A lot of folks are constantly losing the battle to the weight loss war because they cannot stand the nagging feeling of hunger when on a calorie restricted diet. If this sounds like something that you are going through, please know that you are not alone. Hunger pains and the desire to snack are extremely tough to beat, especially if you are used to eating whenever you had the urge, prior to dieting. The key to winning this battle is knowing when you are truly hungry verses eating out of habit or boredom. If you have eaten a meal and then an hour later you start feeling the urge to eat again, most likely you are eating for the wrong reasons. However, there may be a solution to help you curb your desires to eat as often.
Herbal appetite suppressants contain natural ingredients that have hunger suppressing qualities. When taken on a regular basis, they may be able to help you avoid cravings for snacks and help you eat less at your meals as well. The ingredients in herbal appetite suppressants can vary depending on the brand. Some of the main active ingredients that you can expect to find in herbal appetite suppressants are HCA, short for hydroxycitric acid, and chromium picolinate. HCA is found in garcinia cambogia, which is an herb. It is suggested that HCA suppresses the appetite and can slow down the process of carbohydrates converting into fat. Chromium picolinate is a from of chromium that is believed to help suppress the appetite as well, however too much chromium can induce kidney failure so you must be careful when popping any pills containing this ingredient.
Outside of taking an herbal appetite suppressant in pill form, there are other natural ingredients that you may be able to use in order to curb your cravings, number one ingredient being psyllium seed. Psyllium is a food that is extremely high in fiber. Consuming fiber is the first step in curbing your appetite. Most people do not eat enough fiber but by adding plenty of fiber to each meal or in your snacks, you will stay full much longer than eating foods that contain no fiber at all. It does make a difference. Yerba Mate is an herb that can be used to help suppress appetite and can be made into a tea. By drinking yerba mate tea 20 minutes before meals, it can help you feel fuller and will also give your metabolism a jump start. Acting similar to the ingredient caffeine, it can speed up your metabolism and give you a burst of energy without all the jittery feelings that come along with caffeine.
Some other ingredients that you may have heard of lately are acai berry and Hoodia gordonii. These can offer great benefits in weight loss and suppressing the appetite. Hoodia gordonii comes from a cactus plant native to the Kalahari Desert and works by interacting with the brain. It fools the body into thinking it is full and helps lessen the desire to eat. Not everyone can take Hoodia effectively so make sure to get your doctors approval before adding Hoodia into your diet plan. People with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, a blood disorder or who are pregnant should avoid taking Hoodia. Acai berry is another all natural ingredient that seems to be helping people lose weight. Although it is not marketed to suppress your appetite, it is an all natural ingredient that is supposed to increase energy, boost your metabolism and encourage weight loss.
Other than herbal suppressants, you can help suppress your own appetite by filling up on water each time you have the desire to hit the fridge. Drinking water will at least help you to eat less and feel full longer. And make sure you are getting your fiber. Also try chewing gum or munching on some healthy fruits and veggies when your hunger gets the better of you. At least these foods will not pack on the pounds and offer plenty of nutrients your body needs.
Jackie Hogan, MS, RD is a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles. She is a member of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND-LAD) and the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Practice Group and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jackie has been featured on Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine, Women’s Fitness, and Men’s Fitness magazine.