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Natural appetite suppressants are a safe and effective option to help you lose weight and shed those extra pounds around your mid-section.
Obesity is a modern epidemic that affects one in three Americans In the United States, making it one of the nation’s most common, unsolved health crises.
If you’re interested in losing weight safely, rest assured there are several natural, healthy ways to help make the process as easy as possible.
Options that don’t involve surgery, spooky diet pills, or fad diets…
In this article we go over 10 great natural appetite suppressants to keep you on a path of steady, sustainable weight loss. But first, here’s what you need to know about conventional diet pills.
The Problem With Prescription Diet Pills
Also called weight loss drugs, diet pills contain a mixture of various chemicals, as well as caffeine, herbs, and digestive enzymes. Most of these diet pills come with many side effects and major warning labels. For most people, this is not a safe way to lose weight.
The stimulant caffeine is one of the most common ingredients in diet pills. On top of all the caffeine that we humans consume daily — coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. — diet pills usually have a very high concentration of caffeine. For many, this teeters into caffeine overdose territory.
When you experience caffeine overdose, you can expect some undesired side effects:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Addiction (and withdrawal symptoms, when you quit)
- Adverse reactions with other medication
Sometimes, these diet pills target fat absorption. Side effects for this sort of drug can include oily spotting in your undergarments, excess gas, and abnormally soft stool.
Other diet pills target neurotransmitters in the brain that affect appetite. These types of diet pills can cause headaches, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, and dizziness.
It is important to note that these weight loss pills seldom result in long-term weight loss. Efforts must be made to maintain your weight through diet and exercise for a lifelong improvement to your body composition.
10 Best Natural Appetite Suppressants
Natural appetite suppressants are substances from nature that can help curb your appetite. These are not full of dangerous chemicals like many types of diet pills. Most of these have no side effects.
You’ll recognize some of the natural foods on the list, such as green tea. But some of these natural weight loss supplements may surprise you.
Get rid of those junk food cravings by trying some of the 10 best natural appetite suppressants until you find the one that’s right for you.
1. Green Tea Extract
Green tea’s health benefits have been touted for more than a thousand years. Science confirms it is among the safest and most effective natural appetite suppressants available.
Green tea contains some caffeine. Caffeine is known to be a form of appetite control, among other benefits, like improving mood and cognitive function.
But green tea has one added benefit — catechins.
Catechins are a type of polyphenol. Polyphenols are natural compounds found in plants. Polyphenols fight off ultraviolet radiation, as well as aggressive pathogens. There is evidence that a polyphenol-rich diet fights off heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Research shows green tea is also a potent antioxidant. This fights free radicals in your body and promotes a stronger immune system.
Green tea contains caffeine and catechins. Both have been independently shown to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. This makes green tea the best choice for appetite suppression. Plus, it contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, so it’s less likely to give you the jitters.
- 250 to 500 milligrams of green tea extract daily
- One to five cups of unsweetened green tea daily
- Because green tea contains caffeine, there are some mild side effects. Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, jitteriness, anxiety, or even irregular heartbeat. Be cautious about taking concentrated green tea supplements while eating or drinking anything else high in caffeine.
- Consume green tea early in the day.
2. Spicy Foods
Cayenne, black pepper, turmeric, and even cinnamon — all these spices help your body burn fatty acids to curb your cravings. They make food taste better, too!
Research suggests the cayenne pepper may be the strongest spicy food to suppress your appetite. Red peppers help burn fat, though this is most effective in those who have not built up a tolerance to spiciness.
Black pepper is a powerful antioxidant, on top of its appetite suppressing abilities.
A 2016 review shows spices like black pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon all have antioxidant properties. This means they fight free radicals that can mess with your immune system and limit your ability to lose fat mass.
Research suggests that cinnamon delays stomach emptying, thus prolonging a feeling of fullness and suppressing appetite.
Spicy foods are often fat burners. And many of them are antioxidants which help fight age-related diseases. So, spice up your meals and reap the rewards!
Grapefruit was named for how much it looks like clusters of large grapes when it grows on trees. Little did its discoverers know, grapefruit would soon be the center of dozens of scientific studies for its health benefits.
Eating half of a grapefruit before meals has been correlated with significant weight loss.
