Whether you’re trying to snack a bit less between meals or just looking for healthier ways to fuel, we found foods that are good for you and will help you feel satisfied for longer. These foods are loaded with healthy nutrients like fiber and protein, that fuel your body and fight hunger in a healthy way.
Think beyond rice cakes, to nuts, spices, and heart-healthy fats, and don’t forget water. These are the best foods to suppress your appetite naturally.
Keep in Mind
We’re in favor of foods that naturally suppress appetite (think protein- and fiber-rich ingredients) instead of over-the-counter medications, which are potentially harmful. These foods are satisfying and make you feel full which naturally reduces your appetite.
Just a handful of almonds has many health benefits. They are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and magnesium. In addition to helping control blood sugar, promoting gut health, and reducing heart disease, almonds are also a natural appetite suppressant that have been shown to increase feelings of fullness in people.
A 2019 study in the journal Nutrients found that eating almonds as a snack (in the mid-morning) lowered participants’ feelings of overall hunger and desire for high-fat foods.
While drinking more than one to two cups of Joe a day can leave you feeling jittery and nervous, a moderate amount of coffee can be good for you. It can help boost metabolism and act as an appetite suppressant.
According to a comprehensive review published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, caffeine consumed 30 minutes to 4 hours before a meal causes a reduction in appetite. Coffee’s secret? Caffeine, along with antioxidants from the coffee beans. Just don’t cancel out those good effects with too much sugar or cream.
Ginger has been used for centuries for its amazing health benefits, including its digestive powers. Whether it’s in a smoothie or in an Indian dish, ginger works as a stimulant that energizes the body and improves digestion, thereby making you less hungry naturally.
One small study in the journal Metabolism found that men who ate ginger had a reduced appetite.
Full of fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, avocados are a great source of nutrients. These healthy fruits lower cholesterol, help with blood sugar, aid in digestion, and strengthen bones. And, when eaten in moderation, they can suppress appetite.
In a study in Nutrients that compared the fullness of participants who consumed a meal comprised primarily of carbohydrates versus a meal that included either half or a whole avocado, those who ate avocado reported feeling fuller. The study also tested the hormones associated with fullness in the blood of participants after each meal and found those hormones were elevated after they ate half or a full avocado.
Instead of thinking about how to suppress your appetite, think about how to spice up your meals so you aren’t left unsatisfied. Spices with a kick help you to eat slower for a more intuitive eating experience.
Plus, just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can boost metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own, according to research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.
Apples of all varieties and types act as appetite suppressants for a number of reasons. First, apples are filled with soluble fiber and pectin, which help you feel full. One large apple with skin contains over 5 grams of fiber.
In addition, apples regulate your glucose and boost your energy level. Apples also require lots of chewing time, which helps slow you down and gives your body more time to realize that you’re no longer hungry. Plus, they just taste good!
A study in Nutrition Research showed that eating an egg or two for breakfast can help you feel more full over 24 hours than if you eat a bagel with the same amount of calories. In the same study, those who ate eggs ingested fewer calories over the course of a day than the bagel-eaters.
The cause: Eggs are filled with highly-digestible protein. One large egg contains 12 grams of protein. The journal Nutrients found that egg protein is especially helpful in reducing calorie intake due to a decrease in appetite.
Feeling hungry, but just had breakfast? If you’re not drinking enough water, it could be thirst instead. Aim for even a glass more every day and you could notice a huge difference in not just your appetite but your skin and digestion, too.
In one 2010 study, people who drank two glasses of water before a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories at the meal than those who didn’t drink water, but it’s not about eating less — it’s about drinking more!
Sweet potatoes are vitamin-rich vegetables that are loaded with water and filling fiber. Each 130 gram sweet potato contains nearly 4 grams of dietary fiber.
According to the journal Food Science & Nutrition, sweet potatoes contain a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes, making them stay in your stomach longer and therefore keep you full, which helps suppress your appetite. Plus, they’re full of vitamin A and vitamin C!
Have a sweet craving you just can’t shake? Sometimes the best thing to do is to shock it with something sour. Umeboshi plums are basically pickled plums and can be fantastic for squashing sugar cravings. Find them at your local specialty store, Asian grocer, or on Amazon.
A study in the journal Appetite found that having a cup of soup before a meal can reduce your appetite so that you are less likely to consume as much during the subsequent meal.
Hot vegetable soups — broth-based with vegetables, chunky vegetable soup, chunky-pureed vegetable soup, and pureed vegetable soup — can fill you up and take the edge off of your hunger with minimal calories. Try having a cup before your next meal or a big bowl for lunch!
Yes, chocolate is a natural appetite suppressant. Just try slowly savoring a piece or two of dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) with at least 70 percent cocoa the next time you crave it.
