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Natural Appetite Suppressants that Work Without the Risks of Weight Loss Pills

By Jillian Levy, CHHC

June 20, 2022

Updated: September 26, 2017

Original article and page source found here.

No doubt about it, overeating (high calorie intake) and its connection to obesity is one of the most complex and challenging issues in health care today. That’s where a natural appetite suppressant can help.

There are many reasons why you might feel like you’re always hungry, including nutrient deficiencies, a lack of fiber or healthy fats in your diet, fatigue, or high amounts of emotional stress. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

In addition to improving your diet and exercise habits, certain natural appetite suppressants can help you achieve satiety, avoid overeating and lose weight, all without the dangers of most diet pills.

What is the best thing to suppress your appetite? First and foremost, it’s essential to eat a healthy diet consistently, which makes you feel full.

Supplements, certain nutrients, teas and spices may also be able to help with weight management. In fact, throughout history people around the world have used these same natural appetite suppressant ingredients for their positive metabolic effects.

What Is an Appetite Suppressant?

Appetite suppressants are either pills, drinks, supplements or whole foods that help keep you from overeating. Some types are “natural,” meaning they’re derived from foods and plants, while some are synthetically made in a lab.

How does an appetite suppressant work?

There’s a lot at play when it comes to suppressing or stimulating your daily appetite.

Natural appetite suppressants can help tackle issues related to obesity or emotional eating in part by balancing levels of “hunger hormones,” such as ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin and leptin rise and fall throughout the day depending on things like how much you’ve recently eaten, your mood, stress level, sleep, genetics, current weight and level of inflammation.

In addition to decreasing your appetite through hormone regulation, nutrients or essential oils used for safely promoting weight loss can help tip the scale in your favor in several other ways, such as:

  • Burning more stored body fat for energy (these are known as thermogenics)

  • Improving balance of blood sugar levels

  • Curbing cravings for junk foods or sweets

  • Supporting thyroid health

  • Increasing release of “happy hormones” or endorphins like serotonin

  • Possibly giving you a bit more energy throughout the day to be used for physical activity

Top 8 Natural Appetite Suppressants

1. Green Tea Extract

Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years and is still one of the healthiest beverages available to us today. It’s been the focus of hundreds of studies related to everything from preventing cognitive disorders like dementia to managing metabolic dysfunction.

Recently, certain antioxidants and substances in green tea extract have been tied to beneficial effects on metabolic diseases and improvements in weight management.

A Cochrane meta-anylsis including 14 studies involving use of green tea found that its consumption was associated with mild but significant benefits related to weight control compared to controls or placebos. One study that tested the effects of green tea extract on a group of adults compared to a control group not taking green tea found that after 12 weeks, those taking 857 milligrams of green tea had significantly lower levels of ghrelin (known as the hunger hormone).

People in the green tea extract group also experienced improvements in cholesterol levels and elevated levels of adiponectin compared to the placebo group. Low levels of adiponectin have been tied to problems like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and increased inflammation.

EGCG, the most abundant green tea catechin and a powerful bioactive constituent, has also been shown to act like a cancer-fighting compound and promote thermogenic activities in studies. Therefore, it may help decrease fat cell proliferation and help burn body fat for energy.

How to take it:

Although not every study has shown it can promote weight loss, green tea seems safe for most adults to take up to 800–900 milligrams daily. It’s typically by mouth in one to two capsules per day.

If you do take it, be on the lookout for side effects such as headaches, signs of hypertension, constipation or possibly increased symptoms of urinary tract infection.

2. Saffron Extract

Some research suggests that taking certain saffron extracts can have positive effects on mood regulation by increasing endorphin and serotonin levels.

Saffron seems to help reduce snacking and can cause an elevated mood, which has been shown to help improve symptoms of depression, emotional eating and PMS after about six to eight weeks of treatment. In fact, certain studies have found that saffron extract can work almost as well as taking a low-dose prescription antidepressant drug (such as fluoxetine or imipramine).

