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Having a big appetite can be very frustrating, especially if you’re trying cut back on your food intake and lose weight. So why do you have such a big appetite? How do you reduce your appetite?

There are usually 2 main reasons why people have a greater appetite than normal:

  1. You don’t eat enough fiber; and / or
  2. You are leptin resistant.

how to reduce appetite

This isn’t the always the case for people. If neither of these sound like you, it could be worth going to see a doctor and / or dietician for more specialized advice.

You Don’t Eat Enough Fiber

Fiber breaks down more slowly than other nutrients (even protein and fats). I know you’ve probably heard this before, but high fiber foods really do make you feel fuller for longer. I have actually experienced this first hand.

When I first started counting calories and macros, I was eating low carb and high protein and fats. I didn’t even think about counting fiber. I was hitting my macros but I was absolutely starving. When I looked back, I was only eating around 10g of fiber per day. And for women, it’s recommended that you get a minimum of 22g per day.

After I increased my fiber intake (I now eat around 25-30g daily), I was no longer hungry, even eating at a calorie deficit. I was actually so surprised at the difference it made!

The problem with eating low carb is that all of the fiber is really in the carb heavy foods. Protein is great for your body but has zero fiber, and the same for most fats. Also, lots of processed carbs are also low in fiber. So even if you’re eating high carb and all your carbs are from unhealthy sources, you’ll still have the same problem.

If you are having issues with a big appetite, I highly encourage you to track your fiber intake for 1 week to make sure you’re getting enough. Remember the absolutely minimum for a woman is 22g.

High Fiber Foodshow to reduce appetite

Try incorporating these foods into your daily diet to help boost your fiber intake.

  • Apples – I know a lot of women are scared to eat fruit because of the sugar content. But 1 apple only has about 80 calories and 5 grams of fiber, which is a huge amount!
  • Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon of chia seeds has 5.5 grams of fiber! I always have 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in my smoothie every morning and it keeps me full until lunch.
  • Wholemeal bread – bread gets a bad wrap because of the carbohydrate content (and obviously because they are a grain). But 1 piece of a healthy wholemeal bread such as Burgen has 4.1 grams of fiber and only 12 grams of carbs.
  • Oats – 1/3 cup of oats has 5.5 grams of fiber and 34.5 grams of carbs. See how minimal the carbohydrates in bread are!? Having 1/3 cup of oats and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for breakfast is almost half of your daily fiber intake.
  • Pears – these are another really high fiber fruit. One medium pear has 6g of fiber and 100 calories.
  • Avocado – yes avocado is high in fats but also surprisingly high in fiber. 1/4 of an avocado has 2.5g of fiber.
  • Lentils – 1/4 cup of cooked lentils has 4g of fiber.
  • Beans – 1/4 cup cooked black beans has 3.7g of fiber (most other beans are high in fiber too!).
  • Peas – 1/4 cup cooked peas has 2.2g fiber
  • Broccoli – 1/2 cup cooked broccoli has 2.3g fiber.

How Leptin Resistance Causes Hunger & Weight Gain

The Hormone Leptin

Leptin is a hormone that controls when and how full you feel. When you are eating and you start to become full, your fat stores start producing leptin, which then signals your brain to stop eating because you are full.

Leptin Resistance

If you are leptin resistant, it means that your body no longer responds properly to leptin. This happens when you eat a diet high in processed carbohydrates and sugar. When you eat these things, your fat stores are continually releasing leptin so your brain stops reacting to it.

As a result, you may never actually feel full and will be hungry all the time.

Symptoms of Leptin Resistance

You may have leptin resistance if you experience the following:

  • Overweight
  • Food cravings and hungry after meals
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low energy

how to reduce your appetite

How To Fix Leptin Resistance

  • Eat a high protein and high fiber diet.
  • Cut out processed carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Get good quality sleep and 8 hours per night.
  • Minimize stress.

For more information on leptin resistance and how to fix it, please have a read of this blog post by Wellness Mama.

Summary – How To Reduce Appetite

If you do have leptin resistance, you need to get this sorted otherwise it will be difficult for you to manage your appetite and lose weight. Even if you don’t have leptin resistance, it’s still a good idea to reduce your sugar and processed carbs, and increase your fiber and protein intake. And of course good sleep and minimizing stress is extremely important!

Also be sure to include as many of the high fiber foods I mentioned above in your daily diet. Starting your morning off with some oatmeal, chia seeds, berries and yoghurt is a great way to get a good dose of fiber in the morning. Apples are a great high fiber snack so if you’re trying to increase your fiber intake, try to have this as a mid morning snack. And then include vegetables and lentils for your main meals.

As I mentioned above, this may not work for everyone. If you have tried these things and it still doesn’t fix your appetite issues, it could be worth going to see a doctor and / or dietician for more specialized advice xx

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4 comments on “How To Reduce Your Appetite”

  • Selina says:

    One yummy way to eat more beans is black bean brownies or chickpea cookies. You can find recipes on Pinterest. I use stevia to sweeten instead of the maple syrup or honey like most of the recipes ask for.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Thanks for the tips! xx

  • Samantha Kemp says:

    HI Rachel,

    this is really interesting and i have been looking at leptin deficiency today with Dr Josh Axe on You Tube that I watch as regularly as you. My problem is sleep. In order to get in your workouts, skinny leg and circuit style, I have to get up at 5 so how can I ensure I get enough sleep? Could you do a blog on your sleep routine? Timings and advice? No one does this and is realistic about it – if you could give REAL practical heartfelt tips about what you do to ensure you get enough sleep = what our routine is to get in your workout, food and sleep I would happily give you as many free skype meditation and mindfulness sessions as you need as this sleep issue os the one thing I am missing xxx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Sam, good to hear you’re doing your own research! :) I will definitely do a blog on my sleep routine. I’m actually taking a natural supplement to help me with sleep at the moment. It’s called Ultra Muscleze Night by Bioceuticals. It contains sour cherry which helps your body produce melatonin, and also magnesium and calcium. I was really sceptical at first, but it works so good! I’m not planning on taking it long term, just at the moment while I’m having trouble with sleep. Definitely look into that. I would really suggest sleeping before 10pm so that you can get at least 7 hours of sleep (earlier the better!). And your body has another cortisol spike around 11pm so if you stay away until then, you’ll find it more difficult to sleep. Anyway I have a few more tips but I’ll put them all into a blog post for you. I can’t LIVE without enough sleep so I understand how important it is! xxx

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