Sometimes, losing weight can be challenging. You may put in all your best efforts and still end up with disappointing results. It is especially hard to keep your cravings in check, and you may find yourself reaching for your favorite foods and snacks more times than you want to. This is why appetite suppressants exist!!
An Appetite suppressant is a supplement, herb, or drug that keeps your hunger-inducing hormone at bay.In other words, it stops you from feeling hungry at constant intervals by keeping you satisfied for a great length of time. The thought of laying hands on something that has the ability to suppress appetite can have anyone struggling to lose weight on cloud nine.
There are many of these suppressants available for use and they come in different varieties. These include prescription appetite suppressant pills, over the counter appetite suppressant, and natural or herbal appetite suppressants.In this article, we have compiled a list of Appetite suppressants that work to aid weight loss as proven by scientific research.
NATURAL APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS
Natural appetite suppressants are natural herbs and plants that aid weight loss. They either work to suppress hunger, hinder the absorption of certain nutrients that contribute to fat gain, or help the body burn more calories than usual. These herbal suppressants help you minimize the amount of food you eat by making you feel full and sated or by reducing your food cravings. And since eating less is one of the principles of weight loss, they can be quiet beneficial.
You can consume them in pure forms, in the form of capsules or supplements or in tea. Research has also shown that some of these natural suppressants are effective for weight loss. These include :
Griffonia simplicifolia or 5-HTP is a natural appetite suppressant that influences serotonin levels in the brain. The plant is the ultimate natural source of 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP), a compound that is converted to serotonin when consumed into the body. Consuming Griffonia simplicifolia in measured doses equates to more serotonin levels in the brain. An increase in serotonin levels can decrease appetite to a certain extent. Hence, 5-HTP contributes to weight loss by decreasing hunger levels, which lessens the need to consume carbs and more calories.
In a two month randomized controlled trial, a total of 27 overweight women were placed on a formulation containing 5-HTP. Results obtained from this study showed that the treatment group reported a decrease in appetite and significant weight loss over the two month period.
Another study also showed similar results after 20 women were placed on the plant extract for a month. An increase in satiety levels and weight loss around the waist and arms were reported.
Judging from the results of these studies, It will appear that this plant is quite effective at suppressing appetite and contributing to weight loss. However, consuming 5-HTP supplements may even be more effective than the plant. On the downside, taking 5-HTP supplements has a few side effects. The prolonged intake of the supplement can cause nausea and stomach discomfort. It may also increase the risk of serotonin syndrome when taken with some antidepressants. It is best to consult a doctor before using 5-HTP supplements.
If you have a sweet tongue and can’t seem to control your sugar cravings, then Gymnema Sylvestre is the herb for you. You can take this in it’s pulverized form, as a tea or in a capsule. In fact, the capsules can be said to be one of the best natural appetite suppressant pills for blocking sugar cravings.
The plant contains gymnemic acids that suppress the taste of sugar in the mouth. The acid also binds to sugar receptors in the intestine, which prevents sugar absorption and carb storage in the form of fat. They help to keep blood sugar levels relatively low.
This is why the herb is particularly famous for its use as an anti-diabetic supplement. One study found decreased appetite levels in people who took Gymnema Sylvestre supplements while fasting compared to those who didn’t. There is also scientific evidence for its role in decreased fat absorption and weight loss.
Fenugreek is a popular food spice and medicinal herb derived from the seed of the fenugreek plant. But this wonderful herb can do more than add flavor to your meals, it can also double as a Hunger suppressant all thanks to its high fiber content. Fenugreek seeds contain 45% fiber, which is largely insoluble. However, they also contain some soluble fiber.
The fiber helps to regulate blood sugar, decrease cholesterol levels and serves as Appetite control by delaying stomach emptying and fat absorption. It is particularly effective when consumed in standardized large doses. For example, a study found that when the study participants consumed 8 grams of fiber, they experienced more reduced appetite levels than when they consumed 4 grams of fiber from Fenugreek seeds.
Another study even found that taking 12 grams of fenugreek extract reduced daily fat consumption by 17% and calorie consumption by 12%. This means that fenugreek could possibly help you control your fat and calorie intake.
Furthermore, there is scientific evidence to suggest that fenugreek is a safe appetite suppressant with little to no side effects.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea is probably one of the most consumed teas in the world. The extract which is a more concentrated encapsulated form contains twice the amount of active ingredients as a cup of green tea. One capsule contains the same amount of active ingredients as a common cup of tea. Green tea contributes effectively to weight loss due to its caffeine and catechin properties. Caffeine is known to accelerate fat burn and reduce appetite. Catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) also burn fat in addition to improving metabolism.
The combination of these two compounds in green tea extract makes it a powerhouse for burning calories (which influences weight loss). There is scientific evidence to support the role of caffeine and EGCG in weight loss. While there is no scientific evidence to support the appetite suppressing qualities of green tea in humans, it will appear that green tea in combination with other ingredients can suppress appetite. Green tea is recommended in safe doses of up to 800mg of EGCG. The standard recommended dosage is 250-500 mg per day.
Yerba mate is a plant that is commonly grown in South America. It is an Herbal appetite suppressant that works to increase leptin levels and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). It is also an effective energy booster.
