Appetite suppressants are designed to help reduce food cravings, thereby reducing your caloric intake and helping you lose weight. Unfortunately, the weight loss industry is full of deceptive marketing, unregulated products, and sometimes dangerous business practices. So how do you find an appetite suppressant that is safe, effective, and can help you reach your weight loss goals? Read on to find out!
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Our research concluded that these are the top 5 best appetite suppressants for your money:
- Thermo Pure
- NatureWise Garcinia Cambogia Extract
- Hoodia Gordonii 20:1 Potency
- Optim Metabolic Radiate
How Do Appetite Suppressants Work?
Appetite suppressants are said to trick the brain into thinking you’re full, even when you’re not. This helps you to avoid stress eating, consume fewer calories, and lose weight without having to feel hungry all the time.
If you go the prescription route, you’ll likely be prescribed Phentermine or Adipex-p. It’s an anti-obesity drug that is often prescribed to adults with >BMI 30. However, it isn’t all that common and is typically only taken for a couple of weeks, since phentermine can be addictive or even cause adverse side effects if taken for longer periods of time. This is due to it being an amphetamine (similar to popular ADHD drug Adderall). That’s why natural appetite suppressants are becoming the go-to solution for many dieters as they provide a safer alternative and can provide good results when used properly.
When it comes to over the counter appetite suppressants there are 2 main methods of action. One type is a pill full of fibers, which expand upon digestion and fill up space within the stomach to make you feel full. The most well-known brand of this sort is Lipozene. Lipozene is full of a certain type of fiber called glucomannan. If you have ever watched Dr. Oz or have done a lot of research online about how to beat dieting woes, then you probably have seen glucomannan pop on your screen one too many times. Glucomannan is highly water soluble and has all the benefits of soluble fiber. It combines with water in the stomach and grows about 17 percent more than its original size. You feel full much faster, and calorie intake is reduced significantly.
The second type of appetite suppressants are those that stimulate the adrenal gland and signal to the brain that you’re not hungry. The adrenal gland is responsible for producing hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone. These glands also release epinephrine and norepinephrine, both of which are central nervous system stimulators. These chemicals increase heart rate and blood pressure and inhibit the brain’s hunger signals to the body. This gets rid of the random food cravings that we sometimes experience. Epinephrine also increases the body’s metabolic rate causing it to burn calories faster. This method of action is more similar to prescription Phentermine, although they are healthier since they do not contain amphetamine.
As with any medication or supplement, it is important to note that there can be side effects related to the Epinephrine release. Stimulating the central nervous system can result in jitters, increased anxiety, and hypertension. This may cause damage in the long run, which is why any appetite suppressants should only be taken for a few weeks at a time, with breaks in between, and only after consulting with your doctor.
The 5 Best Appetite Suppressants of 2018
The ingredients found in this product are the following: raspberry ketone, African mango extract, acai fruit, green tea extract, resveratrol, caffeine anhydrous, apple cider vinegar powder, kelp and grapefruit powder.
Raspberry ketone’s abilities to aid in weight loss are still unclear as far as scientific research goes, but I know from previous experience that they do boost energy significantly. Acai fruit, on the other hand, has proven to help with weight loss, but the effects have been found to be very mild. The same goes for resveratrol. Green tea extract and green coffee bean extract both have good track records when it comes to weight loss as well, although I find them to be more of a stimulant than an appetite suppressant.
Overall, the ingredient list is very comprehensive compared to most others on the market, although the dosage of the ingredients is generally lower than what was used in studies. Still, the product has some impressive research behind it and can cause fat loss through a variety of mechanisms.
When using this product myself over the course of one month, I did notice some pretty significant effects. The most prominent was the energy boost. I find that if I take this supplement any later than 3 or 4pm I have trouble sleeping at night. And although they claim it doesn't cause jitters, I found that I was a little jumpy during the first week or two. As far as curbing appetite, this product delivers here as well. I found the optimal dosing schedule to be one capsule before breakfast and one before lunch. When taking it this way, I typically have a high protein breakfast around 8am and by lunch time I'm still not hungry.
