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I  have a huge appetite. It’s not emotional or mental hunger; I’ve tried every gimmick out there (including the grapefruit diet!), and nothing has helped. If you have any insights into appetite control, please share them!

Stop trying to do something magical like eating only grapefruit — that stuff never works. It is possible that you aren’t eating the right combination for your metabolic type, which could leave you feeling less satiated. For example, if you are a fast oxidizer but you are eating fruit for breakfast and salad for lunch, you will be constantly starving. Try eating scrambled eggs and two pieces of nitrate-free turkey bacon for breakfast — you should feel a difference in your mornings. That said, my books, Winning by LosingMaster Your Metabolism, and Making The Cut really delve into how to eat for your metabolic type. But here are a few tricks to make you feel fuller:

1. Eat large quantities of lower-cal foods that are high in fiber to help fill you up. For example, I eat two bags of lettuce when I make my salad. I have three veggie sides at dinner — steamed spaghetti squash, grilled eggplant, AND mashed cauliflower.

2. DRINK TONS OF WATER. When you feel as if you are starving, pound a liter of water and see if that helps kill the urge a bit.

3. Sleep! While doctors have long known that many hormones are affected by sleep, it wasn’t until recently that appetite entered the picture. Research has shown that leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that regulate appetite, are both directly affected by how much sleep you get. Have you ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when, no matter what you ate, you never felt full or satisfied? That’s because of leptin and ghrelin; together, these hormones work in a kind of “checks and balances” system to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full. When sleep is restricted, leptin levels go down and ghrelin levels go up.

Another reason to get your eight hours: Lack of sleep can trigger the release of cortisol, a nasty stress hormone that is responsible for storing abdominal fat. As you can see, anyway you look at it, lack of sleep can set the stage for overeating and weight gain.

4. Are you SURE this isn’t a case of emotional eating? The next time you are really hungry, or at least think you’re really hungry, stop yourself from heading to the fridge and ask yourself the following questions: When was the last time I ate? Was it more than 3 to 4 hours ago? (That is a reasonable amount of time for us to go without food.) Is my stomach growling? Am I light-headed? If the answer to these questions is no, then you aren’t hungry at all; you are engaging in emotional eating. Time to go for a walk or figure out some other nonfood activity!

The best way to manage emotional eating is to start finding ways to comfort and nurture yourself that aren’t related to food. Remove fattening trigger foods from your environment. Take up a hobby to help combat eating out of boredom — personally, I go online and download a new workout play list from iTunes instead of heading for the fridge!

Don’t panic. You can and will lose weight. Even if you are eating more than your daily calorie allowance, you can still lose — it just might take a little longer. Exercise is key: Working out harder and more often will help burn those extra calories you might take in if you have a bad day. I know that when I indulge one day, I work out extra hard the next day.

Get more fitness tips from Jillian Michaels.***