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:
LeanBean is the trendiest appetite suppressant for women, making it a morning ritual with professional bodybuilders and Instagram models.
LeanBean has a formula designed to control diet (suppressant) while accelerating metabolism as well. The result is faster weight loss allowing for increased fat burning all over the body. Vegan, all natural. They way we like it.
Each serving of Leanbean has an impressive lineup: garcinia cambogia, green tea, green coffee, turmeric, cayenne pepper, konjac, and chromium.
The result: the most powerful natural appetite supressant of 2019.
And results like these from LeanBean users:
PhenQ is an excellent appetite suppressant for two reasons: its packed with a ton of caffeine (it can also work as a good morning “energy booster” and it has some of the most unique ingredients found in appetite suppressants.
Although not targeted specifically for women like many appetite suppressants, their ingredients flat-out work.
Chromium Picolinate, an essential nutrient found in the product, helps the human body to control sugar and carb cravings.
Nopal, which comes from a fibrous cactus, helps you to gain control over your hunger cravings, thus making it easier to skip those unnecessary snacks at key points throughout the day.
But the most important thing is this suppressant flat-out works.
A unique diversification, PhenQ makes our top-3 with flying colors.
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.”
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 versatile product.
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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
11. 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.
Who should buy appetite suppressants?
Appetite suppressants are a subtype of weight loss supplements that specifically target cravings for food. As such, they have slightly different properties than other weight loss supplements, such as thermogenics.
An appetite suppressant usually attempts to either modulate hormone levels that are linked to feelings of hunger, or to directly stimulate the release of these hormones, as is the case with appetite suppressants that contain dietary fiber.
Hunger, as a sensation, is modulated primarily by the hormones ghrelin and leptin. When these hormones are regulated properly, they cause a feeling of hunger when you require food, and cause a sensation of fullness when you’ve had enough to eat. In this manner, hunger is quite similar to thirst.
Most people don’t spontaneously get dehydrated or overhydrated during their everyday life—their sensation of thirst self-regulates so that they always drink about the right amount of water. But that analogy doesn’t always hold for hunger: many people overeat and end up overweight. So, why is this mechanism failing?
Many nutrition experts believe that the dysregulation of appetite is linked to modern diets, with potential culprits such as salt, sugar, fat, and refined carbohydrates.
While the exact causal mechanisms that dysregulate appetite are up for debate, the fact remains that many people have cravings for food that urge them to eat more than they should. If you know your excess body fat is from overeating, an appetite suppressant could be a good weight loss solution for you.
In contrast, if you already eat very healthy and control your portions but can’t burn off the fat, you might be better off with a thermogenic supplement like green coffee bean extract.
These kinds of supplements will kick-start your metabolism and increase your energetic expenditure. But, if energy intake is the problem, then an appetite suppressant is the solution.
How we ranked
From the wide range of appetite suppressants available on the market, we gathered detailed information on the top-selling, most popular, and most highly-regarded supplements from the major manufacturers, as well as smaller but high-quality manufacturers like Genius Brand and Her Diet.
Then, from our list of dozens of products, we started to narrow the field. First off, we eliminated most products that only used compounds like psyllium husk and glucomannan as their primary ingredients.
While there’s nothing wrong with these supplements for their intended purpose (i.e. increasing your fiber intake), we were looking for something more powerful than just a source of dietary fiber.
We’ve ranked fiber supplements separately, as they have broader applications than just appetite suppression, and if you do want to seriously reduce your hunger cravings, you’ll likely need something a little more potent.
As is always the case for our weight loss reviews, we prioritized supplements with safe and natural weight loss compounds over those heavy with synthetic compounds, and we ditched anything with ingredients that have been associated with hazardous side effects, like synephrine.
From here, we sought out products that had the most effective compounds for appetite suppression. This included mainstays like green tea extract and white kidney bean extract, as well as more specialized compounds like saffron and cayenne pepper.
Products like Genius Diet Pills and ThermoPure ranked particularly highly because they included the neurotransmitter 5-HTP, which showed us that the supplement designers for these brands have an acute awareness of the link between appetite, hormones, and neurotransmitters in the brain.
It’s no accident that mood crashes go hand-in-hand with food binges—there’s an intimate connection between compounds that regulate mood, like 5-HTP, and your perception of hunger and appetite.
We also kept an eye out for synergistic designs that allow disparate ingredients to work together to suppress appetite, like the combination of green tea extract and green coffee bean extract employed by LeanBean, our top pick—while the green coffee bean extract contains some caffeine, the theanine content of green tea extract works to enhance the appetite suppressant effects while blunting any negative effects from caffeine.
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. Similar to fat burners and thermogenics, appetite suppressants specifically target cravings to eat.
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.
5-HPT is a powerful appetite suppressant as well. 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.
Q: What are appetite suppressants?
A: Appetite suppressants are supplements that modulate your body’s desire for food. Hunger and food cravings, of course, are a familiar experience for anyone.
People who have problems controlling their weight often complain of out-of-control food cravings, or an appetite that outpaces their energy expenditure.
In these cases, the drive for food seems dysregulated, or unhooked from your overall level of physical activity and energy expenditure.
An appetite suppressant modulates your body’s hormonal levels, and hopefully brings your desire for food more in balance with your actual energy expenditure. In this way, they can be especially helpful weight loss supplements for some people.
Q: How do appetite suppressants work?
A: Most appetite suppressants work by modulating hormone levels. While fiber supplements like psyllium husk are technically appetite suppressants, they work by directly adding fiber bulk to your stomach, which triggers a hormonal response indicating satiety (i.e. the feeling of “fullness” after a large meal).
