As with anything in life, eating one meal a day can sometimes pose challenges.
Our lives are constantly changing as well as our environment and situations.
Even being in a stressful or emotional state can lead to unwanted or unusual eating behavior.
Whether you’re just starting omad or have been doing it for years, sometimes it can be tough to fight hunger and overeating.
Some may struggle outside their eating window with hunger, while others struggle inside their window with overeating.
I’ve compiled a list of the top 25 ways to help curb hunger and overeating with your omad journey.
1. Use a Blue Plate
Sounds crazy right? A blue plate?
Recent Studies show that eating from higher contrast plates like the color blue have demonstrated the ability to naturally suppress the appetite.
How it Works
Over the course of time, humans have adapted very well to their environment and surroundings. But, a fact is that these surroundings and environment do not offer much as far as blue food.
Blue corn, blueberries, and some rare types of blue potatoes are only a few blue foods that are naturally occurring.
Because of this, the brain doesn’t see blue food as safe or something that is healthy to eat. Off-Colored or strange food sets set off an evolutionary instinct that will protect you from eating dangerous or poisonous food.
These instincts spread around the blue surroundings, which create an aversion to eat wherever the blue color is dominant.
On another note, orange, yellow, and red has actually shown to increase the appetite which results in eating more.
2. Try Essential Oils
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils come from the extraction of plants and contain aroma and other chemical properties of the plant. When essential oils are used for healing purposes as alternative medicine, it is called aromatherapy.
How it Works
A key is to rotate the oils when you diffuse them to prevent desensitization. Desensitization is when the effectiveness of the oils diminishes.
Rotating Oils including grapefruit, peppermint, patchouli, lemon, and bergamot can all help in suppressing your hunger.
Investing in a diffuser necklace can be a great way to experience all the benefits. Also be sure to change the pads on a regular basis.
The diffuser necklace below is widely popular, easy to use, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. Brushing Your Teeth
We all have a taste for foods with desirable flavors. But, our taste buds do not get too excited about mint or wintergreen toothpaste as “tasty” food.
Mint flavor has long been known to act as an appetite suppressant.
Why it Works
Many people will not feel like eating right after brushing their teeth because it can make any food taste bad.
Brushing can act as a signal to the brain and body that you are done eating for the day.
It’s best to brush your teeth after your one meal a day not only to fight cavities, but it can help inhibit the urge to eat snacks outside of your eating window.
4. Drink Green Tea
Besides the incredible amount of health benefits green tea offers, it’s great to sip on to curb the appetite and aid in overeating.
Studies show green tea to naturally increase metabolism as well as using its polyphenol to control insulin sensitivity.
Polyphenol has anti-depressant effects that help fight against depression and anxiety that come from emotional eating.
Green Tea also shows an increase in releasing cholecystokinin. Cholecystokinin (the digestive hormone) sends a signal to the brain that your stomach is full.
Some other foods that are known to stimulate releases of Cholecystokinin include nuts and beans.
5. Use a Larger Fork
Although large bowls and plates have shown to promote overeating, it is not the same with forks.
A recent study published in the Journal of Research concluded how the size of a fork affects eating habits.
This study was done inside of an Italian restaurant with all the participants sitting at tables with small forks and large forks.
The small forks held 20% less food than the large forks.
The plates were weighed before and after the meals to analyze the amount of food that was eaten.
Researchers found that those who had eaten with the larger forks left more food on the plates than participants that ate with smaller forks. The participants that ate from larger forks claimed to become satisfied quicker than those who had eaten with the smaller forks.
The research concludes that bite-size works as a medium to help satisfy a person’s goal and will also influence the quantity consumed. By eating from a smaller fork, it gives someone a feeling that they are making little progress in satisfying their hunger.
6. Eating Omega-3 Fats
According to recent studies, Omega-3 fats may help curb hunger and increase feelings of fullness.
