2021's 10 Best
Weight loss is one of the most frequently searched topics on the internet. It seems as if everyone is looking for a new, effective way to help them with their goals. Consequently, supplements continue to grow in popularity, and they have become available for a wide range of purposes. Appetite suppressants are one of the categories of supplements that are aimed specifically at helping with weight loss.
Let’s face it—giving in to our appetite is the biggest cause of our weight gain. In addition to that, the tastiest foods always seem to be the unhealthiest and the most irresistible. Inevitably, this combination of conditions results in people losing their will to fight and putting on those pounds.
To date, there isn’t a supplement that will make all those unhealthy yet tasty foods good actually good for you to eat. Bummer, I know. But appetite suppressants can help to reduce the feelings of needing to eat more food and help stimulate the processes in the body responsible for weight loss.
Interested in learning a little more?
How Appetite Suppressants Work
Appetite suppressants work to suppress cravings and/or increase feelings of fullness (what some call satiety). The body’s appetite is controlled by three hormones: insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. These hormones interact with each other in the brain and make us “want” to do certain things.
Leptin and ghrelin are known as the “hunger hormones”. Leptin is produced by fat cells in the body. Individuals with more fat cells produce more leptin, and skinny individuals produce less of this hormone. Leptin serves as a signal molecule that tells the brain that the body has enough energy stores. In simple terms, leptin is an appetite suppressor. However, many individuals can develop a resistance to this hormone, making it less effective and reducing feelings of hunger suppression.
On the other hand, ghrelin is known as an appetite increaser. It is found mainly in the stomach, and it signals to the brain that the body is hungry. The amount of this hormone that is released depends on the physical health of a person. Those who are heavier generally have lower ghrelin levels, and those with anorexia tend to have higher levels. These levels are also controlled by food intake. Before a meal, ghrelin levels usually go up substantially, which causes feelings of hunger. Then, after a meal, ghrelin production decreases for a few hours.
Insulin is responsible for helping the body absorb glucose from the blood after a meal. It prevents your blood glucose from being too high or too low, both of which can cause severe health issues, like diabetes. Many people are resistant to insulin, at least to a certain degree. When the body consumes carbohydrates, it produces lots of insulin. But with insulin resistance, the body can’t use insulin and glucose properly. This then causes your body to have cravings to eat more food and results in weight gain.
Because of the large effects that these three hormones have on appetite and feelings of hunger, one way that appetite suppressants can help is by affecting their levels in the body. Jump to Our 10 Best Appetite Suppressant List
The Health Benefits of Appetite Suppressants
Of course, the biggest benefit of appetite suppressants is just that: a suppressed appetite. However, these products also come with many other benefits. Many of them are associated with weight loss and the ways it occurs, but others relate to general health as well.
INCREASED METABOLISM & FAT BURNING
Many appetite suppressants contain ingredients that are known as fat burners. These can include things such as caffeine, green tea extract, and conjugated linoleic acid. These ingredients cause a thermogenic effect. When the body burns calories, it produces heat. This thermogenic effect results from extra calorie burning and therefore extra heat production. This extra fat burning is mostly caused by an increased metabolism.
As we mentioned above, leptin and ghrelin play major roles as hunger hormones. The ingredients in appetite suppressants work to regulate levels of these hormones. If these hormones are abnormally high or low due to stress, genetics, sleep patterns, or other issues, these supplements can help reduce those effects. This regulation can directly affect your hunger levels by bringing them down. By decreasing your food and total caloric intake, you can increase your weight loss.
REDUCED NUTRIENT ABSORPTION
Appetite suppressants can not only help limit how much food you eat but how much of it is stored in your body as well. While controlling the amount of carbohydrates and fats you take in is important, it is also important to manage what your body does with these nutrients. By preventing the uptake of excess fats and carbohydrates, you can reduce weight gain and only take in the nutrients your body needs to work properly.
While you may think that reducing your food intake would cause lower energy levels, these supplements produce the opposite effect. Appetite suppressants often contain stimulants that boost your energy levels. This can help improve your mood throughout the day and increase motivation for other activities, such as exercise, which can further stimulate fat loss.
IMPROVED OVERALL HEALTH
While losing weight can improve your personal appearance and confidence, it can also have many positive effects on your general health. Weight loss is associated with a wide range of health benefits. The largest of these is improved heart health. Weight loss can significantly reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. It can also reduce the chance of diabetes and improve immune system function.
What to Look for When Buying Appetite Suppressants
Appetite suppressants vary widely in their composition. Products can contain a large number of different ingredients, each of which elicits a specific effect. Here are a few of the most commonly-used ingredients and their role in suppressing appetite and increasing weight loss.
Fenugreek is an herb that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber plays a huge role in weight loss and appetite. This herb works by slowing down digestion in the stomach, which can reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fats that are absorbed and stored in the body. By keeping the stomach fuller, fenugreek can also decrease appetite. These effects can also cause lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
One study looked at 18 obese individuals who consumed fenugreek supplements. One group consumed four grams per day, and the other group consumed eight grams. The group that had the larger dose had a reduced appetite and consumed less food the following meal when compared to the other group.
Glucomannan is another soluble fiber. Similar to fenugreek, this product also helps to reduce appetite and food intake. Glucomannan can absorb water and turn into a gel-like substance. This substance can pass through the stomach and digestive tract relatively untouched. Because it is not digested, glucomannan can increase feelings of fullness and slow down digestion to decrease the absorption of fats and carbohydrates.
