We’re not big fans of dieting. But sometimes even just watching what you eat sucks. Nothing’s worse than the feeling you get when you want chocolate, but know you can’t have it. (Okay, the BP oil spill, earthquake in Haiti, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might be worse.) With these tips to stay full while eating less, you may be able to treat yourself once in a while.
1. Eat protein for breakfast. Eating a lean protein at breakfast keeps you fuller than other nutrients, because your body takes more time to digest and absorb it. Try low-fat yogurt or egg whites. But not mixed — that would be gross.
2. Swallow some spuds. The starch in potatoes resists digestive enzymes, which means it takes longer for your body to break it down. Potatoes stay in your intestines longer, delaying hunger pangs. And a medium potato only has 100 calories. Now we just need to resist smothering it with cheese.
3. Don’t completely cut out fat. Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat in olive oil, nuts, and avocados, helps keep hunger at bay. Just don’t eat five avocados a day — that’s a lot of guac.
4. Gym it. Please don’t hate us, but working out for an hour can reduce appetite for up to two hours afterward.
5. Grapefruit gluttony. People who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds in three months.
6. Blow bubbles. It turns out that people who chew gum for an hour in the morning eat fewer calories at lunch and don’t compensate later in the day by eating more. Scientists think that the chewing motion is connected to the region in your brain responsible for satiety.
7. Your nose knows. A study found that people who sniffed a banana, a green apple, vanilla, or peppermint every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories per week than they did otherwise. Good thing we like mint chocolate chip ice cream.