For all our efforts to burn calories, to burn fat, to lean up, the most effective course of action is simply pushing away the dinner plate, or better yet, never taking it out of the cupboard in the first place. But that's so damn hard to do. Oh, you may do it for a day or two, but any triumph of the will is usually short lived.
It's that gnawing, clawing, nagging feel of hunger that's to blame. Get rid of that, or at least postpone it for a few hours, and you're home free.
I've found one incredibly simple way to get rid of that hunger and it often makes all the difference. All you need to do is take a spoonful of any of the following whenever hunger starts scratching its boney finger against the inside of your stomach:
- Psyllium, aka Metamucil
- Olive Oil
- Natural Peanut Butter
Psyllium is just soluble dietary fiber derived from the plant plantago ovata. You mix it in water and once you slug it down, it forms a gel that slows down the body's digestion, in addition to making you feel full.
Researchers have actually studied the hunger quelling effect and found that 6.8 grams of Metamucil (available in the iconic orange canister), or roughly the amount in a slightly rounded teaspoon, is the optimal dose. The scientists, writing in the May 7th, 2016 edition of Appetite, wrote that, "Psyllium supplementation before meals is well tolerated and can significantly affect satiety by decreasing hunger, increasing fullness, and reducing the desire to eat between meals."
So you can either take a teaspoon any time you feel hungry between meals, or you can have it before a meal to increase fullness and keep you from going nuts at your meal.
While the psyllium route works great, a tablespoon of natural peanut butter works even better. A tablespoon or two of olive oil also works well. Obviously, these latter two methods contain fat and have considerably more calories than the psyllium, so I rotate between the three methods when I want to lean up.