Atrafen is higher priced than some other options out there, coming in at a little over $1/day when taken twice daily. That said, I can tell that the quality of ingredients is high, and they are even registered with the FDA... something that is extremely rare in this industry. I'll gladly pay extra to know I'm taking a quality product. And best of all, it works. If not, you're also offered a money back guarantee. While this supplement is not a "pure" appetite suppressant and contains several stimulant fat burning ingredients as well, I can safely recommend this product as my #1 choice among appetite suppressants.
Effects promised are suppression of appetite, no artificial boost of energy and, of course, a healthy way of burning fat due to improving the metabolism.
The first thing that draws the attention is that the ingredient found in the highest amount here is Garcinia Cambogia. This is a commonly used ingredient in appetite suppressants, although its effects are not fully proven in clinical studies.
The next ingredient on the list is gynema sylvestre; although there is not much research done on this plant as of yet, there have been some promising early conclusions drawn when it comes to weight loss properties and the ability to control sugar cravings.
Cayenne pepper has been found to help burn calories and control appetite, yet the effect is mild.
Forskolin is a natural chemical found in a plant. Although there is research that claims it is effective for asthma and heart conditions, there is not enough evidence when it comes to weight loss properties.
5-HTP is a supplement commonly used to stimulate serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is most commonly linked to mood, but it also plays a role in appetite.
First, I like that this is a non-stimulant product. Many weight loss products are loaded with caffeine that can leave you feeling jittery and uncomfortable during the day and sleepless at night. Second, I do like the mix of ingredients, and I do find that it provides a subtle but noticeable decrease in food cravings. It doesn't seem to have major impact on energy levels, and it's hard to say if it has any significant impact on metabolism. I used this product for one month and did find that I lost weight, although its not clear if that came from increased fat burning or reduced caloric intake. Some may also experience a slightly improved mood due to the magnesium and 5-HTP, which is a nice touch.
Each bottle only contains 30 servings coming in around $20 per bottle. This is fewer servings than some other products in the list, but the quality also seems to be higher. If you're looking for a non-stimulant weight loss supplement that you can stack with other fat burners, this is a solid option.
HCA is supposed to promote weight loss in two ways. First of all, it increases serotonin levels in your body. This hormone plays a critical part in ensuring the well-being and happiness of an individual. When its levels go abnormally low, depression and anxiety appear, leading numerous people to eat as a result of going through the considerable emotional troubles that appear. By increasing its levels, these situations become less likely to occur.
Another way that HCA is said to help lose weight is by blocking an enzyme called citrate lyase that is needed for the body to make fat from carbohydrates. This also lowers the levels of bad cholesterol.
Unfortunately, studies regarding the effectiveness of HCA in practice have been inconclusive so far. Seeing how you are taking a product that is not confirmed scientifically to work, we advise you to be careful in your expectations.
As for my own experience, I have to say I did not notice a huge difference when taking the standard dosage of 1 capsule. I do appreciate this it is a non-stimulant product and doesn't make me feel jittery all day, but the effects weren't as dramatic as the manufacturer claims. When bumping up to the maximum dosage of 3 capsule per day is when I started to notice more significant effects. I find this product provide maximum results when taken 3 times per day, once before each meal. The effects don't last all that long, but they do seem to curb appetite long enough to prevent you from over eating during your 3 main meals of the day.
The price is quite low and you receive a lot of pills for the money. Even at the maximum dosage of 3 capsules per day, one bottle will last you 2 months. There are also no side effects found in studies.
Overall, while this product is not scientifically confirmed to help you lose weight, I can say that I felt a noticeable reduction in appetite when used at maximum dosage. Whether this was placebo or not is impossible to say, but at a good price point and with no side effects, I find this product to be worth a shot.
It has only crossed oceans in more recent times, reaching a point where most health food shops, both physical and online, now carry it. Even with the relatively small amount of medical evidence behind the product, it is still worth exploring.
