Managing Your Weight With Natural Appetite Suppressants
Losing weight or maintaining after weight loss can feel like an uphill battle when hunger and food cravings constantly get in the way. Despite your best intentions, an unrelenting appetite makes sticking to a healthy diet challenging.
When hunger pangs strike, you may be tempted to reach for diet pills or prescription medications that suppress appetite. But these typically work short term only and come with side effects.
The better solution? Look to safe, natural appetite suppressing foods, herbs and supplements that help curb hunger. These foods provide a feeling of fullness and control cravings without the risks.
In this guide, learn about:
- The root causes of excessive hunger and overeating
- The best nutrient-dense whole foods that suppress appetite
- Herbal supplements that curb hunger hormones
- Aromatherapy strategies that reduce food cravings
- Meal timing tricks that optimize satiety
- When to seek medical advice for overeating issues
- And more!
Follow along to discover natural solutions for managing your weight by controlling your appetite and eating habits long term.
Understanding the Science of Hunger
To successfully manage cravings and excessive hunger, it helps to first understand what’s happening in the body that regulates appetite and fullness signals.
Key Hunger Hormones
Hormones released from your stomach, pancreas and fat cells regulate sensations of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite before meals. Insulin, leptin, GLP-1 and PYY signal fullness and satiety to the brain after eating.
Hypothalamus receptors in the brain receive hunger and fullness signals from hormones. This determines if you feel satisfied or desire more food. Imbalances can skew hunger cues.
A dysfunctional metabolism can perpetuate imbalanced blood sugar and insulin, ongoing cravings, and impaired fat burning. Nutrient deficiencies and inflammation also disrupt proper hunger regulation.
Habits and Diet
Psychological and behavioral factors influence eating beyond physiological hunger. Stress, emotional issues, food addiction and environmental cues can trigger overeating.
Now that you understand the forces at play, let’s discuss foods and supplements that work with your body’s natural satiety mechanisms.
Appetite Suppressing Foods to Focus On
Certain foods provide bulk and nutrients that fuel a feeling of fullness and control hunger on fewer calories. Emphasize the following:
Lean Proteins: Protein balances blood sugar and boosts PYY and GLP-1 hormones that suppress appetite. Choose salmon, chicken breast, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese.
Leafy Greens: Fiber-rich greens like spinach expand in the stomach to initiate stretch receptors that signal satiety to the brain.
Cruciferous Veggies: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage are very high in fiber yet low in calories to create longer lasting fullness.
Avocados: The monounsaturated fats, fiber and volume of avocados suppress hunger and the desire to snack following a meal.
Soups: Research shows starting a meal with broth-based, low-calorie soup helps you consume fewer calories when eating the same entree portion.
Berries: Due to their fiber and high water volume, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries aid satiety on relatively few calories.
Oatmeal: The soluble fiber beta-glucan in oats forms a gel that delays gastric emptying to suppress appetite for hours. Choose steel cut or old fashioned oats.
Beans and Legumes: High-fiber beans keep you feeling fuller longer. They also stabilize blood sugar preventing energy crashes and cravings.
Nuts and seeds: Despite their high calorie density, several studies show snacking on nuts and seeds reduces hunger levels and subsequent calorie intake.
As you plan meals and snacks, think volume, nutrition and fiber. Now let’s discuss some of the most powerful herbal appetite suppressants.
Herbal Supplements to Curb Hunger
Certain herbs influence levels of key satiety hormones like leptin and ghrelin to naturally suppress appetite between meals.
Garcinia Cambogia: Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) blocks citrate lyase enzyme which curbs fat synthesis and decreases appetite. Shown to reduce calorie intake at meals.
Green coffee bean extract: Chlorogenic acid inhibits fat accumulation and absorption. Also moderates post-meal blood sugar changes that drive hunger.
Caralluma Fimbriata: Blocks the activity of citrate lyase to reduce appetite and prevents fat formation. Traditionally used in India to curb hunger.
Ginger: Gingerol compounds increase meal-induced thermogenesis and fat oxidation. This ramps up calorie and fat burn during and after eating.
