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July 13, 2023
Cravings control and weight loss are two goals that often intertwine on our journey to a healthier and fitter self. In this quest, appetite suppressants emerge as tempting allies, promising to rein in our appetites and tip the scales of weight loss in our favor.
But amidst the flood of claims and success stories, a crucial question lingers: Do appetite suppressants work and actually deliver on their promise?
In this article, we delve into the world of appetite suppressants to uncover the truth behind their effectiveness. Get ready to demystify your cravings and examine whether these products can really help you shed unwanted pounds.
Table of Contents:
Appetite suppressants are popular supplements (or weight loss medication) for people who want to lose weight and control cravings. These products are available with and without a prescription and come in various forms, like pills, powders, or herbal teas.
Most over-the-counter appetite suppressants contain natural ingredients like fiber, stimulants, and extracts known to reduce hunger and make you feel fuller. Some may even speed up your metabolism.
However, it's important to remember that these supplements are not magical solutions. While they can be helpful, they work better with healthy eating and regular exercise.
Successful weight loss comes down to creating a calorie deficit. It's been said thousands of times, but it's true. You need to eat fewer calories than your body requires to lose weight or bring down your body mass index.
From a nutrition perspective, people have two issues with this. One is poor food selection. Eating high-calorie and high-processed foods makes it hard to stay within your daily calorie goals. The second issue comes down to overeating in general. If you eat too much, it doesn't matter if you eat healthy foods. You can still gain weight anyway.
While appetite suppressants don't directly cause you to eat healthier, they effectively address the second issue of overeating. Plus, selecting more nutritious food options becomes much easier when hunger is managed.
It's important to approach appetite suppressants with realistic expectations. They are not a magical solution. All the ingredients mentioned, both over-the-counter and prescription, have research to support their effectiveness.
For best results, I recommend pairing an appetite suppressant with a meal plan for weight loss.
Appetite suppressants are substances or medications that help reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness, leading to a decreased desire to eat. The specific mechanisms of action can vary depending on the type of appetite suppressant.
Here are a few examples:
Some appetite suppressants work by stimulating the central nervous system, which can help decrease appetite. Stimulants, such as amphetamines or related compounds, can increase the release of certain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine.
These neurotransmitters play a role in appetite regulation by influencing the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for hunger and satiety signals.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and appetite. Certain appetite suppressants target serotonin receptors, increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This can lead to reduced appetite and increased satiety. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are primarily used as antidepressants, may also have appetite-suppressing effects.
Some appetite suppressants influence neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate appetite. By modulating these neurotransmitters, appetite suppressants can help curb food cravings and create a sense of fullness.
Hormones play a crucial role in appetite regulation. Some appetite suppressants work by influencing the release or action of hormones involved in hunger and satiety signals.
For instance, certain medications target the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells and helps regulate energy balance. By affecting leptin levels or sensitivity, appetite suppressants can help reduce hunger.
Some appetite suppressants work by interfering with the absorption of dietary fats. These medications, known as lipase inhibitors, inhibit the action of enzymes called lipases, which break down fats in the digestive system.
By reducing fat absorption, these appetite suppressants can help decrease calorie intake.
Other appetite suppressants work by filling up your stomach. An example is glucomannan, which we will discuss later in the article. Similar to how dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables acts in the body, glucomannan is a fiber that absorbs water in the stomach, causing you to fill up faster.
New research has added to the growing evidence of the benefits of fiber, showing that high-fiber diets allow you to eat fewer calories without any increase in hunger1. How cool is that? The ability to cut calories without feeling increased appetite is a cheat code for dieting.
Let's look at what actual users have experienced taking appetite suppressants.
One Reddit user stated:
"I've been taking PhenQ for about a month now, and I'll share my experience. It's been working decently well for me, and I've actually lost about 5 pounds so far. Now, this could possibly be a placebo effect, and I'm not sure what the long-term effects are, but these are the changes I've noticed so far:
Another Reddit user had to say:
"Yup caffeine is definitely not a bad appetite suppressant, but obviously there are some better ones. I know people like phentermine a lot but not everyone has access. I have used phengold in the past and it was a good alternative to phentermine; staved off cravings pretty much all day." (source)
There are also some diet and lifestyle tips to help starve off hunger. For starters, eat a high protein and fiber diet. Both of those can increase satiety. Also, drink plenty of fluids and get 7-8 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase hunger6.
As mentioned, there are different types of appetite suppressants. Generally, they are grouped into two categories, prescription and over-the-counter.
Prescription appetite suppressants require a prescription from a healthcare professional, whereas over-the-counter appetite suppressants often contain natural ingredients that support weight loss.
A prescription appetite suppressant is a medication prescribed by a healthcare professional to reduce hunger and control calorie intake for people with a lot of weight loss. These medications often work very well but come with some side effects.
Here are some of the most popular.
Semaglutide, also known as Ozempic, is one of the hottest drugs in the country right now. It is a GLP-1 agonist used to treat type 2 diabetes.
However, one of its side effects is crushing your appetite. As you can imagine, people are taking it off-label for weight loss. For the most part, it appears safe. However, it can cause GI issues in some people.
Learn more about semaglutide in our article: How Much Weight Can You Lose On Semaglutide?
Like semaglutide, liraglutide is an injectable medication originally approved for treating type 2 diabetes but has also been found to have appetite-suppressing effects.
It helps regulate blood sugar and promotes weight loss by reducing appetite. Learn more about this medication and semaglutide by reading our article: Liraglutide vs Semaglutide: Uses, Differences, & Results.