Omega-3 fats that are found in algae oils and fish have shown to increase leptin. Leptin, a protein that is made in fat cells, circulates throughout the bloodstream and flows to the brain. Higher Leptin levels will send a signal to the brain of “being full.”
The body does not have the ability to produce Omega-3 fats. Therefore they are considered to be essential. You can only get them from supplements or food.
Which Foods have high Omega-3 Fats?
- White Fish
- Alaskan Salmon
- Egg Yolks
- Cod Liver Oil
- Atlantic Mackerel
- Albacore Tuna
- Hemp Seeds
7. Add Spices to your Meal/Drinks
Adding spices can do much more than adding flavor and color to your one meal a day.
They can also help in curbing your hunger as well as bring many more benefits.
Cayenne pepper is known for containing a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is what is responsible for the cayenne peppers appetite suppressing properties.
Cayenne is available in capsule, powder, fresh or cooked pepper.
To add appetite suppressant benefits and flavors to your meal, use it on dishes with either chopped or powdered form.
You can put the cayenne pepper powder in soups, milk, juice, and teas.
8. Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is made up mostly of what is called (MCT’s) medium-chain triglyceride or lauric acid.
This fatty acid metabolizes in a very different way in comparison to the other saturated fats that are in dairy and meat products.
The MCT’s are not stored and are transported straight to the liver where they are converted into energy.
When the MCT’s are processed, they also form keytone bodies.
These keytone bodies provide a benefit of reducing cravings and hunger.
How you can use Coconut Oil with Omad
I only recommend using Coconut Oil inside of your eating window, whether it be in your drinks or meals. 1 tbsp of coconut oil contains 117 calories, so this is not something you would want to be using outside of your eating window.
I highly recommend coconut oil, not only can it help with appetite control, but it offers many other health benefits.
9. Cut your Food into Smaller Pieces
Researchers at the Arizona State University found that participants who were given smaller pieces of food ate less than those with larger pieces of food.
For the test, some participants were given a whole bagel while others received a bagel that was cut into 4 pieces.
This phenomenon appears to not only hold true for humans but animals as well. In a similar study performed on rats, they found them to eat significantly more large pellets than smaller ones.
10. B Vitamins
The vitamin B group has been known to help in the regulation of hunger and suppressing appetite.
The vitamin B group consists of 8 vitamins the body needs in small amounts.
These vitamins include riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, and vitamin b-12.
It is best to consult your doctor to find out if your B vitamin levels are low.
How to Get your B Vitamins
Besides supplementing, most people find it difficult to get their B vitamin needs on a daily basis.
Common sources of B Vitamin food include beans, meat, grains, leafy greens, legumes, seeds, milk, and eggs.
11. Eat Dark Chocolate
Recent research has shown participants who ate dark chocolate reported a reduction in cravings by at least 1/3 to 1/2.
The study included women who either just smelled the dark chocolate, or slowly ate at least 30 grams of chocolate.
Researchers found a correlation with an increase in the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. With this, researchers concluded how dark chocolate acted as an appetite suppressant by circulating the levels of ghrelin.
Dark chocolate is obviously something that you would consume inside of your eating window, but the benefits can work outside of our eating window as well.
By eating dark chocolate with your one meal, you can potentially reduce hunger and cravings outside of your eating window.
12. Get Plenty of Rest
Many believe that being hungry is only related to self-control and will-power.
Hunger is actually controlled by 2 hormones: ghrelin and leptin
The less leptin being produced results in an empty stomach feeling. The more ghrelin produced results in the stimulation of hunger.
In short, both of these levels need to be controlled, but sleep deprivation will make that impossible.
A research study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism concluded that people who sleep less than 6 hours, trigger an area of the brain that will increase the need for food. The results showed to stimulate ghrelin and depress leptin levels.
13. Eat Slowly
Eating quickly can lead to overeating because the brain doesn’t have sufficient time to receive fullness signals.
Eating slowly has also been shown to reduce the amount of food that is consumed during a meal as shown in this study.
