Trying to curb cravings can be a task that often leaves you feeling defeated and leads to the derailment of healthy eating goals. Finding ways to suppress these unwelcome, but frequent, cravings can be a challenge. While synthetic appetite suppressants are flooding the diet marketplace, they can also be dangerous and harmful to your health. We turned to health experts to help us compile a list of the 20 healthiest, best appetite suppressants and filling low-calorie snacks to keep the hunger monster in your belly under control.

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1. Drink more water. Adequate hydration is necessary in any weight loss program. It helps flush toxins that have been stored in fat. Thirst may actually be perceived as hunger, so when you feel hungry between meals, drink some water.

>> Use these 8 tips to drink more water every day!

2. Eat more protein. Protein helps keep you feel fuller longer than carbohydrates do. Also, having adequate protein is a signal to your body to burn fat as its primary energy source. Check out 10 protein-rich foods to add to your diet and browse our recipe index for skinny meals high in protein, like this Southwestern Hasselback Chicken!

Skinny Mom Southwestern Hasselback Chicken

3. Avoid insulin spikes. Insulin at normal levels is absolutely necessary, but at elevated levels, insulin promotes fat gain, inflammation and indirectly causes hunger. In order to control your insulin levels and appetite, you need to control your carbohydrate intake. Start your day with a minimal amount of carbohydrates (five grams or less) coupled with adequate protein, allowing your body to burn fat for fuel.

4. Exercise. Data suggests exercise is a natural appetite suppressant. Plus, who wants to ruin all that hard work in the gym with fattening foods that lack nutritional benefits? Get results quick using our fitness index and fat-burning, calorie-torching workouts!

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5. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals slows your metabolism and leaves you feeling unsatisfied and more likely to overindulge later.

6. Eat in regular intervals: This goes hand-in hand with the tip above. The best meal and snack pattern to help you control your appetite is one that has three meals each day with 1-3 snacks spread out throughout the day. The trick with this pattern is to not allow too long of a time interval to go by which will leave you feeling famished. A plan like this is easy on your metabolism and doesn’t send you into starvation mode, which throws your metabolism into absolute whack.

7. Eat slower. Slow down your eating. It takes your stomach approximately 20 minutes to register to your brain that it’s full, so slow down your eating pace. Also, while you’re eating and enjoying your food, think about how full you’re beginning to feel and focus on that satisfied feeling rather than mindlessly noshing away!