If you missed part 1, catch it here.
“Appetite is something I have struggled with for a while. What’s worse is that most of the information available is either a) nonsense or b) obvious weight-watchers n00b advice geared at the obese, sedentary individuals (“eat from a smaller plate” etc.). Not difficult to lose fat when you’re obese and sedentary, and if you’re reading this you’re probably neither.
So I ran a series of experiments on myself, looking at specifically what increased vs decreased my own appetite, without taking the pharmaceutical route. Here they are, ranked according to potency:”
Because of leptin and ghrelin’s actions, we annoyingly feel more hungry when dieting and less so when gaining mass. The horrible irony of this means we need some ways to control our appetite, so without further ado:
1) The Propane Latte: 8/10
Creamy banana and peanut butter protein latte. A very satisfying and filling drink that’s zero-carb, high protein and diet friendly, although not much of a looker. Click here for the recipe.
2) 0.5-1 scoop Whey Isolate before a meal: 7/10
This has additional benefits of attentuating the insulin response from a subsequent meal, and is an easy way to both hit your protein requirement for the day while suppressing cravings and appetite. Buy a nice flavour and add some ice to make it something you look forward to. I use MP Strawberry Cream Whey Isolate (Currently buy 1 get 1 half price)
While protein is generally more satiating than carbohydrates and fat, increasing the protein-dominance of your total calorie intake will also be more lipolytic [1,2]. Great news. An additional tip would be to eat the protein portion of your meal first, then the vegetables, them the carbs, if any. That way, you’re at least naturally attenuating the damage by prioritising the most satiating macronutrient.
3) Intermittent fasting 7/10
An initial spike in hunger followed by a blunting for up to 36 hours. Additionally, when you do eat, you can eat a 2000kcal meal. The appetite suppression is due to an acute decrease in neuropeptide-y, a stimulator of appetite.
The other benefit of fasting is that it allows you to eat larger, more satisfying meals when you do eat, rather than graze throughout the day. If you do 2 x 24 hour fasts per week, this gives you a weekly calorie buffer for other days of the week to eat more.
4) Eating half of your meal, then waiting 20 minutes. 6/10
Sounds silly, but the satiety response is delayed by around this time, so staggering your meals like this is effective for appetite suppression.
5) High Volume Meals: 6/10
Whether or not you’re into fasting, always adjust the volume of your meals to meet your calorie requirements. Here are a few personal favourite high volume, low calorie density meals (recipes in the link above):
a) Pina Colada and Mixed Berry Protein Fluff:
This is so damn tasty:
b) Diced Swede with garlic, spinach and spices:
c)1kg grilled mushrooms. That’s right.
d) Coconut and Broccoli soup with parmesan:
e) Large salad with low calorie dressing:
I said ‘low calorie’. Some dressings use high fructose corn syrup which do anything but suppress your appetite.
f) Whey + Cottage cheese ice-cream (nicer than it sounds, promise!)
6) Something small and intense: e.g. 2-3 anchovies: 6/10
It’s a little bit of protein + salt, both of which help suppress appetite, and nobody is going to overeat on anchovies!
7) Black coffee or double espresso: 5/10
If you’re out and about, and can’t make a Propane Latte, regular coffee will do. Caffeine on it’s own doesn’t suppress appetite, but the other compounds in coffee do. Add 1 teaspoon of cream + concentrated sweetener if you can’t stomach it black.
8) Pint of water: 4/10
Down a pint of water. We often confuse hunger and thirst, and you probably need to drink more water anyway.
9) Brushing your teeth/mouthwash 3/10
If you’re really stuck, at least practice some dental hygiene. Note that both toothpaste and mouthwash generally contain sugar alcohols, so don’t swallow any if you’re on a ketogenic diet… not that you’re that desperate. NB: Sugary mints caused a short-term appetite suppression followed by a rise later.
10) Salt on your tongue: 2/10
This worked for me, I used Maldon Sea Salt during ADF to keep hunger at bay as well as replacing some electrolytes.
11) Green tea capsules: 1/10
Breakfast vs no breakfast:
No significant difference for me, apart from more hours available in the day to eat.
This differs according to the individual, and many find improved appetite by eating carbs in the morning, generating a disproportionate insulin spike and drop. Regardless, we’d advise against this strategy from a body-composition perspective.
EDIT: Berkhan has just published a fantastic article on breakfast here, basically saying that a fit individual with high insulin sensitivity will get MORE of a stimulatory effect on appetite from eating a high-carb breakfast, potentially leading to overeating throughout the rest of the day. The leaner you are, the more pronounced this effect.
So, best to play it safe in all regards and skip breakfast. Even in the best case scenario it will not help you with your fat loss goals.
Finally, make sure to get enough sleep: deprivation is associated with higher calorie intake. I sent this article to my mum and her response was ‘if you’re asleep, you can’t eat’. Can’t argue with that kind of logic.
Severe appetite problems or fluctuations?
If you have severe appetite issues, make sure to get a full examination from your physician to determine the cause, as it may be indicative of an underlying condition.
Remember to catch part 1 on appetite stimulation here.
References: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/2/411.short  http://ps.fass.org/content/64/6/1199.short