Appetite suppressants are being used to help manage cravings for people.
Short story? Some of them can work to go along with good diet and exercise, but they should never be used as a stand-alone weight loss solution.
There’s a wide range of products on the market that can attack your body’s desire for more food, but it’s hard to figure out what’s best. Our research team found the best:
ThermoPure is an excellent appetite control because of its broad but precise supplement selection. The capsules deliver garcinia cambogia, gymnema sylvestre, cayenne pepper, forskolin, and 5-HPT, all of which are thought to affect slightly different weight loss and appetite control mechanisms.
On top of that, there’s no caffeine to worry about, so taking this won’t give you jitters or keep you up late at night. Kudos to ThermoPure for listing the precise amount of each supplement, too–lots of other companies hide it in a “proprietary blend.”
2. Genius Diet Pills
Genius Diet Pills are a one-two punch of saffron extract (at 88.25 mg per capsule) and the neurotransmitter precursor 5-HTP. This supplement combines the herbal wisdom of saffron with the neurochemistry insight of 5-HTP, attacking cravings on two fronts: in your body and in your brain.
3. Lean XT
Lean XT is a great choice to crush your appetite, because it’s got three A-list extracts included, alongside black pepper extract to boost absorption and efficacy.
Green tea extract is the flagship ingredient, along with forskolin and acetyl-L-carnitine, and these are all widely-used appetite suppressants. The evidence for the efficacy of green tea extract is strongest, though that doesn’t mean the other ingredients don’t play a part.
4. 1 Body Saffron 8825
It turns out that one of the most sought-after spices in the world also happens to be a pretty popular and effective appetite suppressant. 1 Body’s Saffron 8825 provides a micro-dose of saffron extract at 88.5 mg of 0.1% saffron per capsule.
The use of saffron as an appetite suppressant dates back to the middle ages, but it’s not a well-studied topic in nutritional science. Regardless, Saffron 8825 receives rave reviews for its potent appetite-quenching abilities.
5. FitTea 14 Day Detox
You can drink it hot and there are zero calories per serving, and with the wide range of extracts included in the blend, it’s a surprisingly good product. Don’t worry, the weight loss police aren’t going to come after you for using it for more than 14 days.
Atrafen is a combination fat burning/appetite suppressing supplement that packs in a lot of different compounds into one pill. Green tea extract, african mango, and raspberry ketone are just a few highlights; the effects of the ingredients range from thermogenic stimulants like caffeine to antioxidants like resveratrol.
Unfortunately the ingredients are mixed up in a proprietary blend, so we don’t know how much caffeine it actually contains, for example. Take heed of that, and don’t exceed the recommended dosage for that reason.
7. HERdiet Appetite Attack
Women really win big when it comes to appetite control supplements. There are several that are formulated specifically for women, and HERdiet Appetite Attack is one of the best.
The capsules are crammed full of just about every weight loss supplement that’s made headlines in the last decade: raspberry ketone, african mango, green tea extract, apple cider vinegar, and plain old caffeine powder.
Now, because it’s a “proprietary formula,” you can’t find out how much of these ingredients are in each pill. You just have to trust that the nutritionists know what they are doing.
8. Sheer Strength Appetite Suppressant for Women
Shear Strength’s women-only appetite suppressant is popular and contains some recognizable supplements, but it’s not the best blend on the block.
Chromium picolinate has a lot of fans in the weight loss community, but the other herbal extracts in the blend are obscure B-list supplements. If you’re a believer in caralluma fimbriata or hoodia gordonii, have at it; otherwise there are better options elsewhere.
9. Liporidex MAX
In every supplement category, there’s one company that goes for the “kitchen sink” strategy: i.e. dump in everything and hope it works.
That, more or less, is what Liporidex MAX is all about. It’s got caffeine, guarana, bitter orange, bacopa, massive doses of B vitamins…and we aren’t even halfway through the supplement facts. If you want to cover your bases, or if you really think Liporidex knows what they are doing, you can give it a shot.
10. Metamucil Appetite Control
Not content to just market fiber supplements, Metamucil also has a line of appetite suppressant drink mixes. You’d think they would have tweaked the formula or added in some thermogenic extracts, but it’s really just a rebranded fiber supplement plus some flavoring and coloring agents.
Yes, fiber does fill you up, but if you are browsing for an appetite suppressant, you probably want something a little more high-tech.
Appetite suppressant benefits and side effects
Still not losing weight despite diet and exercise? Maybe it’s time to try to take a more advanced strategy to reduce your caloric intake. That’s what people use appetite suppressants for.
Though there are a lot of different supplements that claim to do this, the effective ones can help reduce your desire to eat food, so you aren’t fighting your cravings every step of the way on your weight loss journey.