It can take up to 20 minutes for the brain to receive signals of satiety (fullness). Some may even eat their entire meal before this happens.
Eating slowly not only helps you from overeating, but it also has many other benefits as well as shown below.
- Reduction of stress
- Promotion of healthy teeth
- Better Absorption of nutrients
- Digestion Improvement
- Sense of Calmness and Control
- Increases enjoyment of meal
14. Eat High Fiber Foods
Eating a lot of fiber can have a prolonged effect of feeling full for long periods of time.
Studies have shown high viscous fiber foods to work better as a means of an appetite suppressant.
These viscous soluble fibers include guar gum, psyllium, glucans, and glucomannan. They work by thickening up while inside water which results in a gel-like substance that stays in the gut for a long period of time.
This causes the stomach to empty slowly, and it takes longer for nutrients to be absorbed and digested. This results in you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.
Rich Sources of Viscous Fiber include:
- sweet potatoes
- barley and oat bran
- Brussel Sprouts
Tips on Increasing Viscous Fiber on the Omad Diet
If your going to increase viscous fiber in your one meal a day, be sure to start off slow. If you switch from eating low-fiber foods in your meal to lots of high-fiber foods, it can cause some side effects. These include diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and cramps.
It’s best to start incorporating high-fiber foods a few times a week and then slowly increasing your amount you consume over a 2-3 week period.
15. Drink more water
A recent study concluded that drinking water before your meal can make you feel fuller and reduce the amount of calorie intake.
The group of participants drank 2 cups of water before their meals while the other group did not. Each group was given a low-calorie meal over a period of 12 weeks.
The study found the participants who drank the 2 cups of water prior to their meal to lose almost 5 more pounds than the non-water drinkers.
More benefits of drinking water
- Aid in Digestion
- No calories
- Reduces water retention
- Detoxes the body
- Can minimize cravings
16. Avoid Empty Calories/Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners such as Nutrasweet, Splenda, and those that are found in diet sodas will stimulate your appetite. This is because the body will expect a surge of nutrients when you consume them.
Because of these foods or drinks being artificial, the body is expecting minerals and vitamins along with rapid calories and sugar.
When the body doesn’t get it, it uses stored nutrients for burning calories. Because of this, the body will end up craving more food to make up for the depleted nutrients.
By sticking with nutritious and whole foods, you will ensure that the body will only signal for an increase in food when it really needs it.
17. Exercise Frequently
While many think that exercising will increase the appetite, there are studies that say different.
A Research study was conducted on 18 normal weight and 17 obese women. The participants were asked to walk on a provided treadmill for 45 minutes each morning.
The participants were shown pictures of various food and the activity of the brain was recorded. The groups also kept a log of what they ate each day.
The study concluded that the exercise suppressed the desire for food when they measured their brain activity and each food diary.
Exercising also helps decrease the hormone ghrelin (the hormone that increases hunger) which results in being less hungry.
18. Eat a Small Salad (before meal)
Eating a small salad before the rest of your meal can help suppress your appetite and help you from overeating the rest of your main course.
It only takes 2 cups of veggies to send a signal to the brain that you’re getting nutrition and calories.
As mentioned earlier, it will take about 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal from the stomach that you’re getting full.
By starting with a smaller salad, it’s a great way to get ahead of that hunger signal.
19. Smell your Food
Research has shown that actually smelling your food may trick the brain into believing you ate it. This results in you feeling fuller faster.
Another study found participants who inhaled a scent of peppermint every 2 hours consumed 2700 fewer calories in a week than they would normally eat.
Vanilla, Banana, and green apples showed similar effects for other studies.
Which Food smells showed the best results in suppressing the appetite?
- Ranch Dressing Flavor
- Cheddar cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
Interestingly, another research study showed the smell of olive oil to aid in weight loss. Participants exposed to olive oil were shown to have increased blood sugar responses and ate fewer calories.
20. Make your Meal “Boring”
To many, variety is considered the spice of life. But, new research shows that it may also fuel overeating.
