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Suppress Your Appetite by Eating Real, Whole Food

Updated on June 7, 2021
Farmer Rachel profile image

Rachel is a soap-making, wine-brewing homesteader and gardener in Minnesota.

Do you feel like you need to suppress your appetite?

Society and culture in the United States pressures us to look a certain way. However, the overabundance of processed and fatty foods, coupled with the sedentary lifestyle that many Americans lead due to the type of work that is available, results in a constant struggle for the average person to maintain a healthy weight.

Dieting, especially the renouncement of carbohydrates, is popular, but in my opinion not the best solution. Diets are temporary; changes in lifestyle are more permanent.

Appetite suppression is one supposed solution to the problem of "eating too much" and "gaining weight." The practice also goes hand-in-hand with dieting.

I believe that if our bodies are telling us something we should listen. So rather than simply trying to find a way to suppress our appetites, we should try to figure out why we feel hungry in the first place. If an out-of-control appetite is the problem, then the solution is to determine the cause or causes of the problem, and address them.

So what's an appetite, anyway?
If you have an appetite, it means you feel hungry, right? If you're hungry, I doubt it's because you're not eating at all. In fact, if you're interested in appetite suppression, you probably feel like you're already eating enough, or maybe even too much.

So if you're eating, but still feel hungry, there must be a problem with what you're eating. I think this is the key to figuring out how to curb what feels like an out-of-control appetite.

Sometimes we think we're hungry when we're actually dehydrated; or, we're craving a necessary nutrient that we're not getting from the food we're eating.

Evaluate the Food Labels

If you evaluate the labels on most of the processed, pre-packaged, and "not whole" foods in your grocery store, I think you'll find that most of the food is made of three main ingredients: Corn, soy, and wheat.

As food, there's not much wrong with corn, soy, or wheat; they're just grains, afterall. In fact, they've been staples of the human diet for thousands of years.

The problem is that if all we're eating is corn and/or soy and/or wheat, then we don't have enough variety in our diets and will become nutritionally deficient. The human body just wasn't built to only consume one type of food.

Evaluate Your Diet

To anyone who feels that they need to suppress their appetite, I would suggest that you evaluate your diet. Are you eating a lot of processed foods or starchy foods?

Check the ingredients on your food labels - is corn and soy the main ingredient in just about everything you're eating? If so, then you're probably lacking nutrition, not calories, making you feel hungry. (By the way, corn is the main ingredient in just about everything that I feed to my livestock - think about it.)

You should try to eat a more balanced diet to correct the problem of being hungry. If our bodies are telling us something we should get to the bottom of it, not just try to "suppress" the feelings. Sometimes we think we're hungry because our bodies are craving a necessary nutrient that we haven't been getting from the food we've been eating.

We can do things to correct the problems caused by eating too much processed food, and too much of the same food.


Eat Fruits and Vegetables - The Real Ones

Foods high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like fruits and vegetables should help bring to balance an appetite that seems to be all over the place.

One of the problems that I see with attempting to eat more fruits and vegetables is that there are so many food products on the market that are "fruit flavored," or claim to contain "10% real juice." This sort of food isn't enough - in fact, it's not even real food. Candy and chewing gum "made with real fruit", grape flavored candy apples, corn syrup mixed with water containing 5% fruit juice, highly-processed creamy "spinach" dip, "vegetable flavored" crackers - these foods aren't real. They won't satisfy the human nutritional requirements that should be met by eating an apple, or a potato, or spinach, or carrots.

When I suggest eating fruits and vegetables, I mean whole fruits and whole vegetables. Preferably fresh, and raw when you can get away with it. Some vegetables don't retain all of their good stuff when cooked.

The fiber found in these foods helps you feel full, and also promotes healthy digestion.

Fruit also contains sugar, which we all want, but in a healthier package than a cookie or a bottle of soda.

Eating a variety of vegetables, especially leafy greens, will help ensure that you are getting the right vitamins and minerals. Fruits often contain Vitamin C, an immune system aid. Root vegetables like potatoes and turnips are rich in minerals and vitamins.