Multiple studies have observed overweight individuals that took either glucomannan supplements or a placebo. These studies have found that taking the supplement significantly increased weight loss and decreased total fat. Glucomannan can also help to control blood sugar levels, regulate healthy gut bacteria, and lower levels of bad cholesterol.
Garcinia cambogia is a fruit shaped like a small, green pumpkin. The skin of this fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which can inhibit an enzyme in the body that works to produce new fat cells. By slowing down or stopping this enzyme, you can reduce fat storage and stop additional weight gain.
HCA can also play a role in serotonin levels. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your sleep, mood, and memory, but it also affects your body’s digestion. HCA can increase serotonin levels and cause a reduced appetite and more effective digestive tract.
GRIFFONIA SIMPLICIFOLIA (5-HTP)
5-HTP is generated from the plant Griffonia simplicifolia. This compound is taken to the brain where it can be converted to serotonin. Like we just mentioned, serotonin can help to suppress appetite, and it can also decrease the amount of carbohydrates that are absorbed by the body after a meal.
One study examined 20 women who were healthy but overweight. These women received a daily dose of either 5-HTP or a placebo. After four weeks, the women taking the 5-HTP supplement saw decreased lower waist and arm circumference size and increased feelings of fullness throughout the day. Another study saw similar results, including overall weight loss, after a testing time of eight weeks.
Caffeine is found in many common foods and beverages, including coffee, green tea, and chocolate. This stimulant helps to increase metabolism, especially when it comes to burning fat. One study showed that taking caffeine supplements can boost fat metabolism by up to 29 percent in lean individuals and 10 percent in obese individuals.
In addition to fat and weight loss, caffeine also helps to boost energy levels. Having extra energy throughout the day can help improve mood and motivation, which can be especially helpful when dieting and exercising regularly.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea extract contains a high amount of caffeine, and it acts as a stimulant as well. In addition to caffeine, green tea also contains catechins. Catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallate, further help to reduce fat and boost metabolism. Jump to Our 10 Best Appetite Suppressant List
Yerba mate is a plant that originated in South America. This plant contains energy- and metabolism-boosting properties, which can aid in weight loss. One of the biggest ways it does this is by increasing leptin levels and decreasing the body’s production of glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1. This peptide helps regulate appetite. One study of 12 female bicyclists showed that yerba mate supplementation helped to increase metabolism, focus, and energy levels while decreasing appetite.
CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is another common ingredient found in supplements designed for weight loss. While CLA is a fatty acid, it is known as a healthy fat because it can increase the speed that your body can break down fats. It can also stop the production of new fats and increase feelings of fullness while decreasing appetite.
A review looked at 18 separate studies and analyzed their findings about CLA and its effectiveness in stimulating fat and weight loss. It found that taking around 3.2 grams of CLA each day was a good way to reduce body fat levels.
The Proper Dosage for Appetite Suppressants
There is no magic number when it comes to the proper dosage of appetite suppressants. This is because the ingredients in each product vary significantly. Often, it is best to follow the instructions on the product label to determine the proper amount to take. Also, if a range is provided, it is usually beneficial to start out at the lower end. This will allow you to notice how your body responds to the supplement.
One thing that is especially important when it comes to appetite suppressants is the timing of your doses. The majority of these products suggest taking two doses each day: one prior to breakfast and another before lunch. Because of the effects these suppressants cause, taking them before a meal will help you get the most out of them. They will help to increase feelings of fullness to prevent overeating, and they can also help maintain feelings of fullness after each meal. It is generally not recommended to take these supplements with dinner or later in the evenings. This is because the stimulants that some of them include can cause restlessness and trouble falling and/or staying asleep.
Possible Side Effects of Appetite Suppressants
Just like most supplements and medications, there are some potential side effects that may come with appetite suppressants. Some of the minor side effects can include dizziness, nervousness, or insomnia. Others may affect your digestion. These may include nausea or stomach pain. Diarrhea or constipation may also occur.
It is good practice to start off with a low dose of appetite suppressing supplements to ensure that your body does not have any adverse reactions. If you do experience negative side effects, you should either try to adjust the dosage or stop taking the supplement.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid taking appetite suppressants. These supplements have not been well tested with those that are pregnant or breastfeeding, so the potential effects that they could cause for these individuals are not well known. Children should also not take appetite suppressants, as the effects of these pills have not been well tested on them either.
- Arlene Semeco, MS, RD 10 Natural Appetite Suppressants That Help You Lose Weight HealthLine.com
- Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Your ‘Hunger Hormones’ WebMD.com
- WebMD Appetite Suppressants: What You Should Know WebMD.com
- Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT Can Thermogenic Supplements Help You Burn Fat? HealthLine.com
- Mathern, J.R., Raatz, S.K., Thomas, W., Slavin, J.L. Effect of Fenugreek Fiber on Satiety, Blood Glucose and Insulin Response and Energy Intake in Obese Subjects PubMed.gov
- Alkhatib, A., Atcheson, R. Yerba Maté Metabolic, Satiety, and Mood State Effects at Rest and during Prolonged Exercise PubMed.gov
- Andrea Cespedes Does Drinking Coffee Help Speed Metabolism? Healthfully.com
- Atli Arnarson, PhD Glucomannan — Is It an Effective Weight Loss Supplement? HealthLine.com
- Cathy Wong Does CLA Work for Weight Loss? VeryWellFit.com
Phytodren has an excellent formula which is why it's placed on our list this year.
- Irvingia Gabonensis
- Caffeine Anhydrous
- DiCaffeine Malate
- Green Coffee Bean
- Cinnulin PF
- Panax Ginseng
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