A study in Nutrition & Diabetes compared the appetite suppression effects of eating dark chocolate and milk chocolate. They found that a little dark chocolate helps to lower your cravings because the bitter taste signals the body to decrease your appetite. Not to mention that the stearic acid in dark chocolate helps slow digestion to help you feel fuller longer. If dark chocolate is too bitter for you, try having a piece with a cup of black coffee — it’ll bring out the sweetness!
A rich plant-based protein source, tofu isn’t just for vegetarians! Tofu is high in an isoflavone called genistein, which, according to a study in Advances in Nutrition, has been shown to suppress appetite and lower food intake.
For an easy way to introduce tofu in your diet, try adding it to your next healthy stir-fry or in a grain bowl with tofu and veggies.
Ever notice how when you eat sushi it doesn’t seem to take as much food to fill you up? Well, part of that is because of the healthy fish in sushi, but the other part is due to that spicy green stuff: wasabi!
According to a study in the journal Foods, the spiciness in wasabi makes it a natural appetite suppressant and anti-inflammatory.
If you’re not a coffee drinker and get sick of water easily, try a natural appetite suppressant tea. Green tea can help you stave off hunger that results in mindlessly snacking.
According to a research report in Appetite, the caffeine and catechins in green tea are the reason. They suppress your appetite and make you feel full.
Packing over 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber in a half-cup serving, oatmeal is a nutritionally rich food you can easily incorporate in your life. The high fiber content helps slow digestion which prevents uncomfortable spikes in blood sugar. And while oats are also high in carbohydrates, the carbs in oatmeal provide energy and make you feel fuller for longer.
According to research in the American College of Nutrition, oatmeal kept participants from feeling hungry for longer than regular breakfast cereals.
Lentils are filling and nutritious — they’re packed with nearly 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber per cup. They can be eaten alone, mixed in a stew, or tossed in a salad.
A study in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism considered the effect on appetite of eating lentils and other beans before meals. Lentils were found to be a better appetite suppressant and resulted in less food intake than chickpeas in the study.
Green Leafy Vegetables
If you’re looking for a highly nutritious food that will fill you up for hours, you can’t beat green leafy vegetables — they’re the ultimate natural appetite suppressant. A study in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that foods that are high in thylakoids, like spinach, kale, broccoli, and mustard greens, are particularly beneficial in reducing hunger.
Fibrous greens (eaten raw or gently sautéed with a little olive oil) are a delicious way to keep hunger at bay.
High in protein which keeps you fuller for longer, salmon, which also contains high levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, is a superfood you’ll want to add to your rotation. Each 3-ounce serving of fresh salmon contains nearly 17 grams of protein. (Not a fan of salmon, tuna and herring have similarly high levels of protein and omega-3s.)
According to the Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, high protein diets increase signals in the body that indicate feelings of fullness.
Here’s a super-easy way to make anything you’re eating a natural appetite suppressant: Next time you have cereal, oatmeal, fruit, or even coffee, sprinkle some cinnamon on it. A research article on the medicinal properties of cinnamon found that cinnamon helps lower your blood sugar levels which helps to control your appetite.
There’s another benefit, too — cinnamon contains 1.4 grams of fiber per teaspoon, which helps give you that feeling of fullness.
Another protein powerhouse, Greek yogurt is better than skim or whole milk at suppressing appetite, according to an article in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Just one 7-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt contains a whopping 20 grams of protein.
In addition to making you feel full, other Greek yogurt benefits include a healthy gut, strong bones, and a boosted immune system.
When it comes to hot sauce as an appetite suppressant, the hotter you can go the better. According to research reviewed in the journal Appetite, consumption of hot sauce containing hot chili peppers will help you stay fuller for longer. Not only that, the spiciness keeps you from eating too much.
So get some Tabasco (or any hot chili sauce) and sprinkle some heat on your burrito, scrambled eggs, or even soup!
With a nutritional mix of soluble fiber and essential fatty acids, flax seeds are the perfect addition to your yogurt, smoothie, or salad. Just make sure you grind them first because the human body can’t digest whole flax seeds.
As a natural appetite suppressant, they’ll help you stay full and fueled.
If you want to keep the hunger monster away, eat a small salad before you sit down for a meal. In a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, participants who ate a salad before a meal were less hungry and ate less of the meal than participants who did not have a salad as a first course.
Since it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you’re full, starting with a small salad before your meal is a perfect way to get a head-start on that hunger signal.
Protein is known as an appetite suppressant, but it seems that whey protein is especially good. A review article on the effects of whey protein on appetite found that consuming this protein supplement (in shakes or smoothies) is effective a suppressing hunger.
A study in the journal Nutrients on the impact of a high-protein meal replacement on appetite found that consuming a high-protein meal replacement instead of a standard North American breakfast prior to exercise resulted in a greater suppression of hunger both during and after exercising.