At its core, weight loss is a pretty simple equation: if you eat it, you’ve got to burn it, otherwise your body is going to store it. There are ways to modify this equation to tilt it in your favor, and one of the most simple ways is to just not eat it. But how?
Overpowering your natural appetite is incredibly tough. That’s where appetite suppressants come in. These compounds can change how your body regulates its food intake setpoint. By lowering that setpoint, you’ll feel full sooner and you’ll desire smaller portions of food less frequently.
How does this actually work? It depends on the supplement. The quantity and quality of the scientific research that supports the ability of various compounds and herbal extracts to decrease your appetite has a wide range, but looking at a few specific supplements with a lot of research behind them can give insights on how some of these supplements work.
One classic example of an effective appetite suppressant is green tea extract. The concentrated extract of this well-known drink has a huge range of biological effects, and one of these is appetite suppression.
A scientific review paper published in 2010 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry looked in-depth at several of the mechanisms behind green tea extract’s weight loss effects (1).
Some of these, like increased fat oxidation, aren’t directly related to appetite, but green tea’s effects involves complex biological mechanisms.
Green tea extract appears to modulate the brain’s activity level related to food intake, and increased fat oxidation in the liver causes a chain of events that may lead to decreased biochemical signals of appetite.
This effect plays out in the real world, too. A 2007 study by researchers in Denmark found that a supplement that included green tea extract was able to reduce food consumption by 8% in a group of overweight and obese men (2).
A similar analogy works for other appetite suppressant supplements. Either they act directly on the body’s biochemical signaling mechanisms for food intake, or they act in the brain, changing the way you perceive your hunger levels and food intake.
Take the example of 5-HTP: it’s a potent, biologically active chemical that serves as a precursor for a large number of neurotransmitters, the messengers in the brain that are at the core of all of your thoughts and feelings. A significant body of scientific research has connected 5-HTP with appetite control.
A highly technical paper published in 2005 in the journal Current Drug Targets discusses the myriad role that 5-HTP plays in appetite control (3).
5-HTP and its derivatives, according to the authors, have been shown to reduce appetite before and after meals of a controlled caloric content. This means that the compound is affecting the body’s perception of its dietary needs, not the absolute signalling caused by the food consumed.
When it comes to the ultimate outcome, there are no questions about the benefits of weight loss. Assuming your appetite suppressing supplement is effective, you can enjoy the multitude of benefits enjoyed by anyone who loses a significant amount of weight.
Even modest amounts of weight loss can have a substantial health benefit. According to a study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care, even losing only 5% of your body weight can lower your blood pressure, reduce your blood triglyceride levels, and increase your HDL or “good” cholesterol (4). Of course, more weight loss is even better.
The side effects of an appetite suppressant are going to be contingent on the specific ingredients in the supplement. Generally, there is no risk of eating too little–there aren’t any supplements known to be a powerful enough appetite suppressant to actually diminish your desire to eat to dangerously low levels.
Instead, any concerns are going to be directly related to the specific ingredients and any collateral damage that they cause in your body.
Some, like green tea extract, are quite safe, and aren’t known to be associated with any adverse effects, but that isn’t the case for everything.
Many multi-ingredient appetite suppressants contain caffeine, which can cause jitters, nausea, and heart palpitation in high doses and in sensitive individuals. The real problem is supplements that include caffeine but don’t list the actual concentration.
Other supplements, like garcinia cambogia, have some controversy over whether they have any side effects. Some studies in animals have found that high doses of the supplement can cause liver damage (5), while others have found no effects.
Studies in humans have found little in the way of negative effects (6), but the onus is on you to research the specific side effects that might occur with the ingredients in your appetite suppressant of choice.
The ideal dosage of an appetite suppressant is going to depend on the ingredients in the supplement. Some supplements, like green tea extract, have fairly well-standardized ideal dosages, whereas others, like saffron, are almost totally unstudied in this context.
In the case of green tea, what you are looking for are dosages containing at least 270 EGC per day (7). 5-HTP, another well-studied appetite suppressant, appears to be effective at doses in the 300-900 mg range (8).
For the more obscure and less-studied supplements, you just need to follow a trusted manufacturer’s recommendations and hope that the nutritionists and biochemists working there know what they are doing.
In most cases the manufacturer’s recommended dosage is going to be the optimal one. One thing to pay close attention to is any label that warns against an excessive dosage–this probably means that the supplement contains a compound, like caffeine and other stimulants, that can cause problems at high dosages. Heed the warnings on any supplement with this type of label.
When it comes to losing weight and improving health, an appetite suppressant can be one more tool in your arsenal. The right appetite suppressing supplement can help you control your food cravings so your weight loss plan is more effective in the long term. It’s a lot easier to control your food intake when your brain isn’t craving more and more food every step of the way.