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For many people living in the U.S. and other Western countries, being overweight or obese is a serious health problem.
Overeating, leading a sedentary life, and many other factors are contributing to the growing obesity epidemic in our country.
There are many reasons why your diet may not be leaving you satisfied, contributing to overeating and excess weight.
In our guide, you’ll learn how to change what and how you eat to feel fuller longer, as well as about helpful, natural appetite suppressants that can assist you in losing weight.
If you are lacking certain nutrients in your diet, if you aren’t eating enough fiber, or if you are fatigued or stressed, you are more likely to overeat.
Learning how to control your appetite safely and naturally without the adverse side effects of diet pills and other weight loss strategies can help you control your eating and shed those excess pounds.
The use of diet pills is known to be problematic, and these medicines come with significant warnings against their use.
Most appetite suppressants work because of their high caffeine content, which is not good for your heart.
Many also contain synthetic or unknown ingredients that could be harmful to your health.
Avoiding these is a positive choice, but controlling your eating is also necessary for weight loss, so what should you do?
Keep reading to learn all about the natural ways you can suppress your appetite, which can help you lose weight without the negative side effects of diet pills.
By consuming natural ingredients that help you feel full and provide you with the nutrients that will satisfy your cravings, you can eat healthier and have more energy, as well.
Our guide gives you all the information you need to learn about how to curb your appetite naturally.
What are Appetite Suppressants?
Anything that can calm your appetite and prevent overeating is an appetite suppressant.
Most appetite suppressants are pills or drinks, but natural appetite suppressants come in many different forms.
To help you control your eating and satisfy your cravings, natural appetite suppressants work to balance the hormones that trigger hunger, including leptin and ghrelin.
These hormones fluctuate throughout the day based on your dietary intake, as well as factors such as your level of stress, how much sleep you’ve had, your current weight, your emotional state, genetic factors, and any inflammation you may have in your body.
Because all of these factors have an effect on your appetite, suppressing that urge to eat is also a complex endeavor.
Drugs sold as appetite suppressants are highly regulated because of their dangerous and possibly deadly side effects.
Formerly-prescribed drugs such as fenfluramine, also known as fen-phen, were withdrawn from the market after they were linked to fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve damage (1).
Other drugs in this category have been shown to increase the risk of stroke, leading to their discontinued use, as well.
While some drugs today still contain ephedrine, the FDA warns against its use for the purposes of appetite suppression.
Natural appetite suppressants can also be effective in helping you address other factors that control your metabolism.
Some nutrients are excellent for triggering the burning of fat as a fuel source, while others can create a steadier level of blood glucose in your body.
And appetite suppressants can help you deal with specific cravings, such as for sweets or salty junk foods.
There are numerous ways that appetite suppressants can naturally boost your energy, regulate your hormones that dictate mood, and improve the functioning of your thyroid, which plays a big role in metabolism and hunger.
Rather than searching for a quick solution to weight loss that is likely to leave you feeling tired and hungry, our natural solutions focus on a more holistic approach that can control your appetite naturally, and give you the nutrients and energy you need to be healthy.
These natural solutions also help regulate the hormones that control hunger and give you extra energy to help avoid overeating.
It is also important to remember that appetite suppressants should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and an exercise regimen that impacts your overall health.
Yes, eating less is important to losing weight, but so is eating healthy foods and keeping your body active.
Appetite suppressants cannot be used without a healthy lifestyle that emphasizes a nutrient-rich diet and plenty of regular exercises.
Our natural appetite suppressants are an excellent addition to any plan for improved health and weight loss that is comprehensive in nature.
Natural Appetite Suppressants
The following are the most common and effective natural appetite suppressants in use today.
Each works via different mechanisms and can be effective for different people, so be sure to try several until you find one or a combination that works best for you.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea has been studied for decades for its health properties and benefits.
Recent research examined the antioxidants present in green tea extract and their impact on regulating appetite hormones, as well as affecting metabolic disorders.
Green tea can help both in lowering cholesterol levels and in raising adiponectin levels.
Higher levels of adiponectin result in less resistance to insulin and lower levels of inflammation.
Green tea can even promote the burning of fat (4).
When you eat foods or take supplements that contain fiber, you are more likely to feel full, longer.
Fiber also aids digestion, promotes gut health, and boosts your heart health and immune system.
Most Americans eat about half of the recommended daily allowance of fiber, as more people are eating processed and refined foods that contain little or no dietary fiber (5).
Fiber is present in nearly all plant foods.
When you eat fiber, your body cannot actually digest it, so it passes through your digestive tract, absorbing water and helping to eliminate waste from your system.
Fiber slows the digestion and absorption of sugar in the foods you eat, which enables you to feel satisfied longer.
Because high fiber foods also tend to be high in nutrients, you are supplying your body with vitamins and minerals that prevent deficiencies and dehydration.
When you eat a diet high in fiber, you improve your heart health, lower your cholesterol, lower your blood sugar levels, contribute to weight regulation, have more effective digestion, and regulate your hormones.
