Monday, August 18, 2008

Controlling Hunger During a Fast

Controlling hunger during a fast
Nicotine is one of the known appetite-suppressants. (Photo by lanier67)

During the past few days, I've been searching for studies and articles on how to suppress hunger to aid me in the intermittent fasting experiment. Eating foods with a higher satiety index will obviously keep the hunger away longer, but I'm looking for something with zero calories to drink while fasting. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little information available on the subject.

Caffeine is often said to be helpful, and while my own experience suggests these claims may have some merit, there isn't much data to back them up. All I could find on the subject was one study that mentions that the appetite-suppressant effect of nicotine is enhanced by caffeine - so be sure to have a cup of coffee with your cigarette! It remains unclear whether caffeine by itself has appetite-suppressant effects or whether it simply enhances those of nicotine.

The study referred to in this article says that chewing gum may help reduce cravings and control appetite. The reductions in calorie intake after chewing gum were not that big, but I suppose even a little is helpful. Chewing gum also improved the subjects' mood by reducing anxiety and stress.

It is reported here that the main green tea catechin, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), caused rats to lose weight by up to 21% by suppressing appetite. However, the catechin was injected into the rats, and the study spesifically mentions that oral administration was not effective.

To find out whether there is anything helpful out there, I'll be experimenting with different substances in the coming weeks. Green tea, black tea and coffee are definitely on the list, but any other suggestions are also very welcome.

For more information on green tea, black tea and fasting, see these posts:

Controlling Hunger During a Fast: Does Black Tea Help?
Controlling Hunger During a Fast: Does Green Tea Help?
Controlling Hunger During a Fast: Does Decaffeinated Tea Help?

Controlling Hunger During a Fast: Does Coffee Help?

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