12 Ways To Control Your Appetite

Last Updated on Apr 4, 2024 by HappyDieter

Are you grappling with persistent cravings? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this listicle, we’re going to reveal various ways to control your appetite. We’ll provide practical strategies for calorie control, mindful eating, and managing those frequent food cravings to help you stay on track with your health goals. From simple hacks to mindful eating techniques, we’ve compiled a variety of tips that are easy to implement and can significantly help in managing your hunger levels and food intake.

Ready to take charge of your appetite? Scroll down for insights into our top picks that will empower you to conquer those pesky strong food cravings and regain control over what goes on your plate!

Key Takeaways

  • Increase Fiber Intake: Incorporate more fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help control your appetite and promote feelings of fullness.

  • Drink Water, Not Liquid Calories: Opt for water over sugary beverages to stay hydrated and avoid unnecessary calorie intake.

  • Eat Lean Protein: Include lean protein sources in your diet to aid in appetite control and muscle maintenance.

  • Get Some Sleep: Prioritize adequate sleep as lack of sleep can disrupt hunger hormones and lead to increased appetite and food cravings.

  • Control Stress Response: Find healthy ways to manage stress to prevent emotional eating, food cravings, and excessive appetite triggers.

  • Avoid Sugar and Sweeteners: Limit consumption of sugary foods and artificial sweeteners that can spike cravings and disrupt appetite regulation for health and weight loss.

While dieting for losing weight will never be as generally satisfying as eating, there are some strategies you can use to make it as enjoyable as you can by controlling calories and managing food cravings. So, these are the top 12 strategies of how to make dieting easier and control your appetite to help with food cravings, weight, and calorie management.

Strawberry & Apple Salad (Oct 2012)
Photo by saaleha

1. Increase your fiber intake

Fiber is an indigestible part of food that helps with weight and cravings, absorbing water as it moves through your digestive tract. Research has also shown that it increases satiety.

Keep your fiber intake high by eating plenty of fibrous veggies and fruits to help with food cravings and weight, including one or another in every meal. You can even take supplementary fiber like psyllium seed husks to help with weight and food cravings, which quickly expand in your stomach and induce a feeling of fullness.

In case you are wondering how much fiber to eat, the doctors recommend that children and adults consume 15 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories they eat daily. Fiber has lots of benefits associated with it, but studies have shown that higher fiber food helps to lower the ghrelin levels, while also inhibiting NPY levels. By consistently eating higher-fiber foods, you have a way of how to control these powerful hunger-inducing hormones and cravings.

salt & vinegar steaks
Photo by Jules

2. Add vinegar and cinnamon to your diet

Forget the sugar; some flavors and spices will make your food both healthier and tastier. Add the vinegar to your food to make you feel fuller and reduce cravings for a longer time.

The reason is its acetic acid that slows the passage of food from the stomach into your small intestine, so the stomach stays full for a longer time. Vinegar has been shown to successfully lower the glycemic index and reduce cravings.

It also adds acidic flavor to roasted vegetables, salad dressings, and sauces, without a lot of calories. And for sweet-smelling warmth, mix cinnamon with everything from chill and coffee to smoothies. Like vinegar, cinnamon can slow the rate at which food transits from your stomach to your intestines. Cinnamon will also keep you full longer time, prevent food cravings, and help prevent the post-meal slump.

glass of water
Photo by Erich

3. Drink water, not liquid calories

It is a smart idea to drink something with almost no calories when you feel hungry to curb food cravings. Make sure that you drink a glass about 20 minutes before eating to take the edge off your appetite and reduce food cravings.

The best choice is tea, coffee, or sparkling water, as they say, the carbonation will make you fuller, at least for a short period. In addition to brain fog and tiredness, dehydration may cause a sensation easily mistaken for hunger and food cravings.

