do not distinguish between thirst and hunger and end up eating an extra meal, only because our body craves some moisture. You can cut down on unnecessary snacking by making sure that you drink at least 2 liters of water each day. This practice has several other benefits on your health. In case you are trying to reduce your appetite, make sure that you drink a glass of cold water around 20 minutes before you are supposed to eat. However, if you would like to increase the amount you normally eat, then stay away from mealtime fluids.
  • Limit your intake of tea, coffee, chocolate and aerated drinks, as most of them contain caffeine, which is an appetite stimulant and can cause you to eat more than you should. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided, especially if you would like to increase your appetite.
  • Play with ingredients that can cause changes to your appetite. In order to reduce your appetite, increase your intake of fiber, which causes you to feel full faster and keeps you that way for a longer period of time. There are certain foods that can have the opposite effect on your appetite too. In case you would like to increase the amount you eat, try adding cinnamon, anise, ginger and peppermint to your foods, as they are all appetite stimulants. Many weight watchers cut down on extra calories by adding artificial sweeteners to their foods, instead of sugar. However, these sweeteners actually increase the appetite and can cause you to eat more than what you normally would.
  • Get an adequate amount of exercise each day, whether you are trying to increase your appetite or decrease it. This is because exercising has an excellent effect on the overall body, including your digestive system as well as your metabolism, which can help stabilize your appetite, bringing it to a normal level.
  • Eat your food at a normal pace, without being too fast or too slow. If you eat too fast, you may eat more than you should, as it takes your brain a couple of minutes to realize that the stomach is full. Similarly, eating too slowly can cause you to eat a bit less than normal, as you feel full after consuming a smaller portion of food.

Before you try to change your appetite for healthy eating, you should consult a doctor, to make sure that the adjustment is indeed required. Several people believe that their appetites are not normal, when they actually are. Therefore, it is best for you to consult a proper dietician, who will assess you height, weight, age, gender, body type, lifestyle and levels of physical activity, before suggesting the portions you should eat at every meal. Do not make an assumption that your appetite is not normal, or else you could end up losing or gaining too much weight. Check with a doctor and get an approval for using remedies to change your appetite. This is all the more important in case you are elderly or are suffering from any preexisting medical condition.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
More articles from the Nutrition Category