What are Appetite Suppressants and how do they work?
Appetite suppressants are any type of food, supplement, drink or pill that’s designed to curb hunger and leave you feeling satiated. This helps prevent overeating, which in turn reduces unwanted fat gain (weight loss).
A quality natural appetite suppressant should help balance the “hunger” hormones Ghrelin and Leptin, which stimulate and suppress appetite, respectively . Their levels are affected by factors like your mood, genetics, stress, weight, rest, diet and more.
Many appetite suppressing ingredients are inherently thermogenic. Coffee, which has caffeine, is naturally thermogenic .
This is because ingesting caffeine will raise bodily metabolism, thus causing your body to metabolize more calories in the form of stored fat.
This is why most weight loss supplements contain both an appetite suppressant and a thermogenic – to decrease your hunger for calories in, while increasing the thermogenic burning of calories out.
Are natural appetite suppressants safe to use?
For most people, absolutely. Natural appetite suppressants like the ones listed below have been safely used by humans to effectively reduce hunger for thousands of years.
Many of these methods to control hunger simply work to reduce caloric intake (limit weight gain) and to help promote the function of ongoing bodily processes known to regulate hunger, like hormones. Unlike the proverbial diet pill, most people don’t notice adverse effects using a natural approach.
Here are the five best ways to naturally reduce your appetite and lose weight without negative side-effects.
8 Best Natural Ways to Suppress Appetite
Spicy Ingredients (Seasoning)
Diets traditionally rich in spicy ingredients are becoming increasingly popular for their many health benefits. Spicy seasonings like cayenne pepper may help induce thermogenesis, raise metabolism, lower appetite and supply important antioxidants to help maintain proper health . This is largely a result of capsaicin, the most bioactive compound found in cayenne pepper. Other household spices that give the same benefits are black pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon.
These thermogenic spices are also rich in anti-oxidants
Antioxidants work by scavenging rampaging molecules called ‘free-radicals’. Free radicals damage healthy cells over time and are often seen as the cause of human aging . Moreover, spicy ingredients help induce thermogenesis.
Spicy Herbs also increase thermogenesis naturally
Diet-induced thermogenesis is a natural process that reduces your perceived appetite and raises your metabolism. This helps your body target and burn fat for fuel and encourages you to eat more slowly, which reduces overeating.
So, next time you’re cooking, try adding a little cayenne and black pepper to your meal. It’ll help increase energy expenditure, diminish appetite and enhance fat oxidation.
Our Favorite Spice for Thermogenesis is: Cayenne Pepper
It’s good on: Burgers, Chicken, Rice, Fish Tacos, Fettuccini Pasta, and Stuffed Peppers
Our Favorite Spice for Appetite Suppression is: Cinnamon
It’s good on: Smoothies, Oatmeal, Coffee, Bagels, Pancakes, and Baked Porkchops
Manage Your Stress
Stress is often an overlooked culprit behind excessive appetite and overeating. During times of distress, your body tends to produce more cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps oversee fat storage and distribution in the body . People with excess levels of cortisol typically crave large amounts of comfort food that are high in fats and sugars, like pastries, ice-cream, and candy.
Comfort Foods Explained:
These craved foods are often high in carbohydrates and fat, albeit low-quality. Consuming large amounts of carbs spikes blood glucose and increases production of the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin . Unfortunately, consuming high amounts of carbs can increase bodily fat-gain. This leads to an unhealthy cycle of ‘stress eating’ in an attempt to lower stress but only seems to add more.
In order to reduce stress, it’s important to eliminate stress-causing factors in your life. Improving things like the amount of sleep you get, diet, fitness and mental attitude are great places to start.
Coffee and Caffeine
Likely originating from Northeast-Africa to the Middle East, coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world after oil . Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee and is one of the world’s most consumed energy substance. It’s also one of the most researched and clinically tested ingredients to ever exist.
For suppressing hunger in order to stimulate weight loss, the best time to consume coffee is:
- In the morning before a meal, to extend your morning fast.
- After lunch to prevent snacking between meals.
Just don’t drink coffee too late at night, or it will keep you from falling asleep (duh)!
In addition to burning fat and curbing appetite, caffeine is also an effective mood enhancer. Having a good mood results in lower stress, thus reducing overall levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As mentioned earlier, cortisol can indirectly encourage a multitude of bad habits. In short, consuming a little bit more caffeine can probably help big time.
