In the world of fitness and weight loss there are many different types of supplements that can help you reach your goals. You have fat burners, weight gainers, protein powder, pre-workouts, BCAAs, etc. One supplement that can aid in weight loss is an appetite suppressant.
Since weight gain is caused by a caloric surplus and weight maintenance is caused by no surplus or deficit, you must eat less in order to lose weight. That’s why controlling your appetite is important so you don’t binge eat and end up in a caloric surplus.
What Are Appetite Suppressants?
Appetite suppressants are meant to fulfill one purpose; curb cravings and bring your appetite to normal levels. Whether your goal is to lose weight or maintain weight, you must control your caloric intake. If your appetite is causing you to binge or have an extra snack, then you risk eating over your caloric daily requirement. For some people appetite suppressants may help them curb their appetite.
Supplements for appetite suppressants come in a variety of forms such as pills, powder, and liquid to satisfy user preference. So what are in these supplements that help curb your appetite? There are a few primary ingredients: Chromium, Guarana, Zinc, Garcinia Cambogia, and Caffeine.
Many studies have been done on the above ingredients and conclusions have been made that they may aid in appetite suppressant.
How Do Appetite Suppressants Work?
In order to understand how an appetite suppressant works, we will analyze all five major ingredients.
Garcinia Cambogia – show to increase bioavailability levels of serotonin, causing a decrease in appetite.
Chromium – shown to reduce cravings for carbohydrates especially. Studies propose that chromium works with neurotransmitters in the brain to suppress appetite and reduce cravings.
Guarana – shown to reduce appetite when consumed prior to meals.
Zinc – for people who are not deficient in Zinc, studies have shown that an increase in Zinc may control appetite.
Caffeine – caffeine doesn’t have really any appetite suppressant qualities, however many products contain caffeine. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that promotes focus and clarity. Caffeine combined with other appetite suppressant ingredients may aid in appetite control.
How Effective Are They?
It should be noted that appetite suppressant supplements are simply supplements. They are something to aid you, but not carry you. In other words, if your diet is not in check, if your workout regime is not in check, you can’t expect the supplements to carry you toward your weight loss goal.
If you’re consuming ample amounts of carbohydrates, quality proteins, fats, and you include an appetite suppressant supplement in the mix, you shouldn’t have to worry about cravings. In addition, certain supplements work differently for each person. So one brand might work well for one group of people and another brand might work better for a different group. It all depends on your experience, so choose a supplement that you think works best for you.
Appetite suppressant supplements do have side effects and each supplement will effect each person differently. Some side effects include increased blood pressure, nervousness, increased heart rate, sweating, and restlessness.
It should also be noted that no long term studies have been done on the safety of appetite suppressant supplements. If you choose to consume these supplements it’s recommended that you cycle on and off them as there is no data for long term usage.
It’s important to remember to read the instructions on dosage and timing. On many supplements there is a limit the manufacture set for safety reasons and in addition the side effects above may be lessened if taken at appropriate times. For example many appetite suppressants are to be taken on an empty stomach or before a meal.
Also when it comes to dosing, some products will recommend you start out with the minimum dosage to access tolerance. I always recommend this because you don’t know how your body might react to a supplement. If you start out immediately taking the maximum dosage, it may do more harm than good.
How to Choose the Best Appetite Suppressant
When it comes to buying any supplement, it’s important to do your research. The first thing I recommend is to research user reviews. If there are a lot of positive reviews on a product, you’ll have a general idea that the effectiveness of that product is good. However, if there are a lot of negative reviews, you’ll come to an obvious conclusion that the product may not be as good as hyped up to be.
It doesn’t matter how good a product looks or how many promises a product makes, what matters is the user experience. Are people having a positive effect from the supplements? Are people having any adverse effects? If it’s a powder or liquid supplement are people experiencing a good taste or bad taste? These are all things you should be researching prior to making a purchase.
Also, do more research on each individual ingredient. Are there any adverse effects to these ingredients? What do studies show? Getting answers to these questions is very important before investing in a product. This will prevent you from wasting time and money. It will also prevent any potential health problems that some supplements are known to cause.
Lastly, before consuming any supplement, it’s recommended to get approval from your doctor or dietitian. Many supplements can interact in a negative way with certain types of medication. It’s important to know what you are not allowed to take. Lastly, supplements are not meant to cure disease or do anything drastic within the body. This is what separates supplements and medication.
Supplements like vitamins, minerals, appetite suppressants, and protein don’t change the chemical makeup within the body. However when it comes to medication, the medication can change the chemical makeup. Think of medication as a stronger form of supplements, or a more powerful form. This is why you need a prescription for these types of drugs.