Research published in a 2004 issue of Brain Research claimed that Hoodia contains a molecule called P57 that acts on the hypothalamus in order to decrease appetite – a fact that was concluded based on animal tests. There are several claims of successful tests done on people, yet none of them that can be considered to come from reputable sources. Manufacturers of hoodia supplements are often among those stating that the plant has been found effective on people, which makes the studies difficult to take into consideration by the scientific world.
In my case, I must say I did feel a recognizable decrease in my appetite. It is difficult to measure just how much, but I can confidently say I was less hungry throughout the day. The manufacturer claims that the product acts gradually and the effects increase over time. I used this product over the duration of one month and I can't say for sure that this claim is true. My results were fairly steady, but noticeable.
Seeing how it does not directly burn fat, the user is encouraged to exercise as much as possible and adopt a healthier lifestyle while taking the product. This is obviously a contributing factor in the weight loss for some, one that may be mistakenly attributed to the pills. For me, my routine didn't change much and I did find myself eating less.
At the end of the day, the efficacy of this product is difficult to judge. I do believe it worked to suppress my appetite, but it is difficult to say how much without controlling several other variables. Still, I saw no negative side effects and can safely recommend this product, especially at this price point.
The three main ingredients of this product are Cissus quadrangularis (a plant from the grape family) extract, African mango, and green tea leaf extract. Other things found here are gelatin, stearic acid, magnesium stearate and silica.
Studies done on Cissus quadrangularis’ effects on weight loss do support the claims when it comes to the effectiveness of the extract. However, the amount found in this product (300 mg) is pretty low for the task compared to what was found to work in tests, making its effect as a weight loss tool questionable. You can take a higher dose to increase the amount of CQ you are getting, but taking a high dose of any weight loss supplement can have negative effects on your body. Consulting a doctor before taking any of these supplements is always the best practice.
Moving on, green tea is an ingredient that helps with both weight loss and improvement in energy levels. However, its amount in this product is also relatively small and hard to judge in effectiveness.
It would be unfair to say there is no science behind the formula, and each ingredient has been studied and proven to some degree. But again, the amounts found in this product are generally lower than what showed promise in tests.
As for me, I took the product for 3 weeks, never going above the recommended dosage. I can say I noticed a decrease in sugar cravings and a slight boost in energy. The effects weren't strong enough to cause any jitteriness as some other products do, which I appreciate, but the appetite suppressant effects also weren't super noticeable. Still, I do believe that this is a strong formula that could be a useful for some at the right dose.
6 Common Ingredients & How They Work (Infographic)
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10 Natural Hunger Suppressing Foods
In addition to being healthy for your heart, almonds are an all natural way to suppress our appetite. It just so happens that almonds are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and magnesium, and according to a study that was presented at The 2006 Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting, just a handful of almonds were proven to increase the feeling of being full when it came to weight management.
Coffee is a great appetite suppressant so long as you don’t overdo it with all of the extra additives like sugar and cream. Coffee, as we all know, has caffeine. Caffeine in itself can boost the metabolism and suppress appetite, in moderate amounts of course. Coffee beans also have healthy antioxidants.
According to research published in the Journal of Physiology & Behavior, just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can boost metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own. Not to mention, for those who don’t regularly eat spicy meals, adding cayenne pepper cuts an average of 60 calories from your meal (because it makes you feel full quicker).
Apples (and many other fruits) have what’s called “soluble fiber” and pectin which helps you feel full. Apples, in particular, can also boost your energy levels and regulate glucose.
Eggs are also said to be a great appetite suppressant. Studies have shown that eating an egg or two for breakfast will make you feel more full over 24 hours than if you eat a bagel or toast containing the same number of calories. In this particular study, those who ate eggs ingested an average of 330 fewer calories over the course of a day than the bagel group.
