For most of human history, the central problem of our existence was this: there’s not enough food.
For thousands of years, we humans spent most of our time like the rest of the animal kingdom - hungry and looking for food. Then...everything changed.
With the advent of modern agriculture, life as a human became profoundly different. We transitioned from hunter-gatherer tribes into stationary societies. And now, many of us in the developed world face a new problem….
In a world of unlimited food - we have to control our appetite.
Pictured: How I feel trying to control cravings at 9pm...
Managing your appetite may seem like a never-ending battle. But controlling cravings is actually quite doable if you have the right weapons. So keep reading, because we’ll tell you how to actually suppress your appetite and master hunger - once and for all.
What is Appetite?
There’s tremendous interest in the science of appetite suppression. And that makes sense, because everyone wants greater control over their cravings. But there’s no one-size-fits-all fix for managing appetite. The key is to understand the actual science of appetite, and use it to your advantage.
Appetite is regulated by a complex biological system involving several key hormones. And we’ll discuss all of them.
By understanding the key hormones that dictate your hunger, we can manipulate this system to conquer your cravings and make you feel full for longer.
OK then - let’s begin.
Leptin: The Hunger Hormone
In 1950, a rare strain of mice was discovered that weighed 3X that of normal mice. Scientists called them “ob” mice - short for obese. These mice had a rare mutation that gave them insatiable appetites - which lead to morbid weight gain.
For decades, no one knew exactly what was causing the insatiable appetite in these mice. And then, in 1994 - a full 44 years since their original discovery - Dr. Jeffery Freidman finally found the answer: leptin.
Dr. Friedman discovered that these mice had a genetic mutation that rendered them unable to produce the hormone, leptin. His research suggested a new model for appetite regulation in humans - one where the rising and falling of the leptin is what determines our level of hunger.
Here’s how that model works...
In normal people, leptin is produced by fat tissue. When we overeat and gain body fat, leptin levels naturally rise - which, in turn - signals our brain to reduce appetite. When we lose fat, leptin levels naturally fall - and the resulting lower leptin level signals our brain to increase appetite.
It’s a nice story, and there’s certainly some truth to it. But as studies in obese patients showed, the real story is far more complex.
While leptin plays a role in appetite, it is by no means the singular appetite-controlling hormone that it was once thought it to be. There’s more to this story. Leptin is one of a few hormones that play a significant role in managing hunger and appetite. Here is another…
Ghrelin: The Real Hunger Hormone
Ghrelin is public enemy #1 when it comes to controlling hunger. And that’s because ghrelin directly stimulates appetite and hunger. Ghrelin has also been implicated in pathways of reward-driven feeding and in the pathophysiology of obesity (for more on that, click here). And not surprisingly, abnormal ghrelin response has been implicated as a key factor in a variety of eating disorders!
The level of ghrelin in your body typically increases when your stomach is empty and decreases when the stomach is full. And this is important, because we can take advantage of the decrease in ghrelin that results from a full stomach.
More on that later. For now, let’s continue with our brief overview of human hunger.
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a hormone that is produced in the gut and has a variety of effects on appetite and digestion. Of the many downstream effects of CCK release, the one we’re most concerned with is the power of CCK to increase feelings of fullness.
With the ever-increasing rates of obesity and overweight individuals, scientific interest in CCK has increased in recent years. However, much is still unknown about CCK and there have been no relevant therapeutic outcomes targeting the hormone to-date.
Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1)
GLP-1 is normally released prior to food intake. It promotes insulin and inhibits glucagon - which, in tandem - decreases food intake by increasing satiety (the feeling of fullness).
Studies have shown positive results using GLP-1 to treat diabetes - and this has led to scientific interest in using GLP-1 to promote weight loss. But no conclusive studies on GLP-1 and weight loss have been published to-date.
Insulin and Glucagon
You’ve most certainly heard of insulin and glucagon before. Both hormones are secreted by your pancreas - and the interplay between these 2 hormones is what regulates your blood sugar.
In oversimplified terms: when blood sugar is high - typically after a meal - an insulin spike causes your cells to take up glucose and store it as glycogen. When blood sugar is low - typically between meals - an increase in glucagon causes your cells to break down glycogen and release glucose into the bloodstream.
While we don’t yet fully understand how the interplay of insulin and glucagon affects hunger - we do know that these 2 hormones are inextricably linked to the balance of hunger and satiety. And as we’ll see, the dietary choices you make have a huge impact on the circulating levels of insulin and glucagon in your body.