Additionally, while research shows mixed results, there’s some evidence that taking a chemical from saffron called crocetin might boost the health perks of healthy diet and exercise. It can possibly decrease fatigue during exercise and help with increasing energy expenditure.

How to take it:

To get the antidepressant benefits of saffron, start with the the standard daily dose of 30 milligrams, used for up to eight weeks.

If you have any existing condition that might interfere with saffron’s influence on serotonin metabolism (like depression, for example), it’s a good idea to get your doctor’s opinion first.

3. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit’s benefits for weight loss seem to be due to beneficial acids, antioxidants, volatile oils and enzymes that help control calorie intake. Grapefruit may help lower cravings, stimulate the lymphatic system and give you a mild dose of uplifting energy.

Research regarding grapefruit’s effects on olfactory stimulation (how smelling the aroma affects the central nervous system) shows that inhaling the fruit’s smell can positively alter autonomic nerve signaling, lipolysis (fat metabolism) and appetite regulation.

Here are several findings from a number of studies about how grapefruit essential oil might promote weight loss:

  • The scent of grapefruit oil excites sympathetic nerves that supply the brown fat and adrenal glands, which may help people lose weight.

  • Smelling grapefruit also helps stimulate ghrelin-induced feeding, making you feel full and less likely to give in to cravings.

  • Enzymes found in the rind (skin) of the grapefruit have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They can help with the digestion of fats or sugar and the maintenance of balanced blood glucose levels.

  • Grapefruit oil and extract have been shown to be beneficial for people with insulin resistance or diabetes, causing a significant reduction in two-hour post-glucose insulin levels compared with placebo.

  • Some also find that the clean scent of citrus fruits helps reduce cravings for sweets and improves mood enough to reduce emotional eating.

How to use it:

Certain studies have shown that just three 15-minute exposures to grapefruit essential oil each week helped participants suppress their appetites and practice healthy diet habits (like slow, mindful eating).

Trying adding several drops of pure grapefruit essential oil (citrus paradise) to a diffuser in your office/home, your shower or bath soap, or with a carrier oil to be massaged right onto your skin. (Just do a skin patch test to be sure you don’t have an allergic reaction first.)

4. Foods and Supplements High in Fiber

What is the strongest natural appetite suppressant? A healthy diet!

Dietary fibers, whether from food sources or in concentrated supplement form, have been used for hundreds of years to promote fullness, improve gut health and digestive functions, and help maintain strong immunity and heart health.

Despite the fact that fiber intake is inversely associated with hunger, body weight and body fat, studies show that the average fiber intake of adults in the United States is still less than half of recommended levels.

What is it about fiber that dulls your appetite? Because fiber is not able to be digested once consumed, plus it absorbs so much of its own weight in water, high-fiber foods help slow your body’s digestion of glucose (sugar). This makes you feel full for longer so you can manage your calorie intake.

Many foods high in fiber are also very nutritionally dense, meaning you “get more bang” for your nutritional buck.

Eating a high-fiber diet has even been linked to a longer life span. According to research in the Obesity Reports, “Evidence points to a significant association between a lack of fiber intake and: ischemic heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, as well as gastrointestinal disorders.”

How to do it:

Aim for at least 30 grams of fiber per day. Consume more high-fiber foods, including:

  • chia seeds

  • flaxseeds

  • all types of fresh veggies, like artichokes and leafy greens

  • beans

  • legumes

  • all types of fresh fruit (especially berries).

Supplements within fiber, such as psyllium husk, can help you meet your needs. Glucomannan is another type of water-soluble dietary fiber found in konjac root that can potentially curb your appetite by filling up your stomach.

Finally, fenugreek seeds, which are rich in fiber and other compounds, have been shown to possibly help with weight management by contributing to fullness.

5. Spicy Foods

Naturally spicy (plus anti-inflammatory) ingredients like cayenne, black pepper, curry, turmeric, ginger, dandelion and cinnamon might help increase your body’s ability to burn fat