Bupropion/naltrexone is a combination of two drugs that affect appetite by targeting different pathways in the brain. Bupropion is considered a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and naltrexone is an opioid antagonist.
How these two drugs operate together to help with weight loss needs to be clarified. But they are thought to act on sections of your brain responsible for appetite regulation and the reward system.
Different from prescription medications, natural appetite suppressants are available over-the-counter. These natural OTC appetite suppressants are typically less potent than drugs but are still effective with fewer side effects.
5-HTP is commonly used to treat depression and sleep disorders since it is a precursor to serotonin. Its principal effect as a fat-loss supplement is increased satiety. According to research, taking 5-HTP supplements with meals boosts the feeling of fullness after eating2.
Nutricost 5-HTP 200mg is a great option for those interested in trying this appetite suppressant. Not only can it support your weight loss goals, but it will also boost your mood!
Slimaluma, also known as Caralluma Fimbriata, is another natural appetite suppressant. Caralluma Fimbriata is a type of cactus with a history of being used as a meal during a famine. According to research, Caralluma Fimbriata supplementation reliably lowers hunger3.
Nature's Nutrition Pure Caralluma Fimbriata is a highly-rated product that can improve your energy while helping you shed pounds.
We all know that fiber is essential for a healthy diet. However, select fibers, such as glucomannan, absorb water in the stomach and intestines, taking up space and generating a sense of fullness.
Glucomannan is not like other soluble fibers. It absorbs so much liquid that even a trace amount in water causes it to gel. It's also not all theory. In a study of 176 men and women, glucomannan was found to reduce body weight in overweight people4.
For those interested in learning more, we've got a great article that examines taking glucomannan for weight loss. One of the best products is NOW Glucomannan, which is packed with reviews praising the supplement for its weight loss results.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can assist fat loss by increasing energy expenditure and enhancing fat oxidation, which is why it's in many diet pills.
Caffeine can also stimulate the release of neurotransmitters, which can help suppress appetite and promote feelings of satiety. A 2017 review found that consuming caffeine before meals caused people to eat fewer calories5.
Check out our article on the 7 Best Caffeine Pills for our favorite products!
Garcinia Cambogia is believed to suppress appetite through its active ingredient called hydroxy citric acid (HCA). HCA has been suggested to inhibit an enzyme involved in fat production and may increase serotonin levels in the brain, potentially reducing appetite and cravings.
For those interested in trying it, NOW Supplements Garcinia Cambogia is a great metabolism-boosting product that contains tons of positive reviews from real users.
Interested in more great product recommendations that will curb your cravings? Check out our article on the 7 Best Appetite Suppressants!
I'm a big fan of products that combine multiple appetite-suppressant ingredients into one effective supplement. Fat burners are a type of dietary supplement that harnesses the power of vitamins, minerals, and herbs to enhance fat loss. These supplements typically work by promoting lipolysis and thermogenesis, or stimulating the nervous system, resulting in increased fat-burning potential.
Check out our article on the 8 Best Supplements For Fat Loss for more great product recommendations!
If you're looking for an appetite suppressant, we have you covered. Check out our article on the 7 Best Appetite Suppressants on the market for a whole list of options.
If you don't feel like reading that, here's the list of our top choices:
My personal favorite? PhenQ.
In addition to being an appetite suppressant, its ingredients promote weight loss in four other ways. It's also a fat burner, a thermogenic booster, an energy enhancer, and a mood elevator, which means it packs a powerful punch as your all-in-one weight loss supplement.
When used responsibly and with proper guidance, appetite suppressants can be a safe option for people looking to manage their appetite and weight.
Prescription appetite suppressants are carefully regulated and monitored. They go through thorough testing before being prescribed by healthcare professionals who consider your medical history and overall health. Prescription appetite suppressants can be effective and safe in a comprehensive weight management plan when taken as directed.
Supplement appetite suppressants can also be safe when used as directed. Many of these supplements contain safe and natural ingredients. However, choosing reputable brands and reading product labels is crucial to know what you are taking.
Appetite suppressants, both prescription and over-the-counter, can have potential side effects. These vary depending on the specific medication or supplement used. Here are some common side effects associated with appetite suppressants:
Here are some common questions about appetite suppressant supplements.
There are a few ways to curb your appetite. You can eat more high-fiber foods, drink plenty of water, practice mindful eating, and aim for around 1g of protein per pound of body weight daily.
The two neurotransmitters that have roles in suppressing appetite are serotonin and catecholamine.
Appetite suppressants can aid in weight loss by reducing hunger, but their effectiveness may vary among individuals. The key to losing excess weight is maintaining a calorie deficit.
The time it takes for an appetite suppressant to work can vary depending on the supplement used. However, most appetite suppressants work shortly after taking them.
Overall, appetite suppressants are effective dietary supplements. However, the results depend on the product, lifestyle habits, and adherence to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise routine.
Appetite suppressants can be useful for anyone looking to manage their appetite and support losing weight.
Whether through prescription medications or over-the-counter supplements, these options can help reduce cravings and promote feelings of fullness. However, they work best with a healthy lifestyle that includes quality nutrition, regular exercise, and consistency.
For most people, the supplementation route will be the best option. Over-the-counter appetite suppressants are a safe and effective way to curb cravings and reach your goals.
Need help picking out the best product for you? Check out our article on the 7 Best Appetite Suppressants to reduce your cravings and keep your diet on track!
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