An appetite suppressant is a food, supplement, or other method that stops a person from feeling hungry. Some methods are more effective for suppressing appetite than others.
Manufacturers of appetite suppressant pills make big claims about the ability of pills to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. However, the effectiveness of these pills is not known, and according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), they often come with dangerous side effects.
Instead, a person can use a range of natural methods to suppress or lose their appetite in a risk-free, healthful way.
In this article, we give a list of evidence-based methods that a person can use to suppress their appetite without the need for diet pills. We also discuss which foods are the best appetite suppressants.
A person can use the following ten evidence-based methods to suppress their appetite and avoid overeating:
1. Eat more protein and healthful fats
A person can replace some sources of carbohydrate with proteins and healthful fats to help keep their appetite under control.
- lean meats
- beans and peas
- soy products
- Greek yogurt
The guidelines also recommend that a person gets their healthful fats from natural sources such as nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil.
2. Drink water before every meal
Drinking a large glass of water directly before eating
A soup starter may also quench the appetite.
3. Eat more high-fiber foods
Fiber does not break down like other foods, so it stays in the body for longer. This slows down digestion and keeps people feeling full throughout the day.
On the other hand,
More research is needed to identify which sources of fiber are the most effective for suppressing appetite.
Healthful high-fiber foods include:
- whole grains
- beans and pulses
- apples and avocados
- chia seeds
4. Exercise before a meal
Exercise is another healthy and effective appetite suppressant.
A review based on 20 different studies found that appetite hormones are suppressed immediately after exercise, especially high-intensity workouts.
They found lower levels of ghrelin in the body, a hormone that makes us hungry, and higher levels of "fullness hormones" such as PPY and GLP-1.
5. Drink Yerba Maté tea
6. Switch to dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has been shown to suppresses appetite compared to milk chocolate.
7. Eat some ginger
Consuming a small amount of ginger powder has been shown to
8. Eat bulky, low-calorie foods
Reducing general food intake while dieting can leave people with a ravenous appetite. This can cause a relapse into binge eating.
However, dieting does not have to mean going hungry. Some foods are high in nutrients and energy, but low in calories. These include vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains.
Eating a large volume of these foods will stop the stomach from growling and still allow a person to burn more calories than they consume.
9. Stress less
Comfort eating due to stress, anger, or sadness is different from physical hunger.
Mindfulness practices and mindful eating may reduce stress-related binge eating and comfort eating, according to
10. Mindful eating
The brain is a major player in deciding what and when a person eats. If a person pays attention to the food they are eating instead of watching TV during a meal, they may consume less.
Research published in the journal Appetite found that eating a huge meal in the dark led people to consume 36 percent more. Paying attention to food during meals can help a person reduce overeating.
Certain foods are better for suppressing appetite than others, including:
- Protein-rich foods and healthful fats. These include lean meats, avocado, beans, nuts, and cheese.
- High-fiber foods. Fiber-rich foods keep a person feeling fuller for longer. Good examples are whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
- Pulses, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, can directly increase feelings of fullness and may also reduce food intake later, according to a 2017 review.
- Eggs are high in protein and fat and may promote feelings of fullness and reduce hunger through the day.
- Cayenne pepper may reduce appetite in people who are not used to spicy foods.
- Honey may suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin, making people feel fuller for longer. People should try switching from sugar to honey.
Restricting food consumption too much can lead to a relapse of overeating. Instead, eating a good amount of the right foods can reduce hunger and food cravings throughout the day.
A person can suppress their appetite by including more protein, fat, and fiber in their meals. Stocking up on vegetables and pulses can make a person feel fuller for longer.
It might also help to try different spices, such as ginger and cayenne pepper, and drink tea to beat unwanted food cravings.