The Truth about Appetite
It’s clear that our scientific understanding of appetite is incomplete. But just because we don’t fully understand how appetite is regulated, that doesn’t mean we don’t have real strategies for mastering hunger.
And now that you have a basic knowledge of the key hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, it’s time to learn how we can leverage the power of these hormones (and more) to control your cravings!
Pictured: How you'll feel after mastering your hunger!
Naturally Suppress Appetite with Diet
We’ll get to some hunger-destroying tips and tricks later. First, we need to talk about the most important factor for appetite suppression:
What you eat directly impacts your hormonal response - and thus, your satiety. Which means...if you want to control your appetite and master hunger for good, you need to eat smart. Here’s what you need to know about appetite suppressing foods and diet.
Cut Carbs to Control Hunger
Eating a significant amount of carbohydrates leads to a spike in insulin. And once this insulin drops, you’re likely to feel sluggish and hungry. This effect is especially pronounced when you eat easily digestible carbs like sugars and starches - which is why you can drink 1000 calories of sugary soda without ever feeling full.
High carbohydrate intake also affects the balance of hunger hormones beyond insulin. And these effects can severely limit your ability to control your cravings.
One study found that - compared to low carbohydrate diets - high carb diets can decrease basal metabolism and increase hunger through the leptin and ghrelin pathways. Another study found that consuming sugary food promotes a specific kind of hunger - where you crave more sugary food! (For a deep-dive on this topic, we recommend listening to Dr. Alexander Sisti on Super Human Radio)
And these data are not alone! Countless studies to-date have shown that higher carb intake (especially sugar) leads to increased hunger and reduced satiety. Thus...
If you want to control your hunger, it’s a great idea to cut carbohydrates. And if you do eat carbs, be sure to avoid foods that are high in sugar or starch. Instead, go for foods that have a high fiber content - as numerous studies show that dietary fiber can help offset the appetite-enhancing effects of sugar.
But better yet - skip the carbs completely and embrace the hunger-destroying power of low-carb, fat and protein-rich diet! This used to be difficult - as the world was missing the delicious low-carb snacks that exist today. But with mouth-water, low-carb treats like the Legendary Tasty Pastry - it’s easier than ever to satisfy your sweet tooth and kick hunger cravings with a low carb diet!
Kick Cravings with Fat and Protein
Unlike carbohydrates, fat and protein have positive effects on satiety. This means that eating fat and protein will help you combat cravings and feel full for longer.
The satiating effects of fat and protein have been demonstrated in countless studies to-date - like this one. And while all of the reasons are not fully understood (are you sensing a theme here?), here are some proposed mechanisms:
- Digesting protein stimulates the release of multiple hormones that activate sensors of satiety in the brain.
- The brain monitors protein intake and signals satiety when protein needs are met.
- Fat can increase satiety through stimulation of CCK hormone.
Whatever the exact reasons, we do know this: fat and protein make you feel full.
If you eat a ketogenic diet, you know this first-hand. Millions of people manage their weight with keto diets because it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to overeat when your calories come from protein and fat. You’re simply too full!
For more on this, check out the video below from our friend, Thomas DeLauer!
And even if you eat a more traditional, carb-inclusive diet - you know that a sugary snack does NOTHING to curb hunger, while high-fat or high-protein snacks can leave you full for hours!
For a delicious, on-the-go hunger destroyer, try our Legendary keto nut butters or keto tasty pastries. Or...keep reading until the end of this article and check out our DIY recipe for hunger-busting jello squares! Whichever you choose, the truth is clear…
If you want to conquer your appetite, the first step is to cut carbs and eat a fat and protein-based diet. Once you do that, here are some amazing health hacks to further support your war on hunger!
Appetite Suppressants that ACTUALLY Work
Forget about sensa or the dozens of ineffective diet pills. They don’t work. But here are some appetite suppressants that actually will help you reduce hunger.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit natvie to India and Southeast Asia. The rind of Garcinia Cambogia contains a chemical called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) - which has been studied as an appetite suppressant.
As you might have guessed - there are all sorts of products containing Garcinia Cambogia extract that claim to help tame your appetite. And here’s the interesting thing…
There’s no conclusive evidence as to how or if Garcinia Cambogia works. But we at Legendary Foods have all tried Garcinia Cambogia products to suppress appetite - and surprisingly - many of these supplements actually kind of work!
We were skeptical when the Garcinia Cambogia supplement arrived. But we tried it at 2pm each day for an entire week, and found that it was a bit easier to make it to dinner time without succumbiing to any snack cravings.
So, yes. Taking Garcinia Cambogia can help you keep your appetite at bay and hold you over until your next meal. But it’s by no means the BEST appetite suppressant.
Hoodia Gordonii - also known as “Bushman’s Hat” - is a leafless, succulent plant native to Africa. Like Garcinia Cambogia, there’s not any solid science showing that Hoodia can effectively suppress appetite. However, that hasn’t stopped plenty of marketers from trying to convince you otherwise!
If you do a quick search on Amazon, you’ll notice a bunch of products advertising the benefits of Hoodia for appetite suppression. And as with Garcinia Cambogia, we’ve tested most of these products personally. Our team found that Hoodia can also help you get to the next meal, but there ultimately isn’t a huge effect on appetite suppression. Which brings us to our exciting conclusion…
If you really want to suppress appetite and control hunger - here’s what you need to do.
What is the The BEST Appetite Suppressant for Weight Loss?
Our Winner: Glycine
While extracts like Hoodia Gordonii and Garcinia Cambogia can help hold you over until your next meal, the ACTUAL best appetite suppressant is glycine - the primary amino acid in collagen protein. Glycine has powerful appetite suppressing effects and is easily the most useful appetite suppressant around. In fact, the team at Legendary Foods has tried just about every appetite suppressant in the world, and glycine is the only supplement we still use today.
The exact mechanism by which glycine destroys hunger is largely unknown. But we do know that much of glycine’s effectiveness comes from its ability to enhance expression of adiponectin - a hormone secreted from fat cells that has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and regulate metabolism.
Regardless of the mechanism, glycine works. So if you want to master hunger once and for all, you need to leverage the craving-killing power of glycine.
Here’s how to do it…
The Best Glycine Supplement - High Glycine Jello Squares
The easiest way to take advantage of glycine’s appetite suppressing effects is to make some delicious, high glycine jello squares. These squares are almost 100% collagen protein, and very low in calories and carbs. This strategy has been secretly used by fitness competitors and recommended by people like people like Joel Greene for years!
Pictured: A hunger-destroying, high-glycine treat!
Anytime you feel compelled to overeat, simply open the fridge and eat a few squares. You’ll be AMAZED at how effective these snacks are at staving off hunger - especially when combating the late-night cravings that sabotage so many people’s diets.
Now...you could spend weeks experimenting with different high-glycine jello recipes in the kitchen. Or, can use our very own Jello Recipe below!
This recipe was created by Shannan Penna, the brain behind Quest Nutrition’s Quest Bars and our delicious nut butters at Legendary Foods! Shannan is a certifiable GENIUS in the kitchen who has mastered the art of making insanely delicious low carb treats - including cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, pizza rolls, lasagna. You can find these recipes and more on her Instagram page: @QuestCreator
To create these high-glycine jello blocks, you’ll need:
- 17 scoops Vital Proteins gelatin
- Do NOT use hydrolyzed collagen - it MUST be gelatin.
- 1 liter cold water
- 2 tsp sucralose or another high intensity sweetener of choice
- Pure Sucralose is the best. NOT Splenda, which is mostly dextrose and maltodextrin with a little sucralose.
- Pure sucralose can be purchased on Amazon.
- Stevia can also be used.
- Don’t use a bulky sweetener like erythritol or xylitol
- 1.7 liters boiling hot water
- 1 liquid bottle (1.6 fl oz) of Mio or Crystal Light water-enhancing flavor liquid.
And once you procure these ingredients, here’s how to make some glycine-rich jello treats!
Step 1: In a large bowl, add your 17 scoops of gelatin and then add the cold water.
Step 2: Stir immediately and continue stirring until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Some clumps may appear, but that’s ok.
Step 3: Add in the sweetener and liquid water-enhancing flavor liquid. Stir and mix as much as possible.
Step 4: Add in the boiling water. Stir until all gelatin has dissolved.
Step 5: Pour into a square or rectangular baking dish or Tupperware style container. Chill in the fridge overnight.
Step 6: Remove container and cut jello into square blocks of your desired size. This recipe typically makes 16-20 blocks.
And...that’s it! In just a few short steps, you can create a high-glycine treat that tastes amazing and kills cravings!
Mastering your Appetite
Let’s be honest. Mastering your appetite is TOUGH! But if you follow the advice above, you can effectively suppress your appetite and manage hunger for good. And mastering hunger isn’t just a fun party trick. Being able to effectively manage your food intake and make smart eating decisions will benefit you for life!
So - to recap - if you want to effectively suppress appetite, here’s what you need to do…
- Cut carbs to reduce insulin spikes
- Eat fat and protein to maximize satiety
- Enjoy our hunger-busting, high-glycine jello recipe