Appetite suppressants can help you lose weight by restricting your food cravings and also by increasing your feeling of fullness. Consequently, they can help you to accelerate weight loss if you combine them with a healthy diet and exercise.
You generally consume appetite suppressants in pill form. They influence your brain’s impulse to eat, consequently helping to control hunger and make you feel full whilst eating less.
Reported Benefits of Appetite Suppressants
They Can Help You Lose Weight
If you take an appetite suppressant you could shed as much as 5-10% of your body weight, some studies have demonstrated.
They Can Curb Your Emotional Dependence on Food
Comfort eating may make you feel less stressed, albeit only temporarily. These foods are likely to contain a lot of fat, sugar, and salt, which are not good for you in excess.
If your appetite is suppressed you’ve got a better chance of breaking this habit and turning your back on the unhealthy snacks.
They Can Help You Focus
Some appetite suppressing ingredients can increase your ability to focus. Consequently, this can also prevent you getting distracted and craving those super-caloric foodstuffs.
Common Ingredients Found in Appetite Suppressants
In traditional medicine, the herb caralluma fimbriata has been used to suppress appetite and, additionally, to increase endurance.
Caralluma fimbriata contains compounds that can increase circulation of serotonin in your brain, experts maintain. This serotonin increase helps to diminish your hunger and, consequently, decrease your carbohydrate intake.
Correspondingly, one clinical trial on 50 overweight adults demonstrated that when participants took 1 gram of caralluma fimbriata per day, they lost an average of 2.5% of their bodyweight over a two-month period. (1)
Also, in another research study, 43 obese people consumed 500mg of caralluma fimbriata twice a day. In 12 weeks they reduced their waistline and body weight substantially. (2)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a healthy trans-fat that occurs in several animal-based foodstuffs. CLA boasts quite a few verified health benefits.
For example, research has demonstrated that CLA can also help you burn fat as well as both breaking fat down and preventing your body’s production of fat.
Additionally, CLA can curb your appetite and make you feel fuller.
One clinical trial involving 54 people found that subjects who took 3.6g of CLA per day both decreased their appetite and felt fuller than those given a placebo. The study lasted for a period of 13 weeks. (3)
Another study concluded that if you take 3.2 grams of CLA per day it can help you lose body fat.
Fenugreek suppresses your appetite by both slowing the rate at which your stomach empties and by inhibiting your absorption of carbohydrates and fat. Consequently, this also helps to control your blood sugar.
A trial involving 18 obese adults gave them 8g of fenugreek fibre and determined that it was more effective than 4g of fenugreek fibre at reducing their appetite and increasing their feelings of fullness. (4)
Another study gave 12 men a dose of 1.2g of fenugreek seed extract each per day. Researchers found that their daily fat consumption decreased by about 17%. They also consumed about 12% fewer calories.
Further research has shown that fenugreek can also help to reduce both cholesterol and blood sugar.
Garcinia peel contains high levels of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is confirmed to help with weight loss.
Clinical studies have shown that garcinia can suppress your appetite and help prevent fat production.
Additionally, garcinia may also curb hunger by increasing your serotonin levels. Serotonin influences the brain receptors that make you feel full. (5)
Glucomannan is a soluble fibre that helps to reduce your appetite. It’s able to bulk up by absorbing water, consequently making you feel fuller and slowing the passage of food through your stomach.
Clinical researchers gave 83 overweight people a supplement containing 3g of glucomannan and 300mg of calcium carbonate for a period of two months. The subjects experienced a substantial decrease in both body fat and overall weight. (6)
In further studies, 176 obese participants took either glucomannan or a placebo. They all stuck to a strict calorie-controlled diet. The individuals who took glucomannan lost more weight than those who took the placebo. (7)
Griffonia Simplicifolia (5-HTP)
The plant griffonia simplicifolia is one of the best botanical sources of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).
Your brain converts 5-HTP to serotonin. When your serotonin levels increase it induces receptors in your brain to curb your hunger. This way, 5-HTP can help you to lose weight.
A group of overweight women took griffonia simplicifolia for a period of 4 weeks. At the end of the trial they experienced a substantial decrease in their waist measurements and increased their feelings of fullness. (8)
If you take gymnema sylvestre it can offset the sugary taste of your food and help reduce sugar cravings.
Researchers found that gymnema sylvestre reduced appetite in fasting individuals who supplemented with it, compared with those who didn’t. (9)
Gymnemic acids can also bind to sugar receptors in your gut which prevents you absorbing sugar. This can help you keep your blood sugar low and prevent carbohydrates being stored as fat.
The South American herb yerba mate is renowned for its energy-boosting characteristics.
In one clinical study, 12 women took 2g of yerba mate and undertook a 30-minute cycling exercise. Subsequently, they experienced both decreased appetite and increased focus, energy, and metabolism. (10)
Side-Effects of Using Appetite Suppressants
Appetite suppressants may cause the following side-effects:
- Digestive problems like nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.
Side-effects are usually, but not always, mild. However, if you do experience any, it’s best to consult a medical professional.
Appetite Suppressant Dosage
You should generally take appetite suppressants on an empty stomach about one hour before you eat.
Additionally, you should avoid taking them later in the day because their stimulant content can potentially disrupt your sleep. They’re generally taken for a period of 8-12 weeks.
As ever, it’s always wise to consult your doctor before taking appetite suppressants so that you can discuss your medical history and any other medications you may be taking.
- ‘Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women’. Rebecca Kuriyan, Tony Raj, S K Srinivas, Mario Vaz, R Rajendran, Anura V Kurpad
- ‘A pilot study investigating the effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on the risk factors of metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese subjects: a randomised controlled clinical trial’. Katie J Astell, Michael L Mathai, Andrew J McAinch, Christos G Stathis, Xiao Q Su
- ‘Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation after weight loss on appetite and food intake in overweight subjects ‘. M J W Kamphuis, M P G M Lejeune, W H M Saris, M S Westerterp-Plantenga
- ‘Effect of fenugreek fiber on satiety, blood glucose and insulin response and energy intake in obese subjects ‘. Jocelyn R Mathern, Susan K Raatz, William Thomas, Joanne L Slavin
- ‘Serotonin controlling feeding and satiety’. Jörg-Peter Voigt, Heidrun Fink
- ‘Konjac Glucomannan Dietary Supplementation Causes Significant Fat Loss in Compliant Overweight Adults’. Gilbert R Kaats, Debasis Bagchi, Harry G Preuss
- ‘Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction’. Grethe Støa Birketvedt, Mona Shimshi, Thom Erling, Jon Florholmen
- ‘Relationship between the absorption of 5-hydroxytryptophan from an integrated diet, by means of Griffonia simplicifolia extract, and the effect on satiety in overweight females after oral spray administration’. M Rondanelli, A Opizzi, M Faliva, M Bucci, S Perna
- ‘Effects of sweetness perception and caloric value of a preload on short term intake’. P M Brala, R L Hagen
- ‘Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) Metabolic, Satiety, and Mood State Effects at Rest and during Prolonged Exercise’. Ahmad Alkhatib, Roisin Atcheson