Slash calories and you will drop pounds. Seems simple, right? Just one problem: Your stomach inevitably stages a protest, rumbling until you give in. The reason, scientists say, is that when your body senses food is in short supply - even if you’re restricting it on purpose - it goes on the offense, pumping out more of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’ to coerce you to eat. But just because your gut is biologically anti-diet, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to become a bottomless pit. Give these tricks a try, and before long your tummy won’t just be quieter - it’ll be a whole lot flatter too.
Rise and Shine with Protein
Nutritionists are always raving about lean protein, and for good reason: It keeps you fuller than other nutrients and takes your body more time to digest and absorb. But what you may not realize is that when you eat it also matters. Eating lean protein (such as Canadian bacon, egg whites, or low-fat yogurt) at breakfast keeps you satisfied longer than if you were to consume it at other times of the day. Try to get at least one ounce (or 30 grams) of protein at breakfast.
Chow on Potatoes
Potatoes contain a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes. Because potatoes take a while to break down, they stay in your intestine longer, delaying the onset of hunger pangs. Have a baked potato with dinner ( a medium potato is only around 100 calories)
Embrace a Little Fat
Trimming all the fat from your diet can backfire. Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados, helps quash hunger. Unsaturated fats should make up about 20 percent of your total calorie intake. I suggest snacking on two tablespoons of natural peanut butter, an ounce of nuts, or a quarter of an avocado.
Hitting the gym not only burns calories but also helps you consume fewer of them. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that 60 minutes of high-intensity cardio can reduce appetite for up to two hours afterward. “Aerobic exercise lowers hunger-hormone levels and increases the amount of an appetite-suppressing hormone in your body,” says study author David Stensel, Ph.D. To maximize the hunger-dampening effect, make your cardio workout more intense by adding intervals (short bursts of speed with periods of rest in between).
Gobble Up Grapefruit
Grapefruit diets went out of style with Jane Fonda aerobic videos, but this citrus is having a comeback. In a study at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, people who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds in three months.
Take a Whiff
Smelling food can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten. One study found that people who inhaled a peppermint scent every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories per week than they normally did - that’s nearly a one-pound loss! Banana, green apple, and vanilla had similar effects in other studies.