If you’re interested in losing weight, you’re in good company: millions of dieters spend billions of dollars on diet-related products and services each year. Taming the appetite is a logical component of a weight-loss plan, and our guide to appetite-suppressant products will help you choose products to meet your health, lifestyle, and budget needs.
Keep the following in mind as you learn about appetite suppressants:
If you haven’t changed your eating or exercise habits and you’ve experienced recent or rapid weight gain, consult your doctor. These symptoms may signal a serious health problem.
Always clear new supplements with your healthcare provider before you begin taking them.
If you are already managing a health condition, especially heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, or mental health issues, consider your medications when selecting an appetite suppressant. It’s always wise to consult your doctor or pharmacist when mixing medications.
Many herbal weight-loss products are safe for short-term use only. Carefully follow all package directions and do not use products for longer than recommended.
If you experience serious or unpleasant side effects while taking an appetite suppressant, discontinue use and call your doctor.
Always compare ingredients to avoid accidentally doubling up on any one active ingredient.
Do not use appetite suppressants if you are pregnant or nursing.
Only use products that provide a complete ingredient list.
Herbs & Plants
What they are: Numerous herbal and plant products on the market may suppress appetite. These include bitter orange (hydroxycitric acid), capsaicin (cayenne or red pepper), fucoxanthin, garcinia, glucomannan, green tea, guarana, guar gum, hoodia, yerba mate, and others.
Why to buy: Some medical studies have suggested that certain herbal and plant-based appetite suppressants and weight loss products, such as green tea extract, may be effective for promoting weight loss. Fiber-containing substances, such as glucomannon and guar gum, may enhance feelings of fullness without unpleasant side effect such as rapid heart rate or insomnia.
Things to consider: Do not use these products without consulting your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or irregular heartbeats, thyroid problems, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or are taking medications to treat depression or other mental health issues. Some herbal appetite suppressants can cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects including irritability, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure. Some herbal products, such as guarana and yerba mate, are potent sources of caffeine.
What they are: Non-herbal appetite suppressants include products and substances such as:
caffeine—whether from natural sources or added to products, caffeine is an appetite suppressant
chitosan—starch derived from the skeletons of shellfish
chromium—a mineral involved in balancing blood sugar
conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)—a type of fat found in dairy products
pyruvate or pyruvic acid—a substance the body naturally produces after carbohydrate and protein digestion
tastants—a combination of ingredients such as maltodextrin (starch), tricalcium phosphate, silica, and soy; according to the creator of one of these products it, “is intended to work with your sense of smell, fooling your brain and stomach into thinking you're full”
Why to buy: Non-herbal appetite suppressants may have fewer of the side effects associated with herbal products, such as irritability, anxiety, rapid heart rate, and insomnia. Some natural appetite suppressants, such as CLA, pyruvate, and chromium, may promote weight loss, according to medical studies.
Things to consider: Do not use these products without consulting your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or irregular heart beats, thyroid problems, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or are taking medications to treat depression or other mental health issues. Chromium can be toxic in high doses.
Prescription Appetite-Suppressant Medications
What they are: Currently approved prescription appetite-suppressant medications include phentermine, diethylpropion, phendimetrazine, and benzphetamine. Phentermine is the most commonly prescribed of the available prescription appetite suppressants.
Why to buy: These medications have been studied and proven to assist with weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Things to consider: These medications are intended for short-term use, typically up to 12 weeks, under a doctor’s supervision. They may not be safe for people with high blood pressure, heart disease or irregular heart beats, thyroid problems, diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease. Side effects can be unpleasant and include irritability, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure.