Introduction: Curbing Your Food Appetite

Picture of Curbing Your Food Appetite

This is a picture of me before I gained some weight during the winter. People in my family resemble a grape more than a pencil. I have used diets a number of times. It is always a fight with my willpower when snack food calls to me. Often I feel deprived and hungry. The temptations often overcome my good intentions.

Moderate exercise on my bicycle has often been a big help for curbing appetite. But, if I ride too hard or too long, it only increases my desire to snack. Cycling generally reduces my appetite when I ride at about 75 percent of my theoretical maximum heart rate for between 30 and 75 minutes. Your maximum heart rate is approximately the number 220 minus your age. That is not a completely reliable way to calculate it for training purposes, but it is close enough for moderate exercise.

This Instructable will review strategies I have used for curbing my appetite. Most of them are not entirely satisfactory for various reasons. If you want to cut the chase, I intend to discuss the benefits for appetite control I am finding with white tea.

Step 1: Carrot Sticks

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A carrot stick is supposed to fill you with bulk and take away hunger. It has never worked for me and I find eating carrot sticks a struggle devoid of enjoyment.

Step 2: Drink Water

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Drinking eight glasses of water each day is supposed to keep you feeling full so you are not hungry. I still felt hungry at times and binged.

Step 3: Lemon Drops

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When I was younger and began cycling heavily combined with dieting to lose weight, I used lemon drops to curb my appetite. There is something about the small doses of sugar combined with the sour taste that often reduced my hunger. Still, I often found myself thinking about food, and eventually ate something I should not.

Step 4: Rub Your Ear Lobe

Picture of Rub Your Ear Lobe

A short article in the periodical Bottom Line Personal once recommended rubbing one ear lobe between your thumb and first finger as a type of acupuncture for the purpose of curbing your appetite. It does have a calming effect, but my appetite came back a few minutes later. (You need not rub two earlobes at once as in the graphic.)

Step 5: Peanuts

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Eating a few peanuts sometimes curbs my appetite, but I am likely to find myself migrating back to get more. Nuts are also high in fat.

Step 6: Cinnamon

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Someone suggested a half of a teaspoon of cinnamon each day as an appetite suppressant. Cinnamon helps metabolize sugar in a healthy way, but it did not have much effect on my appetite.

Step 7: Coffee

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Hot drinks, like coffee, are supposed to curb an appetite. Many people associate coffee with delicious bakery goods, and the association wins out over willpower. I came to a place a few years ago where coffee upset my stomach terribly. I quit drinking coffee completely. Now I no longer buy antacid tablets for my stomach. Once I would not travel without them.

Step 8: Green Tea

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Green tea is a very healthy thing to drink. I began to drink it in place of coffee. It is a bit of an acquired taste, although they do make it in some good flavors. It is a very relaxing thing to drink.

Relaxing is a good thing. Stress makes it more likely you will eat when you are not truly hungry. Not getting enough sleep is a problem, too. Both of these can increase your appetite.

Green tea is supposed to suppress the appetite. It never really did for me to any greater degree than something like plain hot water.

Step 9: A Recent Short on the Local News

Picture of A Recent Short on the Local News

This is a photo of a female anchor on channel 7 television in Boise, Idaho. In late April 2009 she reported on a short feature about white tea. People in China who drink it regularly do not have weight problems. She reported white tea works against the production of fat cells. The feature said at least four cups a day should be consumed. It contains less caffeine than other teas, so it does not do as much as coffee to stimulate your metabolism. Google white tea for pages on its benefits for appetite control.

Step 10: White Tea

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I bought some white tea at our grocery store. They had only an orange-mango flavor. It is good. It does not become bitter if the bag steeps in the cup for a long time. I get almost three cups per bag.

Step 11: Temptation Resisted

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I have been drinking four or more cups of white tea for about a week. Earlier this week I was at a seminar. Homemade cinnamon rolls were out for all to take. They looked this good. Normally, I would have turned away from them and had some green tea. But, after an hour or so I would have had at least one. That morning I had been drinking white tea and even took some bags with me to the seminar so I could make my own. I was never hungry and did not eat anything until lunch was served. That was a new experience.

I sent e-mail about white tea to a friend who also struggles with his appetite and weight gain. Today he bought a cup of white tea at a Starbucks. He went to a meeting and had no mid-morning cravings. He also ate a very light lunch. He said he simply was not hungry. He is going out to find more white tea.

Already I can feel that the waistband on my trousers is a little looser than before I began drinking white tea.

I cannot say definitely that white tea will control my appetite in ways I hope it will. Time will tell. I would be interested in some of you trying it and reporting back through the comments what your experience is. Thank you.


EcoExpatMike (author)2014-12-14

I've got to try this. I worked 10 years in Iraq & Afghanistan only to get run over by a Camry (illegally making a left turn across 3 lanes of traffic to smack me on my moped) when I was home on leave. Gained 40 pounds (and a big metal plate holding my shoulder together) in the last 6 months. I didn't exercise AT ALL for 3 months (and the drugs, gosh I understand addittion now) so I've developed the metabolism of a garden snail.