On the other hand, liquid calories like juices and sodas don’t fill you up, and their quick digestion causes insulin spikes. So avoid sweetened drinks to curb food cravings, and stick with sparkling or still water. You can flavor it with lemon, strawberries, or cucumbers if you want, just don’t pack your drinks with many calories.

vegas suite : man eating omelette, four seasons, las vegas (2010)
Photo by torbakhopper

4. Slow down

Your sensations of fullness, hunger, and food cravings are not about your stomach as you may think; in fact, these feelings are a function of your brain’s lateral hypothalamus.

After your blood sugar starts dropping, your blood sends a message to your hypothalamus that you need food and you feel the hunger sensation. When your glucose levels increase, your blood sends another signal to your hypothalamus, and this time you get the feeling of being full.

On your stomach are “stretch receptors” that send a message to your brain when your stomach’s filling up. If you eat too fast, the theory goes; you’re not giving your body enough time to recognize that you’re full, so you overeat before you feel full. So for starters, slow down your eating.

Veggies and Hummus
Photo by SweetOnVeg

5. Have a small, flavorless snack between meals

Another smart and healthy way to reduce your appetite and food cravings is to eat small snacks between meals.

For example, if you have food cravings and eat 3 meals daily; morning, lunch, and dinner, you can then add 2 more small snacks, one between morning and lunch and the other between lunch and dinner. For many people, healthy snacks instantly help to control their appetite and food cravings.

It is good to eat some protein, fiber, and fat in each meal, even snacks as this helps to reduce appetite and to maintain the balance of your blood sugar. When we talk about snacks and food cravings, we are not talking about regular meals. The calories you can consume with these snacks should be between 100 – 200 calories (for a 2000-calorie diet), just enough to decrease your appetite and food cravings.

Jan eats a sandwich
Photo by James Chutter

6. Eat when you’re not hungry

Eating when you’re not hungry or experiencing food cravings is one of the main reasons some of you gain weight. You might do it simply because of cravings for the food that is near you.

Or you may catch yourself munching on the odd chocolate bar or sandwich because you are bored, angry, sad, tired, or experiencing food cravings. So, when you start to feel hungry, you overeat.

When you overeat, you may feel full, but then your insulin levels rise, causing you to feel tired, and then hungry again, so you overeat again and again. Don’t try to resist food cravings, but instead beat it to the punch. If you eat when you are either not hungry or only slightly hungry, you will eat less food and tend to eat more slowly. Eating less amount of food throughout the day is great, but having more energy is certainly a bonus, too!

Fish plate for two
Photo by phenobarb

7. Eat a lean protein with every meal

Proteins are the key to killing hunger pangs. They also help to suppress your hunger. Fish and poultry are a great source of protein. Lean protein foods suppress cravings better than any other macronutrient.

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Also, casein protein, which can be bought as a protein powder supplement, is a slow-released protein that makes you feel fuller for a longer time, reducing cravings. Thick protein shakes that have some degree of ‘chew’ factor are more filling and make ideal meal substitutes when you are a busy person who struggles with hunger.

Drinks Are Served
Photo by Sam Howzit

8. Keep alcohol to a minimum

There are many reasons to avoid alcohol or consume it only in moderation, if you choose to drink. Many studies have found that alcohol can distort your body’s perception of hunger, satiety, and fullness.

If drinking alcohol stimulates additional eating or adds more calories that aren’t compensated leads to getting pounds. You can also get belly fat, not to mention what it does to your hormones. Men should be more careful than women.

The idea that alcohol almost instantly turns into fat or gives you a beer belly is wrong. Alcohol can indeed suppress fat oxidation, but mainly, alcohol adds calories to your diet and can stimulate appetite, leading to even more foods consumed. That’s where the fat gain comes from.

Day 15 - January 15, 2011
Photo by artofminxi

9. Get some sleep

Lack of sleep is very common. While it is understood that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep, most of us only sleep for 6 or less hours. Insomnia and other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome affect our sleeping time.