Different vegetables and fruits have different nutritional profiles, so a varied diet is the best way to not only keep yourself from getting bored but also to ensure a nutritionally complete diet.

Variety really is the spice of life! We can still eat our corn, soy, and wheat, but we won't be starving anymore if we mix it up with lots of whole vegetables and fruits.

One of the best ways to incorporate more vegetables and fruit into your diet is to grow your own. If you've never grown your own food before, you can learn how to start a garden "from scratch" and be on your way to eating more veggies.

Protein Recommendations for Adults

  • Women - 46 grams per day
  • Men - 56 grams per day

Eat Lean Protein

Protein is an essential part of the human diet. It helps with digestion, and also aids in the repair and structure of muscles, skin, hair, bones and eyes. Protein is one of the macronutrients, something our bodies need relatively large amounts of (carbohydrates and fats are also macronutrients, so don't throw those away!)

Whether you get protein from chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish ,venison, groundhog, nuts, or beans, you need it to function properly.

Protein takes a little longer to digest than vegetables and starchy foods, so making sure you get enough lean protein to eat will help you to feel full.

Protein for breakfast and lunch -
Having a good protein source for breakfast and another one at lunch helps get you through the day. Pancakes smothered in sugary corn syrup might taste better than hard boiled eggs, but the energy you derive from the sugar will be gone quickly, while the protein-packed eggs will last much longer.

Still hungry? Snack on whole foods like vegetables, fruit, cheese, yogurt, or nuts in between meals.

One of my favorite breakfast items is chicken. Just plain old chicken. No kidding! If I have some left-over roasted chicken for breakfast, I am out the door and working outside in the cold, in the heat, in the snow (or whatever the weather) and I'm able to get through without feeling like I'm going to drop from hunger.

Eat More Meals!

Eat five or six smaller meals per day, rather than one small breakfast and two large meals.

Eating smaller amounts of food more often is more natural for our bodies. This pattern of eating helps our metabolism stay regular, and doesn't cause huge shocks to our systems by letting our stomachs get empty, then suddenly filling them to the limit with huge amounts of food.

Getting hungry and then eating a large meal also makes the act of digestion burn more water, causing us to dehydrate, and probably end up feeling hungry all over again as a result! (If you've ever gone to a Chinese-American food buffet, you know what I mean - stuff your face, get so full you wish you'd never eaten at all, then feel hungry again an hour or two later.)


Though more research is needed, Monosodium Glutamate is purported to have the following negative effects on people:

  • Headaches
  • Spikes in insulin which can lead to diabetes over time
  • Strange food cravings
  • A reaction quite like addiction (needing/wanting more MSG)

I know it's a little blurry, but you can see Monosodium Glutamate in the ingredients list for this popular brand of cheese-flavored tortilla chips.
I know it's a little blurry, but you can see Monosodium Glutamate in the ingredients list for this popular brand of cheese-flavored tortilla chips. | Source

Stay Away from Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is a popular "flavor" additive in many foods.

In fact, it's in more places than you might think, including a very popular brand of nacho-flavored corn chips, a based-on-a-popular-cooking-show name brand line of chicken stock and other soup stocks, popular "healthy" cereal with a name similar to "nutty grapes" (if you get my drift), cheese products, and more.

The jury may still be out on the detrimental effects of MSG, but in my opinion it should be avoided where possible. And here's my reasoning.

If a food is nutritionally-packed and good for you, why should it need a flavor enhancer like MSG? It wouldn't. So the only foods that taste so lifeless as to need MSG are foods that are nutritionally deficient.

Glutamate, the part of MSG that we actually worry about, is found naturally in foods that are generally high in protein. Glutamate tells our body that we've just ingested a good protein source, which triggers all sorts of chemical processes including the release of insulin. This is fine if we're eating a big burger or some chicken breast, but what if what we've eaten is really just corn, a food low in protein? In this case, we trick our bodies into "thinking" we've eaten something that we haven't actually eaten.

Doesn't sound very good to me. Personally, I stay away from MSG.

In my experience, consuming MSG makes me want more MSG. That means that if I eat the popular "cheese-flavored" corn chip, even just a small bag, I'll find myself wanting more the next day. The food product starts to look good to me, even though I know it's basically nutritionally worthless.

