Losing weight takes time, patience, and willpower. It can be tempting to look for shortcuts and try to crash diet, but losing weight through severe calorie restriction is unlikely to pay off in the long run. While you will lose some weight if you start a crash diet, it is not possible to sustain eating like that for any period of time, and when you stop your “diet,” you will just quickly regain the weight you had originally lost because you will not have learned what a healthy lifestyle really looks like.
A good, successful diet involves consuming fewer calories than you burn each day, over a long period of time, until you reach a healthy weight. Once you reach that healthy weight, you can then start eating at maintenance, which means eating the amount of food that your body requires, no more, no less.
In reality, most people don’t eat exactly what they need each day. Rather, they might eat a little more some days and a little less on others, but over time, it levels out to create a healthy balance. If you eat like this for a long period of time, consuming just the right amount of food for your body will become a habit. Your hunger cues will adapt to that level of food intake, and you will find that you crave snacks less.
However, the challenge that a lot of individuals face is that beginning a diet means consuming fewer calories, which takes willpower. It can be difficult to find that willpower and make those good diet choices during the first few weeks or months of a diet. That’s where appetite suppressants come in. For those who are struggling with cravings when sticking to a calorie controlled diet, an appetite suppressant could make that initial adaptation period a bit easier.
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There are many different kinds of appetite suppressant. Some, like stimulants, can be quite hard on the body and aren’t usually a great choice, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition or if heart conditions run in the family. Additionally, stimulants can cause the heart work to harder, so they aren’t a great choice for long-term use.
Highlighted below are a few natural appetite suppressants that can help get you through the initial phase of your lifestyle change.
One of the reasons that people struggle to lose weight by cutting down the portion sizes of the foods they already eat is that they feel hungry all the time. If you eat a lot of simple carbohydrates, sugars, processed foods, and junk food then you will likely find that your meals aren’t very satisfying, and that’s why you’re tempted by bigger portion sizes and snacks in between meals.1
Eating a diet that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates makes it easier to avoid snacking between meals. You can add bulk to foods by using soluble fibers such as glucomannan. This can help reduce appetite, meaning you will eat fewer calories during meals.
Another benefit of glucomannan is that it can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, meaning you are less likely to experience an energy crash after eating.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea has been found to be a great appetite suppressant. A part of this is due to the fact that it contains caffeine, which is a powerful stimulant. However, unlike drinking coffee or taking an EC stack, which can be quite harsh and can interfere with sleep patterns, green tea is a lot milder and offers the stimulant benefits without being over-the-top.2
Caffeine also contains catechins, which are good metabolism boosters and fat burners. You can experience the benefits of green tea by taking the extract or drinking green tea itself.
The act of drinking tea can be useful as a way of preventing snacking too since you are drinking something warm which will fill your stomach up. Drink a cup of tea 40 minutes before a meal, and you may find that you eat smaller portions.
Some essential oils, like peppermint and bergamot oils, can be great for reducing cravings and helping curb your appetite. They are thought to be effective because the scent of the oils stimulates the part of the brain that senses hunger and cravings, essentially making that part of the brain think about something else.3,4
Because that part of the brain is “distracted.” the craving subsides quickly. This makes essential oils an easy way of reducing cravings if you’re the kind of person that gets strong urges to snack between meals.
Simply inhale some peppermint, bergamot, or other citrus oil for a few breaths when you feel like you want a snack. In most cases, you’ll find that you no longer want whatever it was you were craving, and you’re content to wait until the next meal.
Weight loss should be slow and steady. It’s important that you eat enough food to receive the nutrients that your body requires to stay healthy. Remember that losing weight is not simply about dieting but requires a lifestyle change. And though it may be difficult at first, it’ll be worth it in the long run. And of course, if that journey is difficult, try using some of the methods mentioned above to curb cravings, reduce snacking, and make the journey to adopting a new lifestyle easier.