If you're on the verge of turning to the vending machine for a mid-afternoon snack, hop down to the local coffee shop instead. Even if your typical order is a latte, go for the cappuccino to kick cravings to the curb. Consuming foam-based foods and drinks can significantly reduce appetite and snack cravings, according to two separate studies. As it turns out, your gut and brain are pretty gullible, and air-injected fare tricks us into feeling fuller—without the need for additional calories. If you're sensitive to caffeine and avoid it after lunchtime, rely on popcorn for the same filling effect at a small calorie cost.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to add fat to a meal if you're trying to control your craving for fat, eating a moderate amount of monounsaturated fat, like that found in olive oil, avocado and nuts, can ward off the munchies and keep you full by regulating your hunger hormones. A study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward.
This dairy pick is packed with more calcium than you'll find in milk or regular yogurt, which is good news for your mood. Calcium gives your body the "Go!" command, alerting your brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters. As a result, inadequate calcium intake can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, impaired memory, and slow thinking. Greek yogurt also contains more protein than regular yogurt, making it a terrific stay-slim snack. Our favorite brand:
Forget what your mom told you about warm milk: This popular remedy for sleeplessness could be making matters worse. The protein in milk boosts alertness. Plus, unless it's skim, the fat in milk slows down digestion and makes sleep more fitful. Instead, air-pop some popcorn half an hour before bedtime: The carbs will induce the creation serotonin, a neurochemical that makes you feel relaxed. (Skip the butter—fat will slow the process of boosting serotonin levels.) This air-injected snack also satisfies late-night urges to munch while sparing your waistline the damage that comes from typical go-tos like chips and cookies.