Grapefruit is an effective part of a weight reduction diet. Grapefruit has also been shown to function as an efficient part of a citrus mixture (with orange and blood orange) that may prevent obesity. Grapefruit might even work better than caffeine as a natural appetite suppressant.
Bad cholesterol may be lowered by grapefruit, one study says. This is significant, as high cholesterol is often associated with obesity.
Using grapefruit essential oil in recipes or diffused in your home is also a great alternative to eating grapefruit, as you’ll absorb some of the active compounds that make it so useful.
- One half of a grapefruit, one to three times a day
- One to two drops of grapefruit essential oil by mouth daily
- 400 to 500 milligrams of grapefruit peel extract daily
- Do not exceed an oral dosage of a few drops of grapefruit essential oil per week. Excessive amounts can be toxic to the body.
4. Gymnema Sylvestre
With a long history of usage in herbal medicine, gymnema sylvestre grows in tropical parts of Africa, Australia, and India. More recently, gymnema sylvestre has been shown to possess more appetite suppressing properties.
Research also indicates that gymnemic acid also reduces blood sugar levels by stopping the intestines from absorbing so much. A 2011 study shows gymnema sylvestre lowers blood sugar levels in those dealing with diabetes.
Gymnema sylvestre has been linked with weight loss, especially when part of a combination of potent natural chemicals. This same study shows gymnema sylvestre reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
Gymnema sylvestre may be an effective tool for weight management. Other research suggests gymnema sylvestre may possess antimicrobial properties. This means it can boost your immune system as well as your diet plan.
- One cup of gymnema sylvestre-steeped tea daily
- 200 to 400 milligrams by capsule, daily
- Two to four grams of powder daily
- You should not take gymnema sylvestre if you are taking a blood sugar-reducing medication.
- Not enough research has gone into the safety of gymnema sylvestre when it comes to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
Ginger is a cultigen. This means ginger is a man-made plant and does not exist in a wild state. But humans domesticated this natural appetite suppressant several thousand years ago.
Ginger possesses myriad health benefits for weight management:
- Reducing hunger (suppresses appetite)
- Lowering inflammation (good for your immune system)
- Stimulating cells (increases energy levels)
Ginger is a common spice, and easy to cook with. This makes ginger a simple, but effective natural appetite suppressant.
A 2017 review of multiple studies on ginger found that ginger has helped to alleviate oxidative stress. This means ginger has antioxidant properties and fights off free radicals.
Ginger also regulates stomach emptying. This is an important aspect of suppressing your appetite.
Preliminary research suggests that ginger may help ease nausea and even arthritis. More research is needed before making definitive conclusions about these benefits, though.
There is even a study out of Hong Kong which shows the scent of ginger can relieve discomfort, which means its essential oil might be beneficial for stomach discomfort.
- One gram of ginger or ginger extract daily
- In very rare cases, ginger may lead to some stomach discomfort or heartburn.
6. Yerba Mate
Indigenous to South America, yerba mate is often made into a beverage simply called mate.
It has been used over the centuries as an energy stimulant, but its role as a natural appetite suppressant is becoming clearer with each study.
In animal studies, yerba mate — or its mate tea form — helped to reduce food intake over a month-long observation. This was achieved through regulating the hunger hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1.
Yerba mate may be an effective ingredient in an herbal mixture that suppresses the appetite. This mixture has been linked to the regulation of stomach emptying and keeping the weight off in overweight patients.
Human research has shown two grams of yerba mate can both suppress your appetite and enhance your metabolism, focus, and energy.
Studies have found no side effects in correlation with yerba mate.
Yerba mate and its mate tea form have shown a lot of promise over the past two decades. Let us hope this natural appetite suppressant becomes as readily available in the United States as it is in South America.
- One to two grams of yerba mate daily
- This can be in powdered supplement form, or tea form
People have been drinking coffee for five hundred years. It is likely that coffee has persisted so long because it has some common, undeniable health benefits.
Of course, coffee contains caffeine, which is both a stimulant and a natural appetite suppressant. But a lot of research has been conducted around coffee’s myriad health benefits. s
One study shows two cups of coffee may reduce muscle pain after a workout. Another study links several daily cups of coffee to preventing type 2 diabetes. A 2015 trial even demonstrated coffee’s antioxidant properties.