Essential Oils: Cinnamon and Grapefruit
One of the best essential oils to help support gradual weight loss is cinnamon. Cinnamon oil helps the body maintain balanced blood sugar (glucose) levels, which in turn helps reduce sugar cravings . This is important for weight management. Because of this, people with blood glucose conditions like diabetes usually respond well to using cinnamon oil.
In addition, grapefruit oil is well-known for balancing insulin resistance .
Grapefruit oil is an extract derived from the peel and is naturally high in D-limonene. This compound is popular for topical applications due to its excellent diuretic and lymphatic cleansing properties . Most people experience less hunger, more energy, and a faster metabolism when breathing it in via a diffuser.
How to use:
- Receiving the many healthy and stimulative benefits of essential oils is easy. The best ways are to either apply some to your skin with a dilutive carrier oil or to use it in aromatherapy.
- Likewise, cinnamon (the food form spice) can be effectively (and deliciously) used in an assortment of foods like: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and most ‘festive’ dishes.
Don’t be afraid to use a lot of cinnamon (food form spice), most studies use a surprisingly large amount! But, ensure that you are using true Ceylon cinnamon and not a substitute.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods (the most popular appetite suppressant)
Most people tend to overeat simply because their foods just don’t satisfy their hunger. While other factors might apply, this issue is largely attributed to dietary fiber intake- or rather a lack thereof. Your body can’t make its own fiber, so getting enough of it is vital for proper digestion and elimination. Fiber is also considered functional and has a wide range of uses in the body.
You’ll find there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble:
- Soluble fiber absorbs water and swells into a gel-like substance. This has many health benefits, like regulating blood sugar levels and also improves heart health by reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol.
- On the other hand, insoluble fiber does not absorb or swell up in water. Insoluble fiber helps enhance overall intestinal health and has been seen to reduce the possibility of hemorrhoids and constipation.
The best way to naturally add more fiber to your diet is to eat more plant-based products.
Healthy foods like seeds, legumes, nuts, and vegetables are all excellent sources. As a general rule of thumb, it’s suggested that adults consume anywhere between 20 – 35 grams per day.
Other methods of increasing your dietary fiber intake include replacing white rice with brown and opting to use whole grain-based products instead of overly processed & refined foodstuffs.
Our favorite fiber-rich foods are: Lentils, Pears, Almonds, Beans, and Quinoa.
A few more ways to help suppress appetite
In addition to the aforementioned appetite suppressants, we’ve compiled a few more tips to help you take back control of your diet and ultimately your health. These simple but easy to follow methods not only help regulate your appetite but also improve a host of other bodily functions.
Get plenty of rest
Providing your body with adequate amounts of rest is critical for healthy bodily function . While sleep requirements tend to vary, it’s usually good to aim for about 8 hours each night. Getting enough rest helps balance your metabolism, mood, energy, blood glucose (sugar) and appetite, to name a few. The benefits from receiving enough sleep each night are virtually endless [12. 13].
In short, getting proper amounts of sleep (about 8 hours) can help reduce fat gain as well as improve fat storage elimination.
Fill up on water
There isn’t a single digestive behavior or metabolic process that water isn’t involved in. If you’re not hydrating enough, your body simply won’t operate as efficiently as it can.
According to one scientific study, increasing your water intake is one likely mechanism for weight loss. This is because ingesting water starts metabolism, which can lead to enhanced mitochondrial function. Increasing mitochondrial activity (with metabolism) can enhance lipolysis (fat breakdown) in fat storage cells called adipocytes .
In terms of how much you should consume, a good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, try drinking 100 ounces of water each day and see how well you respond to it.
Eat More Micronutrient Dense Foods
You might be overeating to satisfy nutrient deficiencies.
Nowadays, it’s no secret farm soils across the world are being depleted of nutrients. As a result, the food they produce that you eat provide very little in the way of essential nutrients. So, in an attempt to get more of the nutrients it needs to function properly, your body may be compensating with an insatiable desire to eat. Also, people who diet appear to be more at risk for deficiencies when compared to non-dieters.
Receiving plenty of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals is critical for the development and maintenance of a healthy physique. You may find it very beneficial to try supplementing with a quality multi-vitamin and mineral blend. Many people often notice positive changes like an increase in energy and better overall performance across the board.
The Bottom Line on Appetite Suppressants
There are a number of natural methods you can use to help take control of your appetite. While short-term appetite suppressants might work for a little, your best bet for sustained weight loss is to ultimately make positive changes to your lifestyle.
A combined effort of getting enough rest, eating clean foods, preventing micro deficiencies and staying active will set you up for success. Good luck, and with these tips in mind, you shouldn’t need to reach for any OTC suppressant.