Don't take my word for it. Try cutting foods out of your diet that contain MSG, and see if you don't feel better.

This is all sugar - in the form of corn syrup.
This is all sugar - in the form of corn syrup. | Source

Easy on the Sugar

Eating sugar makes you want to eat more sugar. It's really that simple.

Excess sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain, and we all know that being overweight can then lead to a whole slew of other medical problems.

Sugar doesn't need to be avoided altogether, however. Natural sources of sugar like fruit are good for us, and we should eat them. The occasional cookie or chocolate bar won't kill you, either.

The problem with sugar is that, like corn, it's in so much of the food available at the grocery store that sometimes we don't even know we're eating it. Even most of the bread on the shelf has sugar in it, in the form of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. In fact, one of the most popular sweeteners on the market today happens to be corn syrup - so there's a double whammy. More corn to go with our corn, and too much sugar!

Drink Plenty of Water

Sometimes we think we're a little hungry when we're actually dehydrated. Making water the majority of the fluid that you drink every day will contribute to an all-around healthier you.

Cut back on fruit juices (though you don't have to cut them out altogether).

Skip the sodas. Soda is nutritionally worthless. Sorry, but it is. If you're craving a soda, you probably actually need a piece of fruit or something salty (you need sodium), so have a glass of water with an apple or some berries and a couple peanuts or crackers.

At least eight 8 oz glasses of water per day is recommended; or more specifically, about 13 cups for men and about 9 cups for women.

Final Thoughts

This Hub was inspired by this question, asked by WorkAtHomeMums.

I'm not trying to give nutritional advice that will take all the fun out of eating, and for the record I am not a nutritionist, health specialist, or diet counselor. I'm a farmer - but I'm really just a young woman seeking a simple, healthy life.

I've found since my college days of too much beer, chips, and pizza, that I feel so much better both physically and mentally when I'm putting good, whole food in my body and getting plenty of exercise and sunshine to go with it. I hope that what I've shared here might be useful to you!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rachel Koski Nielsen


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    • nochance profile image


      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very well written. You definitely deserved Hub of the Day. Congrats.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have always believed our bodies are telling us when lacking a nutrient. So glad to read it may be so. My issue is the lack of taste as I've gotten older with so few flavors to enjoy beyond the first couple of bites. As a result, diet has changed to more juice drinks, grilled veggies, and health drinks with added protein powder over prepared dishes just to eat healthy. Now, and then, grilled chicken, and fish. Soy also, but didn't realize lacking in nutrition. I thought it was high in protein value? Good article with new information for me.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on HOTD!

      Well done, and excellent points. I do try to eat healthy, but it is a challenge on a low income. Our country's big agribusiness corporations have seen fit to create a climate in which the least expensive foods, readily available to those at or below the poverty level, (we ourselves would have to make $10K more a year just to reach the federal poverty level!), are also the least nutritious. Healthy food is expensive, and that makes me very angry.

      I agree with all you say, and I do read labels religiously (have done so since becoming vegetarian back in the 1980s), but it is still so hard to get 'real' food on our budget.

      Voted up, interesting, useful and pinned.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this post on eating healthier!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great common sense information on diet. Eating veggies keeps the doctor away! Congratulations on HOTD! Well deserved.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very good information and deserving of HOTD. This high fructose corn syrup thing has gotten out of hand. I read labels very carefully now.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Such good advice! I wish more people would eat this way. I'm very thankful that my family ranks pretty well on the eat-real-food scale. Congrats for today's HOTD honors!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      6 years ago from United States

      You definitely have given some good basic advice. I've tried several different diet programs and had success with using many of these same ideas. Whatever diet program you use, if you don't adopt this type of eating you will probably get that weight back.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Reno 

      6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thanks for sharing these great ideas, and congratulations on being the HOTD!


    • eilval profile image


      6 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      I agree a well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle with plenty of excecise is of paramount importance to our health . Thanks for sharing your ideas . Congrats on HOTD !

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Congratulations on the HOTD! I agree to this very useful and informative hub. I did not know that Monosodium Glutamate has plenty of negative effects to our health. Thanks for sharing. Happy Easter!

