This article brings you the natural appetite suppressants that you may not know exist. There is no doubt that overeating and unhealthy foods are the main causes of obesity or overweight in our societies.
However, there are many reasons why people may feel hungry all the time. These include fatigue, emotional stress, nutrient deficiencies, lack of fiber foods, lack of protein, inadequate sleep, and more.
Putting a stop to hunger using natural appetite suppressants can help to reduce overeating and consequently weight gain which is its associate.
Natural appetite suppressants include; drinking water before a meal, exercise before a meal, high fiber foods, high protein foods, using herbs, some spices, green tea extract, plenty of sleep, mindful eating, coffee, using hunger scales, balanced diet and over the counter supplements.
Before going into the details of natural appetite suppressants, it’s important to define what they are.
What are appetite suppressants?
While appetite is a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need for food, appetite suppressants may be whole foods, drinks, supplements, herbs or pills that give you satiety, put a stop to hunger and prevent overeating.
Appetite suppressants control your hunger by balancing the levels of hunger hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. These hormones vary depending on your stress, genetics, level of inflammation, your mood, how much you ate recently, and sometimes how much you sleep.
Natural appetite suppressants
1. Keep Chewing
Chewing, for example, sugarless gum can help to reduce appetite. People who chew gum feel fuller, have fewer hunger pangs and have fewer craving compared to those that don’t chew gum.
2. Preload With Water
Drinking water before a meal makes you feel fuller, reduces appetite, and consequently reduce your calorie intake. Apart from reducing appetite, drinking water brings about thermogenesis (the process of heat production in organisms). This helps the body to burn fat.
We carried out a detailed survey to find out the facts about drinking water for weight loss. Visit this resourceful article for interesting facts such as cold water vs warm water, how you can optimize weight loss by drinking water, and more.
3. Mindful eating
When it comes to what and when to eat, the brain plays an important role. When you avoid distractions during meal times and avoid things like watching TV while eating, you may consume less. This is because the brain can easily tell when you are satisfied minus distraction
One study showed that mindfulness can reduce binge eating and comfort eating, which are the major causes of obesity.
4. Portion your food
Choosing a smaller plate or cup helps to reduce the amount of food that one would have eaten when they are having a bigger plate. By the time you complete the food on the plate, the appetite is suppressed and you won’t return on the main table for more food
This strategy may however no be effective to some individuals.
5. Exercise before a meal
This is yet another natural appetite suppressant. High intensive exercises before a meal do not cause hunger but instead lowers ghrelin levels, a hunger causing hormone.
A review basing on 20 unique studies found that exercises especially high intensive exercises suppressed appetite hormones immediately after exercise.
6. Get more sleep
Most of you must have realized that you don’t feel the hunger when you are sleeping. Plenty of sleep helps to manage appetite levels. Sleeping reduces hunger and signals fullness to the brain. With sleep deprivation, the body produces more ghrelin hormones that spike hunger and eating.
There is no doubt that coffee is the most widely used beverage in the world. The high concentration of caffeine in the coffee is responsible for several health benefits including the suppression of appetite and weight loss.
People who drink coffee are less likely to eat more throughout the day compared to those that don’t take coffee at all.
Caffeine also brings bout thermogenesis, where the body generates heat and energy to burn those body fats hence aiding weight loss even when you’re at rest.
8. Make use of hunger scales
Some people use hunger scales as a tool to control their appetite. The hunger scale or fullness scale features varying levels or degrees of hunger and fullness. This can be used to identify how hungry or full one maybe to help you know when to start or stop eating.
Take a look at hunger scales and learn more from the NHS website. Click here to access the article.
9. High fiber foods
Fiber foods are low in calories but add bulk to our meals. Having a meal rich in fiber has a variety of health benefits, and also makes you full longer which increases your satiety. This reduces hunger and unnecessary craving for food
Foods rich in fiber include;
- Whole grains like rye, barley, the fiber in oats
- Resistant Starchy foods such as green bananas, white beans, rice and lentils
10. Balance up your diet
Curbing appetite and maintaining health is all about eating better. With the right portions of macronutrients such as protein, fats, and carbs, craving for these nutrients is reduced and this reduces hunger. Therefore the most effective appetite suppressant is a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
11. Switch to dark chocolate
Several studies have linked dark chocolate to improved health, low risks of heart attacks, controlled blood sugar, reduced appetite, and weight loss. One study revealed that people who snack on dark chocolate ate less during their next meal.
