Foods That Naturally Suppress Appetite

by August McLaughlin

About August McLaughlin

August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.


The term "appetite" refers to your desire or willingness to eat. A healthy, normal appetite is often an indication of wellness. If your appetite calls for more food than your weight management goals require, however, eating foods that promote fullness may provide benefits. Nutritious, satisfying foods also provide natural, safe alternatives to over-the-counter appetite suppressants, which may pose dangerous risks, according to Elizabeth Kilburn Deuchler of Vanderbilt University. For best results, seek specified guidance from your doctor or dietitian.

Whole Grains

Because whole grains contain all nutritious parts of the grain, they provide more fiber, which promotes fullness, and they have a lower-glycemic index, or impact on your blood sugar, than refined grains. Although additional research is needed, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, low-glycemic diets have been linked with improved appetite regulation and weight loss and may provide a useful treatment tool for obesity. To lower the glycemic impact of your diet and to fill up on fiber, choose whole grains, such as oats, barley, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa and popcorn, instead of enriched breads, pasta and snack foods, most often.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain significant amounts of water. As a result, they have a low energy density, meaning they contain fewer calories per serving than denser foods, such as fats and starches. People tend to eat the same amount of food volume daily, according to Barbara Rolls, registered dietitian and author of "The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan," so controlling the caloric density of your diet is a key component of appetite and weight control. One whole grapefruit, which consists of 90 percent water, provides less than 80 calories. Fresh raw carrots are also mainly water; one-half cup serving contains only 25 calories. To reap more fullness from your meals without adding excessive calories, incorporate fruits or vegetables. Add fresh berries to oatmeal, for example, and spinach and tomatoes to pasta dishes.


Legumes, such as beans, lentils and split-peas, are top sources of dietary fiber. Fiber-rich foods benefit appetite control in multiple ways: increasing stomach expansion, reducing absorption in your small intestine and displacing calories and nutrients from the diet, according to Sharon Palmer, registered dietitian and contributing writer for "Today's Dietitian." Legumes also provide rich amounts of protein and fall among the lowest-glycemic foods. Fiber-rich, legume-based dishes include steamed soybeans, low-fat vegetarian chili, black bean patties, lentil soup and split-pea soup.

Low-Fat Dairy Products

Choosing low-energy-dense protein sources also allows you to fill up on fewer calories. Instead of whole milk, high-fat cheeses and egg yolks, which are higher in fat and energy density, choose skim and low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese or egg whites. If you don't consume or tolerate dairy products, incorporate fortified nondairy equivalents, such as soy-based milk and yogurt, into your diet for similar benefits.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or