Water, believe it or not, is huge in managing hunger. Leading weight loss experts, personal trainers, and even doctors agree that often times when we think we are hungry, we are actually not hungry at all, we are just thirsty. The average American does not drink enough water, and sometimes when our body is begging for water and dying of thirst, our stomach will growl and make us feel hungry (since foods contain water as well). Drinking adequate water will certainly suppress the appetite and make you feel fuller longer. It is recommended that you drink, at the least, 8 glasses, or 62 ounces of water a day.
Sweet potatoes are rich in starches that actually resists digestive enzymes, which helps the body feel fuller for longer when consumed. You do need to be careful about over eating sweet potatoes since they are packed with carbohydrates, but believe it or not, they are about as healthy as you can get for a carb.
When it comes to all natural supplements there are also some strange options you may have never thought of. Pine nuts may be one. Pine nuts contain pinolenic acid, a naturally occurring polyunsaturated fat that stimulates two powerful hunger suppressing hormones in the body.
Green Tea extract works by promoting thermogenesis, which increases the metabolic rate, inhibiting fat digestion, and boosting your energy. It also increases fat oxidation which helps the body use fat as an energy source.
While avocados are high in calories and fat, they are very healthy for you and can keep you feeling full for hours afterward. This is due to an abundance of healthy fats and fiber. In fact, one avocado contains around 21g of healthy fats and a whopping 10g of natural fiber.
What’s the Deal with Glucomannan?
Glucomannan is a sugar made from the root of the konjac plant (Amorphophallus konjac). Glucomannan powder, capsules, and tablets are used as medicine. It is typically used for constipation, according to WebMD. “Research suggests that taking glucomannan by mouth can relieve constipation, in both children and adults; weight loss in both adults and children.” For type 2 diabetes WebMD says, “Taking glucomannan by mouth seems to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure in people with diabetes.” The use of glucomannan also has an effect on blood sugar control, and lowering cholesterol in people with or without diabetes. In foods, glucomannan is used as a thickener or gelling agent. Glucomannan flour and powder are used in food. Glucomannan might work in the stomach and intestines by absorbing water to form a bulky fiber which treats constipation. It may also slow the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the gut, helping to control sugar levels in diabetes, and reducing cholesterol levels. 
Shape.com delves deep into the benefits of glucomannan and how it works in their article, “Glucomannan: The Weight-Loss Supplement Dr. Oz Loves.” “In a study conducted in 2007, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, participants taking glucomannan and psyllium husk combination supplement, lost approximately 10 pounds in 16 weeks compared to 1.7 pounds lost in the placebo group.” Further according to the article, another study using only glucomannan showed that an average of 5.5 pounds was lost over eight weeks, without making any other dietary or lifestyle changes. 
According to the article, glucomannan has no harsh chemicals, strange drugs or additives, and the powder (a flour) and glucomannan powders are considered “likely safe” to use as an appetite suppressant. But there are said to be a few side effects that everyone should be aware of. Dr. Oz says that it’s important to drink lots of water while using this supplement. According to the site, he advises that drinking 8 ounces of water with 1 gram of glucomannan before each meal should always be a must. If you don’t practice healthy water intake while taking glucomannan, it is said that it can certainly induce constipation and clog up your digestive tract. It’s also advised to start slowly and work your way up to the full dosage to see how your body reacts.
So, how exactly does glucomannan work? Well, in order to better understand how it works, we must understand what soluble fibers are, since that is primarily what glucomannan is. Percisenutrition.com offers a good definition and explanation of soluble fibers in their article “All about Glucomannan” 
According to their article, soluble fibers are a form of so-called “complex” carbs. Which means that they are more elaborate in molecular structure, and it is harder for our bodies to break them down, but they are soluble in water. When in water, soluble fibers form what is called viscous gels. A good example given by the article is fruit pectin, for example, which is used to thicken jams and jellies, while xanthan gum is used as an emulsifier that makes foods creamier. Soluble fibers are also known as prebiotics, which fight bacteria. Our gastrointestinal bacteria eagerly ferments soluble fibers, creating byproducts such as valuable nutrients or not-so-desirable gasses.
