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Everything you need to know about appetite suppressants

Exploring natural, medicinal, and lifestyle-based solutions.

Appetite Suppressants: Natural, Medical & Lifestyle Solutions | Juniper

If you're trying to lose weight but are finding yourself overeating or finding it hard to control your appetite, you may be looking for things that can act as an appetite suppressant.

It's a common problem encountered on many people's weight loss journey, and it can often be difficult for our bodies to become accustomed to reduced food intake. These hunger pangs can often even lead to binge eating and poor food choices.

Sound familiar? Appetite suppressants are a great way to reduce excessive feelings of hunger so you can make healthier food choices and lose weight.

Appetite-suppressant medication can take the form of diet pills, weight loss injections, and supplements. But did you know it's also possible to help suppress appetite hormones through food choices?

We've compiled an ultimate guide to everything you need to know about appetite suppressants — from how they work to natural food sources to alternative methods. Read on for a comprehensive guide to navigating your appetite as a way to support your weight loss journey.

What determines appetite levels?

Let's take a look at how the hunger hormone ghrelin works. This is the hormone that tells your brain that you're hungry. It can lead to increased appetite, resulting in your body consuming and storing fat.

Not only can ghrelin lead to increased appetite, but it can also affect your sleep cycle and your reward-seeking behaviour, meaning higher levels of this hormone might have you reaching for high-value foods and ingredients more often. It can even determine your preference for a high-fat diet [1].

But that's not all. If you've been on a diet, chances are your ghrelin levels increase, making you feel hungrier [2], and that can make sticking to your healthy eating plan even harder.

That's why it's important to find a way to get your ghrelin levels, and appetite, back into your control. Both natural appetite suppressants, in the form of food choices, and medicated appetite suppressants, such as injections, can be helpful in supporting your weight loss journey.

What is an appetite suppressant?

Appetite suppressants are typically thought of as a type of medication that aids weight loss. They work to suppress appetite, curb hunger, and leave you feeling fuller for longer, making it much easier to consume fewer calories.

These medications help with appetite control and can result in weight loss, if used correctly.

But it's also possible to reduce appetite through diet and lifestyle choices. Finding the reason behind your increased hunger is the best place to start when looking for effective appetite-suppressant methods.

How do appetite suppressants work?

Medication-based appetite suppressants can act in a variety of ways depending on their active ingredient and generally target neurotransmitters in the brain.

For example, they might act by affecting the levels of certain chemicals, such as stimulating the release of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are known to reduce hunger [3].

Some appetite suppressants help to slow digestion, which can affect insulin levels and decrease feelings of hunger. These medications often take the form of appetite suppressant pills, weight loss injections, or supplements.

But did you know that it's also possible to include food-based appetite suppressants in your diet?

There are plenty of natural sources of appetite suppressants that can be gained through food intake. High-fibre diets and protein-rich foods can help you feel fuller for longer, and there are plenty of herbal options too.

Are there natural appetite suppressants?

If you're looking to reduce your body weight with appetite suppressants, it might be helpful to know that, while medication can be an effective way to go, food choices can also help reduce those food cravings and food intake.

Let's look at some natural ways to bust sugar cravings, boost metabolism, and lose weight.

Eat more protein

Proteins can satisfy hunger better than carbs, so including more protein in your diet is a great way to regulate your appetite [5]. Try adding lean meats, eggs, and Greek yoghurt into your diet for an added hit of protein.

Drink water before each meal

Consuming a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal can act as an appetite suppressant and effectively reduce calorie intake [6].

Make sure you're averaging between 1.5-2 litres of water per day for the best results.

Include high-fibre foods

Fibre has been linked to lower body weight [7]. This is because it doesn't break down as easily as other food sources, so it remains in the body for longer.

The longer it's in your body, the longer you feel full. Some high-fibre foods include almonds, leafy greens, apples, avocados, and whole grains.

Reduce stress

Comfort or emotional eating is a common way of dealing with stress, but it's probably not great for supporting your weight loss goals. Binge-eating comfort food kicks up the calorie count and doesn't help with self-esteem around weight loss.

Try to find alternative comfort activities like journalling, taking a brisk walk (this is great for weight loss and the mind), or talking to someone you love.

Practice mindful eating

Paying attention to the environment where you consume food is important. It's easy to over-eat when something suspenseful is happening on TV in front of us.

Taking time to eat your meal and being present with both your food choices and your company can help slow down consumption and could be a handy fix to overeating.

Foods that act as an appetite suppressants

There are a lot of easy ways to reduce your appetite, from lifestyle changes to diet changes.

Here's a list of some great foods to include in your diet, as well as some simple switches to make, that can help shed those extra pounds:

  • Try dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • Taking just 2 grams of yerba mate before exercise can reduce appetite and increase energy and focus [8]
  • Green tea contains caffeine and catechins which help appetite suppression and aid fat-burning [9]
  • Small amounts of ginger or ginger powder can boost feelings of fullness without slowing metabolism [10]
  • Pulses like chickpeas and lentils have been associated with lower body weight and reduced risk of obesity [11] thanks to their appetite suppression capabilities
  • Switch out your sugar for honey for its ability to suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin [12]

Making these small changes can see you reap huge benefits in your weight loss journey, and can make you feel more energetic overall.

These switches can be particularly helpful for those with digestive and kidney diseases who may want not want the digestive changes often associated with appetite suppressants and for those who may not be able to use medicated forms of appetite suppressants.

Other ways to suppress appetite

If you're at the point of your weight loss journey where diet and exercise just aren't getting you the results you want, you may be looking for alternative ways to suppress your appetite and reduce food intake.

While healthy food choices and getting in a workout are great for weight loss and overall well-being, it might be time to look into weight loss medication. Opt for an appetite suppressant that works to both suppress appetite and increase metabolic function.

With so many diet pills and other fads on the market, it can be hard to make an informed decision. Seeking advice from a trusted healthcare provider and gaining access to prescription medications is sure to see you the results you've been working hard for.

Juniper’s Weight Reset Programme combines proven weight loss medication, health coaching and ongoing support to help you lose weight and keep it off. We prescribe a GLP-1 medication called Wegovy, which contains the active ingredient semaglutide.

Semaglutide is clinically proven to reduce your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer, while also reducing cravings by targeting the rewards centre in the brain. 

For long-term success, changing your eating and movement habits is also crucial, which is why we offer a comprehensive programme that includes 3 core pillars of lifestyle change with the assistance of our UK clinicians.

We can help you break habits that might be impacting your weight and help you hit your weight loss goals sooner.