Eating more fiber could be the key not only to losing weight but also to living longer and healthier (6).
Your best sources of dietary fiber will be vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
If you are unable to get your recommended daily intake of fiber through your diet, consider a fiber supplement to support your health and assist with controlling your appetite.
Like fiber, protein plays a significant role in your appetite, as well.
When you eat small amounts of lean protein with other foods, you are more likely to feel satiated longer.
A balanced diet should include high-fiber foods at each meal and snack combined with small amounts of healthy, lean protein to provide energy, produce a slow release of blood sugar, and help you feel fuller longer.
Native to South America, the yerba mate plant has been used for centuries by many cultures to control appetite and stave off hunger during the busy times of the day.
Yerba mate is known for its ability to boost energy, and it can help you control your hunger, as well.
Yerba mate works by stimulating the production of leptin, which is a hormone that signals you are full, and GLP-1, which regulates appetite.
When these levels are higher, you feel less hungry and are therefore less likely to eat.
Yerba mate is widely available in many drinks today, or you can make your own tea by purchasing yerba mate leaves, which is the healthier choice since you won’t have to worry about added ingredients.
Drink three cups of yerba mate daily to control your appetite and reduce hunger.
Saffron’s greatest benefit for appetite control is that it increases your natural release of serotonin and endorphins, which elevate mood and reduce snacking and other over-eating habits.
This extract acts much like a low-dose antidepressant, stabilizing moods and promoting a healthier mental outlook (9).
Grapefruit has been included in many weight loss strategies over the past several decades, and for good reason.
Grapefruit reduces cravings, lowers appetite, provides needed energy, and contains beneficial antioxidants and oils that support your health.
Grapefruit’s distinctive aroma also has positive effects, including regulating your appetite and boosting your fat metabolism.
So it’s no wonder that grapefruit essential oil can be an effective part of your natural appetite suppressant routine.
Just the scent of grapefruit oil can stimulate weight loss by exciting your adrenal glands.
Grapefruit’s scent also releases the hunger-suppressing hormones known to curb cravings and make you feel fuller.
Grapefruit is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can provide you with the energy to keep you from reaching for a snack.
Grapefruit and grapefruit oil help you better digest sugar and fat, promoting maintenance of healthier blood sugar levels, which means you’ll be less likely to need a sugary or caffeine-filled treat to get you through your day.
That means, if you have diabetes or insulin resistance, grapefruit oil can help you, as well.
Try using grapefruit essential oil in your aromatherapy diffuser.
Just 15 minutes three times a week smelling this scent can curb appetites and reduce snacking.
Add drops of this oil to a carrier oil, and massage it into your skin for a scent that will stay with you throughout your day.
From the legume family, fenugreek is an herb that has been used for centuries for many medicinal and health purposes.
Most people use the seeds, which are dried and then ground into a powder.
Fenugreek is high in fiber, including a water-soluble fiber called galactomannan.
This fiber can help regulate blood sugar, reduce serum cholesterol levels, and control appetite.
Fenugreek slows down the rate at which your stomach empties and how quickly your body absorbs fat and sugar.
This will leave you feeling fuller longer, decreasing your appetite.
Consuming 8 grams daily of fenugreek reduces appetite significantly, and can even help you eat less at your next several meals.
Eating fiber also fills you up so that you don’t eat other, unhealthier foods, like those high in fat.
This fiber will decrease your caloric intake, as well.
Start slowly with fenugreek until your body adjusts to the high-fiber content.
Eat just two grams of whole seeds to start with, then gradually add in more over several weeks.
Ginger is another natural herb that has been used for centuries for many purposes.
The active ingredient in ginger is called gingerol, and this compound moderates your satiety hormone, known as leptin, helping you stave off hunger.
Add ginger to your recipes, drink ginger tea daily, or take ginger supplements to help control your appetite.
Eat Spicy Foods
When you eat spicy foods, you send signals to your body to burn fat and to eat less.
These anti-inflammatory spices are good for your health in many ways, not just controlling your hunger.
Using these spices in your recipes adds no calories, but you benefit from all the incredible health effects of these tasty additions.
Cayenne pepper, for example, promotes fat burning, while capsaicin, which is found in peppers, helps control your metabolism.
You will experience less inflammation when you cook with turmeric, and all these spices help reduce your cravings for sweets.
Don’t just use spices on your meats and vegetables.
Put them in your smoothies, sprinkle them in soups, and include them whenever possible in your diet, for reduced appetite.
Griffonia Simplicifolia, or 5-HTP
When you consume 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), your body converts this into serotonin in your brain.
Increasing serotonin levels has been proven to reduce your appetite.
An excellent, natural source of 5-HTP is a plant called Griffonia simplicifolia.
Taking extracts of Griffonia simplicifolia can curb your hunger and help decrease your intake of carbohydrates, a significant source of calories in most diets (10).
Extract of Griffonia simplicifolia can help you feel satiated longer, as well as lower your appetite, and those who take it often experience weight loss.
Be cautious of taking this extract for extended periods, though, as doing so can lead to digestive problems and discomfort.