Although studies are lacking as to the precise performance of glucomannan and its effectiveness, here are some studies we can rely on:
“Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss” an article posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through their National Institutes of Health website, offers a fact sheet on several dietary supplements, and for glucomannan, they write that “Glucomannan is a soluble dietary fiber derived from konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac). Some researchers believe that, like guar gum, glucomannan absorbs water in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby increasing feelings of satiety and fullness and prolonging gastric emptying [3,4].
Efficacy: Glucomannan appears to have beneficial effects on blood lipids and glucose levels , but its effects on weight loss are inconsistent. In one study conducted in Italy, 2 g/day glucomannan (in 2 divided doses) in 60 obese children (mean age 11.2 years) for 2 months did not significantly affect weight loss compared to placebo . In a small study conducted in the United States, 20 obese women (weighing ≥20% more than ideal body weight) consumed 3 g/day glucomannan (1 g before each meal) or placebo for 8 weeks . At the end of the study, glucomannan produced significantly greater weight loss (mean loss of 2.5 kg) than placebo (mean gain of 0.7 kg). In another study conducted in the United States, supplementation with glucomannan (3.9 g/day) for 4 weeks in 63 healthy men did not significantly affect body weight compared with placebo .
The authors of a 2015 systematic review of six randomized controlled trials with a total of 293 participants concluded that 1.24 to 3.99 g/day glucomannan for up to 12 weeks does not have a significant effect on body weight compared to placebo [7,8]. Similarly, a 2014 meta-analysis of eight trials that included 301 participants found that glucomannan did not significantly affect weight loss compared to placebo . The authors of an older meta-analysis of 14 studies designed primarily to investigate glucomannan’s effect on lipid and blood glucose levels concluded that 1.2 to 15.1 g/day glucomannan reduces body weight by a small but statistically significant amount (mean loss 0.79 kg more than placebo) over about 5 weeks .
Safety: Little is known about the long-term safety of glucomannan. Glucomannan appears to be well tolerated for short-term use, with minor adverse effects including loose stools, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal discomfort [4,7,9]. The use of tablet forms of glucomannan was reported to be associated with seven cases of esophageal obstruction in 1984–1985 in Australia . Caution is therefore warranted when these forms of glucomannan are used. Powdered or capsule forms have not been associated with this effect .”
The bottom line is that if you want to lose weight, it is said you must eat less. But it is very difficult to make sure that our bodies and new diet regimen have enough fiber. If you have ever tried a new diet and noticed that you have a hard time sticking to it due to hunger, the reason you feel so hungry all of the time is likely the lack of fiber due to eating less food. Adding a glucomannan supplement to your regimen will surely help you feel fuller longer, and allow you the opportunity to receive the adequate fiber that is desperately needed to stick to the new diet.
3. Henry DA, Mitchell AS, Aylward J, Fung MT, McEwen J, Rohan A. Glucomannan and risk of oesophageal obstruction. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:591-2.
4. Sood N, Baker WL, Coleman CI. Effect of glucomannan on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;88:1167-75.
5. Vido L, Facchin P, Antonello I, Gobber D, Rigon F. Childhood obesity treatment: double blinded trial on dietary fibres (glucomannan) versus placebo. Padiatr Padol 1993;28:133-6.
6. Walsh DE, Yaghoubian V, Behforooz A. Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study. Int J Obes 1984;8:289-93.
7. Zalewski BM, Chmielewska A, Szajewska H. The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese children and adults: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition 2015 31:437-442.
8. Zalewski BM, Chmielewska A, Szajewska H, Keithley JK, Li P, Goldsby TU, Allison DB. Correction of data errors and reanalysis of “The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese children and adults: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials”. Nutrition 2015;31:1056-7.
9. Onakpoya I, Posadzki P, Ernst E. The efficacy of glucomannan supplementation in overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Am Coll Nutr 2014;33:70-8.
10. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Glucomannan.