Additional Tips to Curb Appetite
I want to leave you with additional tips to curb your appetite. With a healthy diet and appetite suppressants, you may believe there is nothing else you can do to control your hunger. However, there are still many things. Here are a few small techniques that can make a big difference:
Drink 16 oz. of water prior to a meal – this technique will fill your stomach up prior to eating a meal. After you finish the meal you will feel fuller due to the excess water in your stomach.
Eat more veggies with your meal – veggies are low in calories so they will not cause you to overeat your caloric requirement. By adding more veggies to your meal it will seem like you’re eating more. The extra veggies will take up more space in your stomach and the fiber will also help curb your appetite.
Drink 16 oz. of water after a meal – this technique only really needs to be done if you’re still hungry. By drinking another 16 oz. of water it will fill you up even more.
Low calorie sweet snacks – it should be noted that you must include these in your overall caloric requirement. Sugar free Jello and low calorie sweet foods may help reduce your sweet tooth cravings. Also if you drink protein powder be sure to choose a brand that taste good. There have been many cases where I used protein powder to help reduce cravings.
Find recipes – I always recommend people find healthy recipes that actually taste good! Your day to day food should have healthy foods but they don’t need to be bland. You can make them tasty through different recipes. Do research online to find low carb, low fat, low calorie, healthy recipes.
Control your environment – it should be obvious to people that if you have junk food around the house, your cravings will be heightened. If you know you crave sweets a lot and that’s your weakness, then remove all sweets from your fridge. If you crave salty chips and junk crackers, then remove those as well. Don’t set yourself up for failure by having junk food easily accessible.
Flavored water – the last recommendation is to flavor your water. This will help you drink more water. You can mix BCAA powder or squeeze some fruit juice into your water.
Creating a Diet to Suppress your Appetite
In this section, we’ll go over how to construct the perfect diet that will aid in appetite suppressant and how to fit your supplements in as well. Since most appetite suppressant supplements are to be taken before a meal, we will use that information in this example. I’m mainly going to talk about types of food and not so much in regards to the amount you’re supposed to eat. The amount of food you eat will determine your weight loss results, but the types of food you eat will determine overall health and how well you maintain your diet.
Types of Food
When thinking about the types of food, you’ll want to focus on high volume foods. High volume includes foods that take up a lot of space in your stomach but are also low in calories. Many high volume foods also contain a lot of water which will fill you up even more. Here is an example:
Let’s say you have a small chocolate candy bar that is worth around 300 calories. You could eat this candy bar in about a minute. After consumption your blood sugar levels will skyrocket and then come crashing down. When your blood sugar levels crash, your body will think you need more food even though you already had 300 calories not too long ago. This will cause you to be even hungrier.
Now we’ll make a healthier decision. Instead of the candy bar, let’s have a huge bowl of a garden salad (no dressing). The salad contains lettuce and other types of vegetables. The entire bowl contains foods that are low in calories and take up more space in the stomach. They are high volume foods. In addition, the salad will not skyrocket your blood sugar levels like the candy bar would. Your appetite would reach normal levels and your cravings would be minimal. Lastly if you compare the vitamin and nutrient content of the salad vs the chocolate candy bar, the salad will be the clear winner.
Examples of foods that produce cravings: ice cream, cake, candy bars, and other types of sweets.
Examples of foods that reduce cravings: vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.
Fitting in supplements
Here is an example of a daily meal plan that will be super effective to control your appetite:
First thing: appetite suppressant supplement, 16 oz. water
Breakfast: Oatmeal, fruit, egg whites
Snack: baby carrots and hummus
Before lunch: appetite suppressant supplement, 16 oz. water
Lunch: Salad with lean protein such as chicken or turkey
Snack: yogurt and fruit
Before dinner: appetite suppressant supplement, 16 oz. water
Dinner: chicken, broccoli, brown rice
The above is just an example, but your diet should be similar with the types of foods. Always choose vegetables, fruits, and lean, quality proteins. Also if you look at the above example notice that one carb source is oatmeal. When picking carb sources you’ll want to choose slow digesting carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potato. These carbs will not cause your blood sugar levels to spike and will give you a sustained amount of energy throughout the day. Also when your blood sugar levels do not spike, they end up not crashing which is a trigger for hunger.
Many people ask if I recommend appetite suppressants. My answer is that it depends on the person. If you’re the type of person who is lucky enough to not get cravings even when eating junk food, then you don’t need an appetite suppressant. However if you do get cravings, even only once in a while, I do recommend an appetite suppressant. If you follow the guidelines for the product, it will only help you.