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      6 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      A very useful hub that is helpful to all of us. I feel so much better eating the fruits and veggies. Great hub.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      6 years ago

      Eat more? I'm in!

      Since there is no minimum daily requirement for refined sugar we could certainly do with less of that. I don't think we need corn fructose or soda either.

      Water is the only fluid we need to to drink. In retrospect I think the entire soft drink industry is unnecessary. Thank God beer is not a soft drink because I am not giving that up!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I like fruit and veggies, and eat them often My favorite is the tomato. I can eat one a day, or about two dozen of those grape tomatoes. I just wish I could get the tasty ones everywhere. Some supermarkets get nice to look at produce with the taste genetically removed. If only they looked a little less perfect and had the taste left in.

    • gardener den profile image

      Dennis Hoyman 

      7 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

      I love your writing on hubpages don't give up the farm or writing. Great work and keep it up. Gardener Den

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 

      8 years ago from Hudson, FL

      How did I miss this? Not only am I a member of the Farmer Rachel fan club, but this is also my "thing"! You are right on--eat real food and you will develop a healthy appetite. Humans have big brains that need nutrients, and if you're not getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs, your appetite will increase. Another great one, Rachel :)

    • Farmer Rachel profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Koski Nielsen 

      9 years ago from PA, now homesteading in MN

      grandmapearl - Thanks for the votes, share and pin! You're right about the whole and raw foods, and the water intake. Sometimes shopping at the grocery store depresses me a little because so much of the food available is just so bad for you. Lots of things do change when you start replacing processed foods with whole foods. One of my favorite meals is simple rice and beans. :)

    • Farmer Rachel profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Koski Nielsen 

      9 years ago from PA, now homesteading in MN

      mlzingarella - I agree that exercise helps us make healthier choices in terms of what food to eat. And being active is certainly healthier than not. For me, the more I do the more I eat! Exercise makes me hungry. I'm sure it's normal, though. The more calories you use, the more you need.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      9 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      This article is full of very important advice. If we all consumed raw and whole foods at even one more meal each day, lots of things would change for the better. I agree that whole foods are the way to go. Your body naturally responds to and better uses this kind of food source. Buying organic fruits and veggies, or growing your own is even better--no pesticides!

      My Mom always said "if you're thirsty, you're already a quart low!" Drinking lots and lots of water everyday helps every part of your body.

      Voted Up, Useful and Awesome, Shared and Pinned!

    • mlzingarella profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nice information. I also find that when I get into a regular routine of exercise that my appetite is in check and I seem to make healthier choices. I am not sure if it's phisiological or mental but either way it helps. The only challenge is maintaining those good routines.

    • Farmer Rachel profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Koski Nielsen 

      9 years ago from PA, now homesteading in MN

      rebecca - Thanks for the comment. Healthy and yummy - that's the way to eat!

      midget - I'm glad this hub is useful to you! And you're right, weight maintenance is a challenge for most people and it's no surprise to me considering the majority of the food in the store.

    • Farmer Rachel profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Koski Nielsen 

      9 years ago from PA, now homesteading in MN

      jc - Thanks for the comment. Snacking in the evening is an issue for me, too. Seems that's when I get my sugar cravings! We probably need to eat two small dinners - when I do that, I don't eat again.

      donnah - Thanks for the votes and the share! Glad you liked the hub.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      9 years ago from Singapore

      I agree too, that a balanced diet is the way to go. Thanks Rachel for this write...weight maintenance is a challenge for most people, myself included, and I am taking this hub to heart. Pinned.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      9 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the reminder. We need to seek out some foods that are both healthy and delicious! I think that is the key. Make something that is awesomely better than hot dogs and fries!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 

      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very comprehensive and sound advice. Voted up and sharing.

    • jcevans2009 profile image

      Judith C Evans 

      9 years ago from Boise, ID

      I agree -- a balanced diet of whole, fresh foods has been the best way for my family. My main problem is snacking at night, so I need to take another look at how I eat in the evening. Thanks for the helpful tips in this informative hub. Voted up, useful and sharing!


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