Many scientists say, eating the same foods on a daily basis could lead to reduced cravings and overeating.
A published study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that those who ate a varied diet consumed more calories for the week.
Another study included women who were told to eat macaroni and cheese every day of the week. By the end of the week, the women were shown to be eating at least 100 calories less every day.
In conclusion, eating the same meal on a frequent basis will make you very bored, which will result in eating less.
21. Eat Tofu
Tofu is a product (bean-curd) that is made from soy milk and often sold in small blocks.
Besides being a high source of plant-based protein, it works great as an appetite suppressant.
Tofu has large amounts of genistein, which is an isoflavone or also known as a hormone influencing compound. This compound suppresses the appetite and decreases food intake.
How to Eat Tofu
When it comes from the oven, it will be crisp from the outside, but creamy on the inside. It can be great when used in a stir-fry.
When tofu cools, it will become chewy and firm. It can then be used for putting on a sandwich, crushing into a sauce, or putting on a salad.
22. Get Busy
One of my favorite and one of the most effective methods for me when I started omad was staying busy.
When you are trying to make a change, the worst time for a person is when you are doing nothing.
This leaves a lot of room for boredom and thinking.
If you can learn to stay busy, it will keep your mind off of food and a lot of times you will forget about the change you are making.
Being hungry can be more of a physiological thing than physical, so staying busy can certainly help you succeed by keeping your mind off of food.
23. Control Social Settings
No matter what social event your doing, drinks and food are usually a focus.
The problem is that sometimes these events come unexpectedly and often lead us into eating much more than we really want to.
I know how difficult these situations can be when you are trying to balance your eating window and control the amount of food you are eating.
I am often in these situations myself so here are some tips to prevent overeating while in social settings.
1. Order half portions at Restaurants
Studies by Jama have shown an average meal at a restaurant contained 1128 calories. This doesn’t even include the extra dishes, etc. that will usually come with the meal as well. You can easily see how this can all add up. By ordering half portions, you cut down on the amount of food you feel you have to finish or eat. I usually try to order from the lunch menu if it is available.
2. Split the Decision
Sharing or splitting a meal can be an effective way to control portions. Most restaurant portions are 2-3 times bigger than they should be.
This is another tip that I use if a restaurant isn’t offering the lunch menu. But, I usually will only do this with family or close friends.
24. Dim the Lights, Cue the Music
Studies suggest that mellow music and soft lighting can have an influence that leads to people eating fewer calories.
A study at Cornell University concluded that those who ate at restaurants with low music and soft lighting consumed 175 fewer calories than those who ate at brighter lit restaurants.
The conclusion of the study is interesting as it states that people who are in a relaxed environment are likely to eat less and enjoy their food.
25. Put Cinnamon in your Food
Eating Cinnamon on a daily basis can be a great way to curb your hunger and help in suppressing the appetite.
In this study, scientists had participants add 6 grams of cinnamon into their rice pudding so they could study the effects it had on appetite.
The results found the cinnamon to lower the absorption rate of carbohydrates that came from the smaller intestine. Because of this, the participants felt full for longer periods of time than those eating pudding without the cinnamon.
Cinnamon can not only improve the taste of your food but gives you many other health benefits as well.
- Increases Antioxidants
- Can help fight cold symptoms
- Packed full of vitamins and nutrients
- Good for a healthy heart
Other Foods that are known to suppress the appetite naturally
- Soup (low-calorie broth based)
- Whey Protein
- Chili powder
- Umeboshi Plums
- Vegetable Juice
- Skim Milk
As you can see there many steps or actions, you can take to avoid overeating and to curb hunger. The important thing is to stay consistent and use any of these practices when you feel you may be slipping.
While one tip may work for one person, it may not work for another. Use one or combination of these tips for achieving your goals.
What has helped you to reduce your hunger and overeating on the Omad Diet?
Leave a comment below or visit the Omad Diet Community Forums.