Leptin is a hormone that reduces hunger, it signals satiety and fullness. GLP-1 on the other hand is a compound produced in the gut that is in charge of appetite regulation. Several animal studies have shown the effectiveness of Yerba mate in reducing appetite and body weight.
One such study in mice found that prolonged consumption of the herb led to a significant decrease in appetite, food consumption, and body weight. Another study found a significant increase in energy levels, metabolism, and reduced appetites in 12 healthy women after they had taken 2 grams of Yerba mate before engaging in a 30-minute cycling exercise. Some studies have also shown that Yerba mate combined with other ingredients can help reduce hunger and suppress appetite.
The herb is relatively safe and does not have severe side effects. It can be consumed in a warm cup of tea (330ml) thrice daily. Yerba mate tea is by all means a good Appetite-suppressant tea.
APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS YOU CAN’T TAKE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION
These are drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to curb obesity by reducing hunger and appetite levels. These drugs can only be obtained and taken with a doctor’s prescription. over the years, the FDA has approved certain drugs for use as appetite suppressants.
They had to retract some of these drugs, following evidence of associated risks and severe complications. One such drug that was recently withdrawn by the FDA is Belviq (Lorcaserin). The drug had to be withdrawn from the drug market on account of safety clinical trials that proved the drug was leading to an increase in the occurrence of cancer. The current FDA approved Appetite suppressants include :
- Qysmia (Phentermine): Qysmia is a combination of two drugs; Phentermine and Topiramate. Phentermine is a weight loss drug on its own. It is a Hunger suppressant pill designed to reduce hunger and prevent excessive calorie intake which contributes to weight gain. Topiramate as a single agent is a drug used for the treatment of headaches and seizures, but when combined with Phentermine, it enhances appetite suppression.
- Contrave (Naltrexone/Bupropion): Naltrexone sold under the brand name contrave also contains two drugs that influence the brain’s reward system and the hypothalamus. They affect the reward system in such a way that a person’s favorite food loses its appeal. They also interfere with the appetite-regulating function of the hypothalamus.
Aside from these two drugs, there is also an injection called saxenda that works to stifle hunger by acting on GLP-1 in the gut. It is recommended to be taken along with a low-calorie meal. Another drug approved by the FDA that is often mistaken for an appetite suppressant drug is orlistat (Alli). It is a weight loss drug that prevents the body from absorbing some fat from food.
These drugs are relatively safe and effective for use. They may even produce better results than a placebo. They also have side effects such as nausea, constipation, insomnia, and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. They rarely have serious or severe side effects.
These drugs are not often prescribed because of associated side effects, limited usage duration, and abuse potential. However, phentermine is the only drug that is widely prescribed and it is not commonly abused. In this vein, It could easily be referred to as the Best appetite suppressant pill.
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OVER THE COUNTER APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS
There are numerous supplements available in the drug market that are touted for weight loss and are marketed as effective appetite suppressants. The truth is, most of these supplements are not verified for their purported uses and benefits. In fact, the FDA has not approved any over the counter (OTC) appetite suppressants.
There is also insufficient scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Very few of these supplements have sufficient scientific evidence to support their use. They include :
Acacia fiber is another name for the famous gum arabic. It is an over the counter suppressant that is marketed to induce fullness and reduce appetite levels. It is an indigestible fiber that delays digestion and prevents glucose digestion in the gut. A study that assessed 92 people suffering from diabetes found that consuming 30 grams of acacia fiber per day reduced belly fat to a large extent. Another study found that taking 30 grams of the supplement daily significantly reduced body fat compared to a placebo.
GREEN COFFEE BEAN EXTRACT
Green coffee bean extract is derived from coffee seeds and it is commonly used as a weight-loss supplement. It contains caffeine, which is an appetite suppressant and abundant levels of chlorogenic acid which may prevent fat accumulation. A scientific review discovered that obese participants who took 180 or 200 mg per day of green coffee bean extract experienced weight loss of up to 6 pounds compared to participants who took placebos.
Saffron extract is a stigma derivative of the saffron plant. It is an OTC appetite suppressant that is purported to contain several substances that induce fullness through mood improvement. There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support this claim, but the results from the few studies conducted on its effectiveness are promising. One such study found that overweight women who took 176mg of saffron extract per day reported a decrease in cravings and lost more weight than their counterparts who took placebo pills.
Chromium picolinate is an absorbable variant of chromium that influences the parts of the body that are involved in appetite control and eating habits. This function translates into appetite reduction. A scientific review of 11 other studies reported that overweight people who supplemented with 137-1,000 mcg of chromium for about 26 weeks experienced a considerable decrease in body weight and fat by 11 pounds and 0.46% respectively.
Guar gum is sourced from the Indian cluster bean. It is a form of fiber that works as a bulking agent in the human gut. It reduces appetite levels by delaying digestion and inducing satiety. It’s effectiveness as a weight-loss supplement is yet to be proven, but a couple of studies suggest that it may be effective at suppressing hunger and reducing food cravings. One particular study found that a daily 2-gram intake of the fiber can significantly reduce hunger and unhealthy snacking.
Should I Use Appetite Suppressants For Weight Loss
Appetite suppressants may not be the best tool for weight loss, but they have been proven to help make the journey easier. They help you conform to your weight loss regime by controlling your calorie intake. The combination of these supplements, drugs, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can translate to more weight loss. Remember to always stick to the clinically approved and standardized varieties.