Other Ways to Control Appetite
Using other natural foods and remedies can also help you control your appetite and lose weight.
Here are some additional strategies that reduce your desire to eat.
- Be sure you are getting enough protein and healthy fat in each meal or snack. These combined help control hunger longer and leave you feeling satisfied. It is not about counting calories or fat when you want to lose weight. Instead, focus on a balanced approach to eating.
- Lower inflammation with omega-3 fatty acids. Taking a daily dose of fish oil or another omega-3 supplement can create a better balance of lipids in your system and lower levels of inflammation, which can lead to a desire to snack less frequently.
- Promote better digestion and immune system function with probiotics. Eat foods high in probiotics to protect your gut, and give your immune system the boost it needs to help you stay healthy. Fermented and cultured foods are the best sources of probiotics, so eat yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and drink kombucha.
- Drink more water than you currently consume. Drink a glass of water before every meal or snack, and continue drinking throughout the day. Water helps you feel full longer, and often you are not actually hungry, but instead are thirsty, so reach for water before food.
- Lower your stress to manage stress-eating episodes. Be mindful of each choice you make related to food, and whether you are choosing it for fuel or because of emotional reasons. Stress causes you to make poor choices about the foods you consume, so decrease your stress and, when you can’t, be conscious of how it is affecting your food choices.
Avoid Prescription Diet Pills
Diet pills that are prescribed or sold commercially are usually full of stimulants.
They also may contain digestive enzymes or other ingredients that often have adverse side effects, especially when they are consumed for long periods.
Because it dulls appetite, caffeine is a common stimulant used in diet pills.
Caffeine can help you feel motivated and give you more energy, but too much of this ingredient can have serious effects on your health.
Caffeine causes headaches, nervousness, anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, digestive problems, and many more issues.
While you may drink coffee every day, this does not compare to the amount of caffeine found in most diet pills, especially those labeled as fat burning.
Caffeine at those doses is a recipe for disaster and should be avoided.
Caffeine can interact with other medications or worsen some medical conditions, so using these types of pills is not advised.
Other ingredients used in diet pills include ephedrine, guarana, and garcinia cambogia.
These can lead to trouble sleeping, anxiety, digestive problems, a rapid heart rate, headaches, and elevated blood pressure.
Pills containing ephedrine or ephedra can lead to liver failure, or cause other liver problems.
These ingredients are highly regulated in the U.S., but pills manufactured in other countries could still contain this dangerous additive.
Any time you are using natural or conventional appetite suppressants, you should pay careful attention to how you feel.
Different compounds may affect you differently, depending on your age, weight, and overall health, so always watch for adverse reactions or other problems when using appetite suppressants of any kind.
If you notice any severe symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or heart problems, stop using the suppressants immediately and talk with your doctor.
Natural appetite suppressants are not regulated like medications, and little is known about their long-term effects on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid natural supplements for appetite suppression, as they may not be safe.
Children and the elderly should also avoid these types of supplements and appetite suppressants until they have consulted with a doctor.
If you have any of the following health issues, it is important that you work with your doctor to develop a safe and healthy plan for appetite suppression.
Do not take appetite suppressant supplements without talking to your doctor if you have:
- A heart condition of any kind;
- Arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat;
- High or low blood pressure;
- A mental or mood disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar;
- Insomnia, or trouble sleeping regularly;
- Vertigo or other condition that causes dizziness;
- Allergies to spices or plants in the pepper family.
If you do not make changes to your diet and lifestyle, appetite suppressants are unlikely to lead to a long-term change in your weight or appetite.
Appetite suppressants can give you a little extra energy, can dull your hunger temporarily and can elevate your mood, but without a focus on proper nutrition and exercise on your part, this will not be enough to help you lose weight and keep it off permanently.
Getting the right nutrients, eating a balanced, healthy diet, and exercising regularly will do more for your weight loss efforts than any pill or herb can by itself.
Do not expect that appetite suppressants are the magical cure for being overweight or obese.
Many conventional weight loss pills and appetite suppressants have serious side effects that can cause health problems.
Because nearly all appetite suppressants contain a stimulant of some kind, they can lead to digestive problems, anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, and nervousness.
Natural suppressants tend to produce fewer of these side effects.
Suppressing your appetite with herbs and natural ingredients can help provide you with extra energy, and better regulation of the hormones that control hunger and stabilize your mood.
Eating high-fiber foods and plenty of lean protein, drinking lots of water, and using natural herbs and other ingredients can help you feel fuller longer and control your desire to eat.
Excellent natural appetite suppressants include spicy foods, green tea extract, yerba mate, grapefruit oil, saffron extract, ginger, 5-HTP, and fenugreek.
These ingredients and supplements can help control cravings, boost your ability to burn fat, balance your hunger, and support good digestion, which will help you absorb all the nutrients you need.
Appetite suppressants can be an excellent addition to a healthy eating and exercise plan aimed at improving your health and wellness.
Controlling your appetite alone will not make you a healthier person, so use these methods as part of a holistic approach to weight management and overall health.