Sleep plays the most important role in controlling your hunger hormones in both the long and short term. Studies have shown many times that those who sleep the most weigh the least, in difference to those who sleep the least, weigh the most.

By getting onto a regular sleep schedule where you are in bed for at least 8 hours, you increase your chances of raising leptin levels, decreasing ghrelin levels, and controlling your hunger hormones overall. Sleep is a huge powerful tool while trying to lose fat. Use it to your advantage.

Walk alone
Photo by just_makayla

10. Reduce your conditioned response to stress

Stress makes you experience hunger, but not just hunger. When your body is stressed from elevated cortisol, it wants quick energy and it knows that sweet, fatty foods or sugary snacks will provide it fastest.

How we deal with that stress greatly impacts whether or not we gain weight when confronted with it. If your reaction is to eat the food, then you will increase your odds of gaining weight. Normally, stress creates a desire for sweet foods.

When confronted with stress, you learn to take on other ways how to reduce your overall stress levels, like going for a small walk or doing some deep breathing, you allow yourself to get another small advance over your hunger hormones. Over the long term, those small steps can have a much larger influence on you keeping your weight off.

Cup of coffee
Photo by Infomastern

11. Control appetite with caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that we can find in coffee, tea, chocolate, and supplements. It is most commonly used to boost our energy and metabolism, but it also affects hunger.

Less than 300 mg is usually recognized as safe. Figuring that one cup of coffee can contain between 80 and 200 mg, it is important to take note of the total amount of caffeine you are consuming daily.

Heavy daily caffeine use (more than 500 to 600 mg a day), may cause side effects like muscle tremors, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, nervousness, stomach upset, and fast heartbeat. In addition, many studies found that even decaffeinated coffee can contribute to modest weight loss, suggesting that substances or factors besides caffeine may play a role in losing pounds.

Photo by Uwe Hermann

12. Avoid sugar and sweeteners

Sugar may increase our appetite and hunger, which could lead to overeating, according to a study from the University of California.

When we consume sugar or foods high in sugar, such as cornflakes, white bread, sweets, or cookies, our blood sugar levels rise quickly and then drop almost instantly. This imbalance makes us hungry again after only a few hours.

Your best bet is to go for low-GI carbs, like apple, pear, sweet potato, low-GI brown bread, or oatmeal, and to always eat carbohydrates with healthy fat ( like nuts, peanut butter, or avocado), a lean protein ( eggs) or a low-fat or fat-free dairy food ( like a cup of milk or yogurt). This will keep your blood sugar levels balanced, keeping your hunger pangs under control.


Controlling your appetite isn’t about deprivation; it’s about making smart choices. Boost your fiber, hydrate, and savor protein-packed meals. Slow down, catch some Zs, and kick stress to the curb. Skip the sugar and mindless snacking. Think of your body as a high-performance car; fuel it right for peak performance.

Small changes can yield big results. So, take charge of your cravings, one step at a time. Remember, you’re in the driver’s seat.


How does increasing fiber intake help control appetite?

Increasing fiber intake helps you feel full for longer periods, reducing the urge to overeat. Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains slow down digestion and promote satiety.

Can drinking water instead of liquid calories aid in controlling appetite?

Yes! Water has zero calories but can help fill your stomach, making you less likely to overeat. Opting for water over sugary drinks reduces overall calorie intake while keeping you hydrated.

Proteins take longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you stay full and satisfied for extended periods. Including lean proteins like chicken, fish, or tofu in your meals can curb cravings and prevent excessive snacking.

How does getting enough sleep contribute to appetite control?

Lack of sleep disrupts hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, leading to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Prioritizing quality sleep helps regulate these hormones, reducing the likelihood of overeating.

Is it true that avoiding sugar and sweeteners can help manage appetite better?

Indeed! Foods high in sugar or artificial sweeteners can spike blood sugar levels quickly but result in rapid crashes soon after. This rollercoaster effect triggers more frequent hunger pangs whereas opting for whole foods stabilizes energy levels throughout the day.