Food cravings have been the downfall of millions of would be dieters throughout the ages. You can have the most scientifically rigorous diet ever devised at your disposal but if you aren’t able to back away from the table or prevent yourself from opening the fridge between meals it won’t matter. That’s where appetite suppressants come in.
They’re designed to compensate for lapses in willpower so that you can stay the diet course and get rid of those unwanted pounds. But not all appetite suppressants are created equal. Not by a long shot. Some are little more than placebos in fancy packaging. But how can you tell which is which? Fear not. In order to save you time and aggravation we’ve brought together the 10 best appetite suppressants currently on the market for your consideration.
1. Lean-XT Non Stimulant Appetite Suppressant
Lean XT is not exactly a household name but they’ve put a lot of effort into formulating an effective appetite suppressant. They hit the right ingredient beats with green tea extract, forskolin, acetyl L-carnitine and black pepper extract. And the supplement is produced in a Good Manufacturing Practices certified facility.
The best thing about Lean XT is that there’s no caffeine rush or jitters and no caffeine crash when they wear off. The principle here is simple; take two capsules a half hour before eating and they take the edge off your hunger pangs. As a result you’ll eat less when you do sit down at the table. Just remember not to overdo it. They only recommend you take these once or twice a day.
2. Saffron Extract 8825 Natural Appetite Suppressant
Who knew that one of the most popular spices in the world is also an appetite suppressant? But it is. Because of its well-known stimulative effects saffron actually does a bang-up job keeping your appetite in check. Of course the opposite side of that coin is that, because of its effectiveness as a stimulant, you need to make sure you don’t overdo it with these tablets or take them too close to bedtime.
That said, Saffron Extract 8825 has a growing reputation for being an effective and safe appetite suppressant. And, as research shows, saffron also has the potential to provide anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and antioxidant benefits as well (1). So take it with confidence. Just take it in moderation.
3. Genius Diet Pills Appetite Suppressant
Genius Diet Pills also utilize saffron, though not exclusively like Saffron 8825. Instead Genius adds 5-HPT (2) to the mix and comes up with one of the most effective appetite suppressants we tested. Genius makes some noise in their marketing about these pills being caffeine free. And that’s great. However, because both saffron and 5-HPT are stimulants the absence of caffeine here doesn’t mean you can or should take these pill with abandon.
Should you take more than the recommended 2 capsules per day you may wind up having difficulty drifting off to sleep at night. That said, Genius Diet Pills do a generally good job of keeping the appetite in check and preventing overeating at meal times and snacking between meals. You can’t really ask for much more than that from an appetite suppressant.
4. ASL Keto Appetite Suppressant for Women
Somehow you knew a keto product was going to make this list. And it’s only natural. Since the ketogenic diet, when practiced properly, does a generally outstanding job of reducing food cravings and burning through fat. Alpha Strength Labs Keto Appetite Suppressant, although marketed to women, should help both women and men keep their appetites in check.
The formula at work here leverages many of the all-natural ingredients you want to see in an appetite suppressant. Including green coffee, green tea extract, horny goat weed and African mango. But it also tosses raspberry ketones into the mix to help jump start fat burning. Though raspberry ketones are not in the same fat-burning league as BHB ketones, the overall effect is one that allows you to control food consumption both during and between meals.
5. Rockstar Skinny Gal Appetite Suppressant For Women
Skinny Gal from Rockstar is another weight loss pill favorite that also earns a spot on this list. That’s because the reason it’s such an effective weight loss pill is because it’s such an effective appetite suppressant. Each Skinny Gal capsule contains garcinia cambogia, raspberry ketones, African mango and CLA. There’s also caffeine.
So you’ll want to be aware of that. Exactly how much caffeine is not known because they hide the amount behind a “proprietary blend” designation. Nonetheless, Skinny Gal gets the job done when it comes to keeping your appetite in check and that’s what it’s all about after all. Again, however, because the formulation here leans at least in part on caffeine you’ll want to be careful not to take this too close to bed time.
6. Potent Organics Caralluma Extract Appetite Suppressant
Caralluma fimbriata (3) is a type of edible cactus that has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years. It grows wild in India and is one of the best known natural appetite suppressants emanating from that part of the world. Caralluma fimbriata extract acts to boost energy, enhance focus and turn the mind away from thoughts of eating.
In India, the caralluma cactus is typically boiled first to make it more palatable and to mitigate the less than pleasant odor. But you won’t have to worry about any unpleasant odors here. Just take 2 capsules with water half an hour before your biggest meal. Because there’s no caffeine you don’t have to worry too much about it keeping you up at night. And if you’re not pleased with the results they’ll refund your money up to 30 days after purchase.
7. Metamucil Appetite Control Dietary Supplement
Metamucil has something few other makers of appetite suppressants can lay claim to: mainstream brand recognition. So it’s no big surprise that they would want to capitalize on that by branching out beyond their home turf of fiber supplements. Their Appetite Control supplement is caffeine free and uses psyllium, fiber husk, citric acid, sodium, iron and potassium to keep things moving inside.
This is supposed to mitigate your cravings for food. Does it work? Lots of people think it does. Exactly how does a fiber based supplement control your appetite? By producing the feeling of being full. The bonus here is that it will also help you get and stay regular. To take, mix with water or your favorite cool beverage.
8. Nutratech Atrafen Fat Burner and Appetite Suppressant
Nutratech Atrafen squirrels all its ingredient quantities away behind a proprietary label. Which is never something we want to see. Nonetheless, if you can get past not knowing exactly how much of what is in your appetite suppressant you’ll find the mango extract, acacia fruit, green tea extract, caffeine and raspberry ketones do a bang up job shoving food cravings to the background so you can get on with losing weight.
Note that there is caffeine present here. And because of the proprietary label we can’t say exactly how much. We would then urge caution before taking this product too late in the day as it might interfere with your ability to sleep. Other than that it’s all good.
9. Fit Tea 14 Day Body Cleanse and Appetite Control
Although its promoted as a type of detox drink a close inspection of the label reveals the presence of both garcinia cambogia and green tea extract in this Fit Tea product. Which is probably why so many people are claiming it’s an effective appetite suppressant as well.
If taken as directed it may produce a mild metabolic effect that winds up reducing food cravings and burning off whatever calories you do ingest faster and more effectively than if you didn’t take it. If it also has the effect of purging your system of both environmental and food-related toxins that’s just icing on the cake. It’s recommended you drink one cup of Fit Tea every morning whether you eat breakfast or not.
10. Sheer Strength Appetite Suppressant for Women
It’s likely that when you think of appetite suppressants or weight loss pills the word “chromium” doesn’t come to mind. But chromium has a fairly well-established reputation for curbing appetite (4). The last item on our list – Sheer Strength Appetite Suppressant for Women – leans heavily on chromium to produce it’s appetite suppressing effects. And it does a pretty good job of it.
Chromium is joined on the ingredient list by caralluma, hoodia extract and rhodiola rosea extract. All compounds known to produce feelings of satiety. Sheer Strength doesn’t rely on caffeine or other, more discreet stimulants to curb your appetite. It puts (almost) all its eggs in the chromium/caralluma basket and comes up a winner.
How do Appetite Suppressants Work?
The best, most effective appetite suppressants work by creating a sense of satiety (the feeling that you are full). This then works to shut down that part of your metabolic system that normally signals that it’s time to eat. Or to eat more.
Hunger cravings are typically driven by the interaction between the “hunger hormone” (5) ghrelin and the hormones leptin and insulin. These hormones are in constant communication with one another and with the brain. If one of them senses a shortfall in fuel it alerts the others and ghrelin winds up alerting the brain that it’s time to eat.
Appetite suppressants alter the chemical balance in the brain by way of stimulating the central nervous system. That’s why many appetite suppressants contain caffeine or other stimulants. Once stimulated, increased nervous system activity alters the interaction between the hunger hormone and other hormones, creating a feeling of being full. In addition, increased nervous system stimulation often generates a feeling of enhanced well-being, which acts to stave off cravings for a food fix to feel better.
What Are The Benefits of Appetite Suppressants?
There are a number of benefits to taking appetite suppressants. Some of them direct, others indirect. These benefits include:
- Reduced appetite – This is of course the reason you are taking this supplement in the first place. So it had better deliver on the appetite reduction front or you’re wasting time and money. If the appetite suppressant is working as advertised you should experience far fewer hunger pangs and a greatly reduced desire to eat.
- Weight loss – This is what everyone who takes an appetite suppressant wants to experience. This is also the primary indirect effect of taking appetite suppressants. They by themselves won’t chew through your fat stores. But by causing you to eat less your body will be forced to do that by itself.
- Increased energy – Since appetite suppressants rely heavily on caffeine and other stimulants such as saffron you are likely to experience an increase in energy levels after taking them. Of course if you are already a coffee drinker you’ll need to re-evaluate your relationship to the bean before you start to take appetite suppressants as well.
- Enhanced well-being – As we alluded to earlier stimulants can have the effect of producing an elevated sense of well-being. This is because they tend to activate the pleasure centers of the brain (6). This is one reason the desire to eat is reduced. This feeling of enhanced well-being circumvents the contrary impulse to reach for food. In short, stimulants circumvent the need to reach for food by producing the same type of pleasure response in the limbic reward system of the brain.
What Ingredients Should I Look for in an Appetite Suppressant?