Phil B (author)EcoExpatMike2014-12-15

I sympathize with you. Two years ago I retired. Now I am even more sedentary than before, mostly because a lot of what I do involves reading, thinking, and a computer. I am not bored, but sitting a lot. I am trying to get myself to stand while doing these things. Sitting shuts off some metabolic processes.

I had planned to continue doing a lot of bicycling in retirement, but my doctor found a melanoma five years ago. Even though it is gone, I am very cautious about exposure to sunlight, I do have a NordicTrack ski machine and try to use it, but too easily skip it. I need to get out on the bicycle after sunset or before sunrise. Still, a little unpleasant weather takes away my enthusiasm.

The white tea is a help. I also downloaded a "self-hypnosis" (relaxation and suggestion) app on my phone. Regular listening over an extended time does help me get a better handle on how much and what I eat. I have actually lost a little with it.

Thank you for your comment.

mimisweb (author)2014-01-30

Thank you for this. It's three years after your last post, but I just found it. Hope you are at the weight you desire. I was Googling black tea as an appetite suppressant because it seems to have curbed my appetite even though everything I read says it shouldn't. I am drinking it with a good dose of Ceylon cinnamon in it, however, so that might be a factor. As you've mentioned here, everyone's metabolism is different so one needs to find one or a few things that work for him or her.

Phil B (author)mimisweb2014-01-30

Thank you for your comment. Weight is a constant struggle. I was doing pretty well. A lot of bicycle riding was one factor. But, then the doctor found some skin cancer on me and I am supposed to be careful about sunlight exposure. Much of my biking was on daylight hours. I also ran into a period of high stress and extra work. During that period I ate more just to keep going and exercised less. No I am retired. I have less stress. We have almost nothing sweet in the house. White tea is on the grocery list. I also have a hypnosis (more like relaxation) "tape" on my smart phone, and it is helpful, too, at least helps avoid eating because of boredom or stress.

kerikins (author)2011-07-25

How sweet of you to put so many different appetite suppressants that worked for you. You are a very thoughtful person! Keri

lifesart (author)2010-03-05

So Phil B, it's been almost a year now.  What were your results?  (I just found this instructable and I'm going to try white tea this weekend.)

Phil B (author)lifesart2010-03-05

You really know how to hurt a guy!  ;-)  I actually gained weight during the last year, despite hopes that I would lose some.  I learned the white tea helps mute my appetite, but I fall too easily if tempting snacks are nearby.  At Christmas people probably gave us a dozen pounds of cookies and candy, and there are only two of us in the house.  I think my major problem is that I did not keep up my regular bicycle riding.  I enjoy it and the winter was pretty mild, but I somehow felt I was busier this year.  In my work "busier" means more sedentary.  While I sensed white tea helps reduce my appetite, I know a couple of women who said it did not do a thing for them.  In short, white tea can help, but it needs to be one tool among several.  It is not a cure-all by itself.

spiritwolf7984 (author)2009-05-26 THIS IS THE ULTIMATE TEST

And I drink Japanese Green tea (it has a lil bit of rice in it)
And that Kills my hunger But It's a VERY acquired taste (I nearly Lost My Cookies)

Phil B (author)spiritwolf79842009-05-27

Thanks for your comment. I think I may have had some Japanese green tea, and it was very smooth to drink. I attend a two day meeting about three times a year. There are always candy dishes filled with miniature candy bars. It is so easy to pop those things one after another. I am always very upset with myself afterward. I am looking forward to trying white tea in order to stay off of the miniature candy bars at the next meeting. So far, nothing has kept me from them.

Piemarz (author)2009-05-23

I personally just drink water and carrots. Best combo ever. Or I try the I have no money on me, I spend my day out so I just ignore it. Also I only get food I need, limits what I can snack on. Tea tastes dull to me. My favourite is diluted fruit juice, alternated with water and ice cubes. Both work for my. Just have an ice cube in your mouth. Works.

Phil B (author)Piemarz2009-05-23

I suppose there are many personal differences that can be explained only by individual idiosyncrasies. I asked a friend to try white tea. She said, "I did not love it." meaning the flavor did not excite her. I do not care about the flavor, or the lack of flavor. The stuff just kills my appetite in a way that I do not think about snack foods. I am hoping for more feedback from people who have tried it to determine if white tea suppresses the appetite for most, for many, or for only some. One thing I should have mentioned is avoiding temptation by keeping snack foods out of the house. Thanks for taking time to comment.

Mr. Rig It (author)2009-05-21

Well I'm gonna give it a shot. I like tea more than coffee, but coffee does kill my appetite, but I have to add sugar and creamer to tolerate the bitterness. I have switched to the Dunkin Donuts brand coffee which does not give me any stomach issues and is pretty smooth. I think it's lower in acidity, that's my guess. But I am going to give white tea a try. How does it taste in iced tea form?