Other appetite suppressants, such as our top-ranked products, are more sophisticated—they use supplemental compounds to modulate the levels of two hormones called ghrelin and leptin. Increasing levels of leptin suppresses your desire to eat more, and helps induce weight loss.
Ghrelin is a ‘hunger hormone,’ whose levels rise rapidly when your body senses that it needs food. So, the most effective appetite suppressants will increase levels of leptin, or blunt the rate at which ghrelin rises in your body.
Q: What are some natural appetite suppressants?
A: There are several natural sources of appetite suppressing compounds which are both safe and effective. Green tea extract and yerba mate are both excellent examples of natural sources of appetite-suppressing compounds.
While both of these natural plant extracts contain caffeine, they are far more effective at suppressing appetite than caffeine alone, thanks to the synergistic action between caffeine and other natural compounds, such as theanine.
Q: What are the strongest appetite suppressants?
A: The strongest appetite suppressants are usually those that have the most potent impact on hormone levels.
While saffron is usually thought of as a natural remedy for depression, scientific research supports its ability to act as a potent appetite suppressant thanks to its interaction with hormones in your brain.
For the same reason, the neurotransmitter 5-HTP also has the potential for powerful appetite suppression.
Q: What appetite suppressants are safe?
A: When it comes to safety, natural compounds are best. The appetite suppressants with the least number of potential side effects are the most simple ones, like psyllium husk and inulin fiber.
Beyond fiber-based appetite suppressants, green tea extract is a more powerful but still exceptionally safe appetite suppressant. It’s a good next step if you want to go beyond mere fiber-based supplements, but don’t want to deal with potential side effects or less well-studied supplements.
Since green tea has such a broad range of applications, it has been subjected to a tremendous amount of rigorous research and has been demonstrated to be quite safe.
Q: Do appetite suppressants help you lose weight?
A: Yes, appetite suppressants are explicitly designed to help assist you with either losing weight or maintaining weight loss. An appetite suppressant is not the most aggressive kind of weight loss supplement, as it’s only indirectly helping you lose weight. Unlike a thermogenic or fat burner, it does not directly stimulate the increased metabolic turnover of fat. Still, if you consistently shift your food intake to lower levels and maintain the same level of energy expenditure, you will absolutely lose weight in a gradual and controlled manner.
Q: Do appetite suppressants really work?
A: To the extent that “work” means “reduce feelings of hunger and cravings for food,” then yes, numerous appetite suppressant supplements have been demonstrated as effective ways to reduce feelings of hunger. For example, a 2008 study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition was able to demonstrate that a combination of capsaicin, green tea extract, and sweet pepper extract reduced energy intake (i.e. caloric intake) in a randomized experiment. Of course, the evidence for any particular combination of supplements may not be as strong, but many people find that the right combination of appetite suppressants is an invaluable aid in losing weight and especially in maintaining weight loss.
Q: What is the best appetite suppressant tea?
A: Two very effective and simple appetite suppressant teas are green tea and yerba mate tea.
Both contain caffeine, which is an appetite suppressant and thermogenic by itself, but these teas are particularly effective because they do not induce jitters, anxiety, and the other negative effects that can be associated with caffeine thanks to synergistic activity between the caffeine and other related compounds found in either yerba mate or green tea leaves.
We’re also a fan of FitTea 14 Day Detox, which combines green tea and matcha with garcinia cambogia for a more powerful appetite suppressant tea.
This multi-ingredient tea is a great option to get your day started, and can help stave off the desire for a sugary, carb-loaded mid-morning snack.
Q: When should appetite suppressants be taken?
A: Appetite suppressants, as you might guess, are most effective when taken an hour or so before a meal. There’s a decent amount of lag-time between any sort of supplement and its effects on your appetite level, so taking an appetite suppressant right before a meal isn’t likely to reduce your caloric intake or increase your feelings of satiety to prevent overeating.
Incidentally, this is the same reason why weight loss experts recommend eating meals more slowly—the spike in leptin, the satiety or “fullness” hormone that makes you inclined to stop eating, takes at least 15-20 minutes.
You should expect the same delay, at the very minimum, between taking an appetite suppressant and feeling its effects. Additionally, since many appetite suppressants have caffeine-containing ingredients like green coffee bean extract, taking an appetite suppressant right before bed isn’t typically a good idea.
Besides, you’ll be asleep anyways, so any appetite suppressant effect is not going to be very useful.
Q: How often do you have to take appetite suppressants?
A: Usually taking an appetite suppressant two to three times per day is sufficient to see a significant decrease in appetite and caloric intake.
Taking appetite suppressants more often than this is not likely to result in better results. If taking an appetite suppressant two to three times per day is not getting you the results you want, you may need to try a more targeted weight loss supplement, like thermogenic, or look to other areas of your life, like your exercise habits, to increase your energy expenditure.
After all, your food intake is only one part of weight loss and weight control—energy expenditure and metabolic activity both play a role as well. An appetite suppressant only addresses energy intake.
Q: How long do appetite suppressants take to work?
A: In terms of their short term effects (i.e. reducing feelings of hunger and food cravings), appetite suppressants can take 30-60 minutes before they have a noticeable impact on hunger hormone levels.
You shouldn’t expect an appetite suppressant to completely obliterate any feelings of hunger or desire for food—you’ll just desire less food, and when you do eat, you hopefully will not eat as much.
In the long term, when it comes to inducing weight loss, the effects of appetite suppressants may be slower than some of the heavier-hitting weight loss compounds, such as thermogenics, but within several weeks you should start seeing noticeable effects.
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. Learn more about our #1 recommendation here.