Different appetite suppressants use different mechanisms to achieve their effects. Nonetheless, most tend to use some combination of the following ingredients.
- Garcinia cambogia – While not an ingredient that will directly shut down appetite garcinia cambogia is a common ingredient in appetite suppressants. That is largely due to the fact that it contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which has ability to inhibit the body’s capacity to produce new fat cells (7).
- 5-HTP – Derived from the plant griffonia simplicifolia, 5-HTP is a compound that affects serotonin levels in the brain. Elevated serotonin levels have the knock-on effect of suppressing appetite. Elevated serotonin levels also reduce hunger pangs and are believed to help reduce carbohydrate absorption. Which reduces the amount of excess carbs that are turned into fat stores.
- Caralluma – As we touched on above caralluma has long been used by the people of India to help suppress appetite and lose weight. The plant grows wild throughout the country and resembles a small cactus. While it has long been used and appreciated in the subcontinent, it has only in recent years found its way into the Western consciousness.
- Caffeine – What can be said about caffeine that hasn’t already been said? It’s the most widely used stimulant in the world and one of the most effective. It helps stimulate muscle activity, brain activity and can enhance mental sharpness and feelings of well-being. It is used in appetite suppressants for all those reasons.
- Green tea extract – Green tea extract also contains caffeine, which is why it also finds its way into many appetite suppressants. Green tea extract also contains a little known compound called “catechins” which are known to play a role in enhanced cardiovascular health (8). Green tea extract is also a common ingredient in many diet pills.
- Yerba mate – Yerba mate is a plant of South American origin that has played a long role in the traditional medicine of the native peoples there. Yerba mate has well-known stimulant properties and was used extensively by the native people for exactly that reason. Today you can find yerba mate teas in many health food stores, where they are typically marketed as an alternative to coffee. Because of its stimulant effects yerba mate plays a role in producing a sense of elevated well-being, which is important in staving off food cravings.
- CLA – Also known as conjugated linoleic acid CLA is another ingredient you’ll find in a great number of weight loss pills and appetite suppressants. CLA is a type of fatty acid that in preliminary studies has shown an ability to help people lose weight regardless of whether they alter their diet or not (9). That’s an impressive ability if it holds up to future clinical scrutiny. But in the meantime it’s a good enough reason for many manufacturers to include CLA in their appetite suppressing supplements.
What Time of the Day Should I Take Appetite Suppressants?
In the vast majority of cases manufacturers suggest you take their appetite suppressants shortly before eating. This is because they’re designed not only to fend off the abuse of between-meal snacks, but because they are also formulated to prevent a person from overeating when they sit down at the table. Be aware however that if you take these supplements just minutes before sitting down to eat their effectiveness will be drastically undermined and you are likely to eat just as much as before. So make sure you take them 30 minutes to an hour before eating so they can be of some good.
If you really want to enhance the effectiveness of your appetite suppressant try eating more slowly once you do sit down. Researchers believe that by eating too quickly you overwhelm the ability of the body to process what’s going on and to institute its natural “stop” mechanisms (10). So slow down and enjoy your food more. As a result you’ll probably feel full faster.
Are There Any Side Effects From Appetite Suppressants?
Any side effects you are likely to experience from using appetite suppressants will depend on two things: how often you use them and what is in the appetite suppressant you use. In most cases there is little if any risk involved with using these supplements in accordance with the recommended dosages. That said, some people may experience minor side effects even if they stay within recommended limits.
The most common negative side effects have to do with caffeine and some of the other stimulants used in these products. While, in most cases, the amount of caffeine used in any single capsule is relatively modest, some manufacturers hide the exact amount of caffeine they use behind the “proprietary blend” label. Therefore, if you are sensitive to caffeine you should probably avoid substances that don’t spell out clearly how much caffeine they contain. Be aware too that green coffee bean and green tea extract also contain caffeine. And that ingredients like saffron are natural stimulants.
Most of the other ingredients that go into these products are considered pretty benign. With the possible exception of garcinia cambogia. GC is suspected of perhaps contributing to liver damage (11) if taken in large quantities for long periods of time. There have also been very preliminary reports that GC may – repeat, may – aggravate or even cause manic episodes in some people (12). Though again, more study is needed in this area.
The Bottom Line
Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle has lead to ever greater numbers of overweight individuals. It’s simply a fact. For many of these people appetite suppressants are becoming the go-to way to stave off weight gain and kick start weight loss. And it’s easy to see why. The best ones do a pretty good job of keeping your appetite in check. They’re also affordable and readily available. So why not?
The only cautionary flag that should be raised here is not to rely on any particular type of pill to make everything alright. Yes, appetite suppressants can help you lose weight. But the operative word here is “help”. You’ll still need to proceed with caution and make these supplements one part of an overall program of healthy eating and regular exercise.