But, most importantly, research has indicated that drinking coffee up to four hours before a meal can suppress appetite hormones and aid in stomach emptying.
Healthy adults experience the best results from coffee consumption. Some research shows that men gain the benefits of caffeine better than women.
- 200 milligrams of caffeine, or about two cups of regular coffee, daily
- Some research bore positive results with up to six cups of coffee a day
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers are discouraged from consuming any caffeine.
- Too much caffeine can result in insomnia, jitteriness, or a rise in blood pressure. Do not drink coffee within eight hours of going to bed to avoid disruption of deep sleep patterns.
8. Saffron Extract
Seen as a sign of affluence for thousands of years, saffron has also been recognized as having mystical properties. Now, we know its health benefits are backed by science.
Science shows that not only is saffron an effective curb to obesity, it is also an antioxidant that fights age-related free radicals.
Saffron extract contributes to bodyweight loss. This same research also supports the idea that it works as an effective appetite suppressant.
Saffron has been used for at least 3,500 years. But we only discovered of its potent appetite suppressing properties in the past few decades.
- 15 to 50 milligrams of saffron twice daily
- Do not exceed 200 milligrams of saffron in a day.
- Do not take 60 milligrams of saffron daily for more than eight weeks.
- If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, it may be wise to avoid daily saffron supplementation, as it’s unknown whether it’s safe during pregnancy.
9. High Fiber Foods
Soluble fibers and insoluble fibers are both able to slow your digestion — therefore prolonging that feeling of fullness — because fiber isn’t digested like other compounds.
A 2013 review found dietary fiber is linked with lower body weights. This same review suggested that about 40% of people who increase their dietary fiber intake actually feel fuller, which can help reduce calorie intake at meals.
Research suggests that, if people consumed the recommended amount of fiber in their diets, we would see a decrease in conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
What are some foods rich in fiber? Here are some of the richest:
- Whole grains
- Chia seeds
- Fresh vegetables
Eating a high-fiber diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, is a great way to curb your appetite and start shedding those pounds.
10. High Protein Foods
Eating foods high in protein can decrease those hunger cravings. Protein makes you feel fuller for longer.
Dietary protein is one of the best natural appetite suppressants, especially when compared to food high in fatty acids.
Like yerba mate, foods high in protein seem to increase the production of the glucagon-like peptide 1 levels. This promotes a feeling of fullness.
Foods that are high in protein include:
- Lean meats
- Eggs (which have fewer calories than many foods on this list)
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt has been linked with reduced hunger because of its protein content.
- Whey protein
Proteins are a common part of the human diet. But if you want to lower the number on that scale, we suggest upping the protein in your everyday diet.
Other Natural Tips And Tricks for Suppressing Your Appetite
Beyond the 10 best natural appetite suppressants, here are some tips and tricks to get rid of cravings and meet that weight goal:
- Drinking water can suppress your appetite.
- Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate — dark chocolate suppresses appetite, compared to milk chocolate.
- A review of 20 studies found that exercise immediately suppressed hunger hormones like the hunger hormone ghrelin.
- Cut out your daily stress whenever possible. Research links stress with binge eating and constant appetites.
- Healthy fats have been found to decrease appetite, but usually not as well as protein.
- Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from a fruit. Studies suggest the extract of Garcinia Cambogia can reduce appetite and promote weight loss.
With so many weight loss tools at our disposal, suppressing appetite can be simple and safe. Nature has offered us some great solutions to lose weight, no side effects required.
As always, check with your healthcare provider to confirm that dietary supplements and appetite suppressants are right for you and any medication you are currently on before starting a new regimen.
- Natural appetite suppressants are a safe and effective way to curb cravings and promote weight loss.
- Diet pills and weight loss drugs come with adverse side effects and can sometimes cause addiction.
- Natural appetite suppressants, such as green tea, ginger, saffron, and coffee, may help you decrease your calorie intake to lose weight more successfully.
- These natural solutions to your appetite problem come with their own unique added benefits. Many of them are antioxidants, and some even prevent heart diseases.
- Other natural methods to suppressing your appetite include drinking more water, exercising, and reducing day-to-day stress.