Natural appetite suppressants are foods, supplements, or other methods that stop a person from feeling hungry. Eating more protein, consuming ginger, and mindful eating are some tips that may help.

Manufacturers of appetite suppressant pills make claims about their ability to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. However, the effectiveness of these pills is not known, and they may come with adverse side effects.

Instead, a person can use various natural methods that include drinking more water, exercising, and making a few changes to their diet.

This article lists evidence-based methods a person can use to help suppress their appetite. It also discusses foods as appetite suppressants.

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People can use the following 11 evidence-based methods to suppress their appetite and avoid overeating.

1. Eat more protein and healthy fats

Not all foods satisfy hunger equally. Protein and certain fats are more effective than foods like carbohydrates for satisfying hunger and keeping people feeling full for longer.

Proteins are the most satiating macronutrients. This means they can help make people feel fuller for longer and better than most other foods.

People can replace some sources of carbohydrates with proteins and healthy fats to help manage their appetite.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following high protein foods:

The guidelines also recommend that a person gets their healthy fats from natural sources such as:

2. Drink water before every meal

Drinking a large glass of water directly before eating has been found to make a person feel fuller, more satisfied, and less hungry after the meal.

A small study from 2018 looked at pre-meal water consumption in 15 non-obese individuals. This study found that those who consumed water before a meal ate less than those who did not have water before eating.

A soup starter may also quench the appetite. In research from 2007, people reported feeling fuller immediately after a meal if they had a soup starter.

3. Eat more high fiber foods

The body cannot break down fiber in the same way it does other foods. This means fiber stays in the digestive tract longer, slowing digestion and keeping people full longer.

Research from 2022 suggests that fiber can be an effective appetite suppressant. The research also shows that high fiber diets are associated with lower obesity rates.

More research is needed to identify which sources of fiber are the most effective for suppressing appetite.

Some healthy high fiber foods include:

4. Exercise before a meal

Exercise is another healthy and effective appetite suppressant.

A 2018 review of previous studies found that acute and chronic exercise can affect a person’s appetite. While it stated that this does not appear to be affected by a person’s sex or level of body fat, it shows that exercise appears to decrease the amount of food or energy a person consumes.

It also states that further research is needed to verify the factors that can affect this.

5. Drink yerba maté tea

Research shows that a tea called yerba maté, which comes from the Ilex paraguariensis plant, can reduce appetite and improve mood when combined with high intensity exercise.

6. Switch to dark chocolate

A small study reported that dark chocolate may suppress appetite compared to milk chocolate. Research from 2011 showed that eating dark chocolate around 2 hours before a meal reduced hunger and calorie intake compared to milk chocolate.

However, the reviewers also state that research conclusions vary, and more research is needed to verify findings on the effects of dark chocolate on appetite and weight loss.

7. Eat some ginger

Consuming a small amount of ginger powder has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fullness, according to older research. This was a small-scale study, so more research is needed to confirm this effect.

8. Eat bulky, low calorie foods

Reducing food intake while dieting can leave people with a bigger appetite, which can cause a relapse into overeating.

However, dieting does not have to mean going hungry. Some foods are high in noncaloric nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water, but remain relatively low in calories. These include vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains.

Eating more of these foods can make a person feel full and still allow them to burn more calories than they consume.

9. Stress less

Comfort eating due to stress, anger, or sadness differs from physical hunger.

Research has linked chronic stress with an increased desire to eat, overeating, and eating non-nutritious food.

Mindfulness practices and mindful eating may reduce stress-related overeating and comfort eating, according to one review from 2015. Regular sleep, social contact, and time spent relaxing can also help manage stress.

10. Mindful eating

The brain plays a key role in deciding what and when a person eats. People who eat with their attention on food may consume less than those distracted by other activities while eating.

Mindful eating is a process that encourages individuals to purposefully pay attention to what they are eating, without judgment. It does not restrict what a person eats but encourages them to focus on the moment and the food. This mindfulness often leads a person to make healthier choices and even to eat less.

11. Try plant extracts and herbs

Various natural herbs may help suppress a person’s appetite. Older research has found one particular herb that may act as an appetite suppressant: fenugreek.

Studies from 2009 found that fenugreek may increase satiety and decrease fat consumption. A study from 2015 also found that drinking fenugreek tea may help suppress a person’s appetite, at least in the short term.

Research has also found that other plant extracts may help suppress appetite. These include:

  • Camellia sinensis, or green tea
  • Capsicum annum, or chili peppers
  • Coffea, or coffee

In two studies on rodents, research showed that berberine has an effect on appetite. It also reduced the animals’ body weight and fat content.

The same study indicates berberine may have antidiabetic and cholesterol-reducing effects.

Certain foods are better for suppressing appetite than others, including:

  • Protein-rich foods and healthy fats: These include lean meats, avocados, 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: 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: Eggs are high in protein and fat and may promote feelings of fullness and reduce hunger throughout the day.
  • Cayenne pepper: This may reduce appetite in people who do not usually eat spicy foods.

The following are answers to commonly asked questions about suppressing one’s appetite.

How can I suppress my appetite without eating?

People can try drinking water, tea, or coffee if they want to suppress their appetite. Chewing gum may also help.

How can I feel full without eating?

A key aspect of feeling full is eating balanced meals high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. This will prevent someone from getting hungry again quickly.

Is there a pill I can take to suppress my appetite?

A few prescription medications can suppress a person’s appetite, but they have side effects and require monitoring.

While some “quick fix” weight loss pills claim to do this, many of them have associated unpleasant side effects and health risks.

How do you ignore hunger when fasting?

If a person is fasting, they can try drinking water, going for a walk, or meditating. Keeping oneself busy and distracted can also help.

Restricting food consumption too much can lead to a relapse of overeating. Instead, eating more of the right foods can help reduce hunger and food cravings throughout the day.

People can suppress their appetite by including more protein, fat, and fiber in their meals. Consuming more 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.