12. High protein and fat foods
Protein decreases hunger and appetite first by increasing levels of appetite-reducing hormones like GLP-1, PYY, and CCK and at the same time reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Proteins also keep you fuller longer hence reducing your calorie intake.
Some of the foods high in protein include; meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu.
Legumes, milk, nuts, nut butter,
13. Green tea extract
The ingredients in green tea such as catechins and caffeine decrease the appetite levels and consequently reduce the amount of food you take in. This is because the above ingredients regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin. Catechins and caffeine may boost your metabolism, break down fat stores, and help weight loss.
14. Spices like cinnamon, cayenne pepper,
Some spices like cayenne peppers contain capsaicin which is a natural appetite suppressant. Generally, making food spicier may decrease appetite and consequently decrease food craving. However, spices should be used in moderation when adding them to meals.
Other spices that suppress appetite include;
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
15. Over the counter supplements
While some appetite suppressants can only be prescribed by a doctor, many can be got over the counter. Many have been proved to suppress appetite as well as offering quick ways to weight loss.
Some examples include;
Conjugated linoleic Acid
This type of polyunsaturated fatty acid naturally found in foods like dairy and beef. It’s also sold in concentrated form as a weight loss supplement.
CLA controls appetite-regulating genes and hormones. It may also boost calorie burning at rest, increase lean body mass and stimulate fat loss
This is an extract from the peel of the Garcinia gummi-gutta fruit. Garcinia Cambogia pills are used to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. Garcinia cambogia extract contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which suppresses appetite by increasing serotonin levels in your brain and reducing the metabolism of carbohydrates
This soluble fiber is got from the edible roots of the konjac plant. It encourages weight loss through reducing appetite, increasing the feeling of fullness, slowing the digestive system, and slowing the absorption of fats and proteins.
Do appetite suppressants work?
Yes, appetite suppressants may help to suppress hunger and cause you to feel full sooner, so they might help you lose weight in the short term.
However, natural appetite suppressants like exercising before meal and drinking water before a meal are safer compared to herbs and over-the-counter pills. The pills come with serious side effects which have led to a ban on some of the brands in both the UK and the US.
How do appetite suppressants work?
Appetite suppressants work in a very interesting way. These act on the nervous system, tricking your brain to believe that you are not hungry and that your stomach is full. All this is done by increasing the levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone which called serotonin.
Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood, appetite, and sleep patterns. If your brain thinks you are full, you won’t feel hungry, and therefore you are likely to eat less
Downsides of natural appetite suppressants/ are appetite suppressants safe?
Most of the Natural appetite suppressants we have mentioned above are safe. However, most of the over-the-counter pills are not safe.
This is because attempts by the pharmaceutical industry to create better and safe appetite suppressants have been futile and therefore no evidence to rely on to draw a safety conclusion.
For example, there are two appetite suppressants (sibutramine & rimonabant) that were taken out of the UK market recently after the consumers of these suppressants experienced serious side effects like; non-fatal heart attacks or stroke, and others feeling suicidal.
Some natural appetite suppressants are safe to use. However, just like any medication, appetite suppressants like herbs and over -the- counter medicines may cause serious side effects which may include;
- Stomach pain
Therefore always talk to a doctor before using appetite suppressants since many come with side effects.
How can I lose weight without suppressing appetite?
Most times, sticking to a balanced diet or exercise regimen may be difficult. However, other tips can be employed to help you eat fewer calories with ease and lose weight without necessarily suppressing your appetite. These may include;
- Storing unhealthy foods out of sight
- Eating without electronic distractions
- Eliminating sugary drinks
- Taking control of your cooking
- Eating slowly and carefully
Even though natural appetite suppressants reduce appetite, the best-recommended way to weight loss is body activity and healthy eating. Weight loss medication, including appetite suppressants, works best when you’re also making healthy changes to your eating and exercise habits at the same time.
Some herbs and over the counter medicine come with side effects, they should be taken under the doctors watch.
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