Fenugreek: Galactomannan fiber swells in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, triggering stretch receptors that signal satiety. Suppresses appetite and sugar cravings.
Saffron extract: Active constituents crocin and crocetin inhibit snacking and increase levels of the satiety hormone serotonin in the brain.
Glucomannan: A soluble dietary fiber that expands 50 times its weight in water. Forms a bulky gel to signal stretch receptors that suppress appetite.
These herbal extracts can be taken in capsule, powder or liquid tincture form. Follow dosage instructions carefully and discuss using appetite suppressing supplements with your doctor first.
Aromatherapy provides another avenue to curb cravings through the powerful sense of smell.
Aromatherapy Strategies to Lessen Food Cravings
Inhaling certain essential oils helps suppress appetite and impulsive urges to snack by impacting hunger hormones, brain chemistry and emotional state.
Peppermint oil: Smelling peppermint decreases appetite and caloric intake by enhancing satiety. Also alleviates stress-related appetite changes.
Lemongrass oil: Inhalation of lemongrass essential oil lowered appetite, blood glucose and urge to snack in a study using rats. Provides antioxidant support as well.
Grapefruit oil: Associated with activating hormones like norepinephrine that suppress appetite signals. Grapefruit’s scent energizes and uplifts mood.
Cinnamon oil: Calms appetite resulting from elevated insulin and blood sugar levels after a meal. Also slows gastric emptying to increase satiety.
Lavender oil: Stress affects leptin and ghrelin hormone levels, driving overeating. Lavender scents reduce stress-induced appetite and bingeing.
Coriander oil: Coriander aroma suppressed hunger feelings and desire to eat sweet foods among test participants in a scientific study.
Inhale these oils at times when cravings strike or diffuse them in your home and workplace as part of an appetite-regulating aromatherapy practice.
Strategically timing your eating pattern optimizes natural hunger-controlling mechanisms as well.
Meal Timing Tips to Maximize Satiety
When and how often you eat influences your body’s hunger hormones and the satisfaction you get from meals.
Eat more earlier: Eating a bigger breakfast and lunch preempts excessive hunger later in the day. Big dinners stretch the stomach before sleep.
Go for 30 grams protein at each meal: Getting at least 30 g protein triggers the strongest rise in PYY compared to smaller protein amounts.
Eat every 3-4 hours: Snacking between meals every few hours keeps ghrelin levels steady so hunger doesn’t escalate into urgent cravings.
Drink water before meals: One study showed drinking water before meals resulted in greater weight loss compared to no water pre-meal. Expands the stomach to initiate satiety signals.
Slow down: It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to receive fullness signals from the stomach. Eat slower and pause between bites to allow time for satiety.
Finish meals with fiber: Ending a meal with a high-fiber food like apple, berries, beans stabilizes blood sugar, gut hormones and appetite post-meal.
Decrease sugar: Frequent blood sugar crashes from sweets and simple carbs amplify hunger and fat storage. Limit added sugars.
Making these simple timing adjustments enables you to eat in sync with your body’s natural hunger cues.
Keep in mind, any struggles with binge eating, emotional overeating or food addiction may require professional support.
Seeking Medical Help for Overeating Issues
Implement the food, herbal and lifestyle strategies we’ve covered consistently for 2-3 months. But if you still deal with intense food cravings, chronic overeating or bingeing episodes, talk to your doctor or a psychologist that specializes in disordered eating.
Other signs that warrant professional medical treatment include:
- Bingeing at least once a week for three months
- Feeling ashamed or disgusted after overeating
- Eating well past the point of feeling full
- Eating when not physically hungry due to stress or emotions
- Withdrawing from social activities because of overeating
- Obsessive thoughts about food and eating
Psychotherapy helps address any underlying emotional issues driving overeating behaviors. Certain medications may be prescribed in the short term to help regulate appetite and normalize neurochemistry.
But persist with natural remedies as a first step. With patience and daily consistency controlling hunger and food intake, a healthy relationship with food and your body is possible long term.