Phil B (author)Mr. Rig It2009-05-21

Please let me know how white tea works out for you. I suggested it to a younger woman I know from work. She was quite surprised at how much it reduced her appetite. She now has her husband carrying the iced tea version to work with him. Because white tea has very little taste, all of it is flavored with various things to give it a fruit flavor of various kinds.

porcupinemamma (author)2009-05-16

I've been battling my weight all my life...sigh

Phil B (author)porcupinemamma2009-05-16

I hope you will give the white tea a try and let me know if it helps you avoid between meal or late evening snacks that so easily defeat a diet. (I do not have stock in any tea companies.)

porcupinemamma (author)Phil B2009-05-16

O.K. Phil, I will. Thanks for your enouragement.

Phil B (author)porcupinemamma2009-05-17

Here is some further encouragement. In the past week I have been drinking white tea. Between meal snacking has been eliminated. Now there is daylight early enough that I can ride my usual 14.4 mile bicycle route before breakfast several days a week. My wife has been cooking high fiber/low fat meals. Desserts consist of half of an apple diced with yogurt and cinnamon, and maybe a three or four ginger snap cookies at some meals. That is only when there is a dessert. Already the bathroom scale readings are headed south a little.

bluto26101 (author)2009-05-15

Hi Phil, thanks for the Instructable. You and I sound very much alike as far as appetite goes. I'll be getting white tea tomorrow to see if it works. How long have you been drinking the white tea now?

Phil B (author)bluto261012009-05-15

I have been drinking it about a week. I am trying to be very objective and not sensational or premature. Still, the white tea seems to keep my appetite in check. Please check back with information on your experience. Thank you for your comment.

rimar2000 (author)2009-05-15

Phil, thanks for your suggestions.

I can add one: yerba mate. You can search "yerba mate" properties in Google (or visit to see something interesting things about it.

Phil B (author)rimar20002009-05-15

Thanks, Rimar. I will check on it.

rimar2000 (author)Phil B2009-05-15

But warning, there are many exaggerations. Yerba mate is a good thing, but it is not a cure-all as some articles says.

tecneeq (author)2009-05-15

Well then, i stick with rubbing my earlobes. It doesn't help, but i can eat as much as i want and say i tried ;).

Phil B (author)tecneeq2009-05-15

Rubbing your ear lobe sort of works. But, I still think about food a few minutes later. The white tea seems to take away my thoughts about food. I wish you well on your chosen strategy.

PKM (author)2009-05-15

Odd.. I've always found black tea to be a fantastic appetite suppressant, for a while. Sometimes it worked too well- I'd have a cup while thinking about eating, then forget to have dinner for several hours, and then the hunger would return very suddenly. This might be the flip side of the coffee/bakery association- I often drink tea after eating something sugary (like those cinnamon rolls.... mmm, cinnamon rolls...) so perhaps there's a slight Pavlovian association with being full there. Or maybe it's just drinking a large mug of hot milky liquid that does it. This reminds me of the "isn't lateral thinking great" story about the princess who overate- no diet could make her eat less, until her cunning lateral thinking aide suggested she wasn't consuming enough and suggested a glass of warm sweetened milk before meals.

Phil B (author)PKM2009-05-15

Perhaps black tea works differently for you due to quirks of individual metabolism. I cannot understand claims that green tea reduces appetite because it never has for me. I like the anti-oxidants in various teas. I mentioned drinking green tea to my eye doctor and he told me, "You will never have cancer." My wife went to Weight Watchers for several years. They told her she would be hungry unless she ate at least a certain amount of food, that is more than she might otherwise eat. Warm milk would take the edge off of hunger before meals. My problem is that I begin to think about something tasty I know is in the cupboard. So far, the white tea seems to make those things, should there be any in the house or the office, uninteresting. That is a very good thing.

acexkeikai (author)2009-05-15

You might try and change for almonds if you want to curb your appetite. I found that almond butter keeps me more full than peanut butter does too.

Phil B (author)acexkeikai2009-05-15

I like the smoked almonds. They are expensive. If I buy them in quantity I can easily binge on them, which defeats the purpose of ultimately eating less. I am not likely to binge on white tea, and if I do, there are no calories. Thanks for your suggestion.

ChrysN (author)2009-05-14

You are right about coffee, I often eat chocolate when drinking coffee, so now I always associate the two. Lipton also has a white tea with berries that is really good, I drink it a lot at work, I didn't realize that it has an affect on appetite, I'll have to see if it works.

Phil B (author)ChrysN2009-05-14

Thanks for your comment. I will be interested in what you decide about white tea reducing cravings. I do not want to suggest something to you so that the answer is pre-determined by the question. This afternoon I started to feel some pangs that went beyond just thinking about food. I had a cup of white tea and they really did go away. Next week my wife will be out of town. I am thinking the ultimate test would be to buy a big Snickers bar and drink white tea whenever I think about opening the wrapper. For me that would be the ultimate test.

mrtentaclenun (author)2009-05-14

I've always been told white tea has the most caffeine out of all of the teas

Phil B (author)mrtentaclenun2009-05-14

Information in various web pages is hardly consistent. But, most of what I have seen says the greatest amount of caffeine is found in the black teas followed by green tea. Then some say white tea has less caffeine while others say it has about the same amount as green tea. Some folks may count on caffeine to raise their metabolism and burn more calories. But, I am excited about what white tea seems to do to my desire to eat between meals.

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