appetite suppressant for weight loss

Are you overweight and struggling with constant hunger pangs? Do you suffer from food cravings and frequent snacking on unhealthy foods? And is it on those carbohydrate-rich and sugary ones? Do you feel like you cannot continue with your weight loss efforts?

Cheer up because there is good news. Luckily, you can rid yourself of those hunger pangs almost effortlessly! How, did I hear you say?

Use an appetite suppressant! Simply by doing that? Yeah… and it is really that simple!!!

Simply put, an appetite suppressant can do just that. It suppresses or quenches your appetite. They make you to feel full and on top of that boosts your overall energy level and positive mood.

I know you might still be wondering about exactly how an appetite suppressant works. How can they free you of those constant hunger pangs, you wonder? Don’t worry, sit back and read on!

This article will be taking a look into how appetite suppressants work in aiding healthy weight loss.

The Hypothalamus – Mechanism of Appetite Control

Your hypothalamus is at the very center of controlling your appetite. The hypothalamus regulates many of your body’s vital functions. These functions include eating, drinking, and temperature regulation. It also regulates things like your sleep, emotional behavior, and even sexual activity.

A complex interplay of hormones influences the hypothalamus. The digestive tract and the central nervous system also affect it.

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The hypothalamus plays a very important role when it comes to regulating behavior. In and of itself, we can call eating a behavior.

Experiments on lab rats gave some insights on how changes to the hypothalamus influence the appetite. For instance, damage to the middle of the brain hypothalamus made the rats to overeat. However, the rats refused to eat and starved when damage occurred to the lower part.

However, human eating behavior is a bit more complex. Other factors beside the hypothalamus often come into play. These factors have more to do with conscious decision making. They also tend to have equal or more influence in determining how we engage in eating and drinking.

Customs and habits are two of such factors on which conscious decisions can be based. Both play greater roles in influencing the amount of food eaten. And this might not be for the mere satisfaction of the actual hunger itself.

Hormones and Your Appetite

Let’s come back to our discussion at hand. Most appetite suppressants work by altering one or more neurotransmitters in the brain. For instance, they can increase levels of serotonin or any of the catecholamines.

The catecholamines are the hormones of the medulla. They include epinephrine (also called adrenaline), norepinephrine, and dopamine.

These hormones in one way or the other control an individual’s mood. This in turn affects the appetite when secreted into the bloodstream. Notable is serotonin which creates a feeling of satisfaction in the body.


For instance, epinephrine is present in the bloodstream in minute quantities. However, when excited or stressed, large quantities can be secreted into the bloodstream. This causes a marked effect on body structures in preparation for physical exertion.

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This leads to stimulation of the heart, constriction of small blood vessels, and increase in blood pressure. There is also a relaxation and contraction of certain involuntary muscles and a release of sugar (glucose) stored in the liver. Some fat burning effect there for you!

Some appetite suppressants work to control the desire to eat. They do this by altering the signaling system in the hypothalamus of the brain that controls appetite.

Taking an appetite suppressant increases the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin. The hypothalamus then receives the signal of the increase in serotonin. This gives you the feeling of satiety, or fullness, even after eating much less food.


Prescription based appetite suppressants belong to a group of drugs known as phenethylamines. They are like amphetamines and have a stimulant-like effect on the central nervous system. It is not yet fully understood how amphetamines suppress the appetite.

Amphetamines and amphetamine-like drugs cause the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. They speed up mental or physical functions like epinephrine described above.

However, suppressants containing amphetamines can be potentially abused by patients. Also, while most of the immediate side effects of these drugs may be harmless, their long-term effects are unknown.

Appetite Suppressing Supplements

There are hundreds of over-the-counter appetite suppressants. These are non-prescription based and also claim to quench hunger pangs. Two of the most popular over-the-counter supplements are 5-HTP- and hoodia-based appetite suppressants.

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5-HTP is a natural ingredient. Also called 5-Hydroxytryptophan, it is an extract from the seed of an African plant. The name of the plant is Griffonia simplicifolia, a shrub.

5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin. Taking an appetite suppressant made from 5-HTP increases the amount of serotonin in the bloodstream. This therefore helps in eliminating hunger pangs.

Unlike hoodia, there are few research studies about its potency in suppressing appetite. However, there are several documented evidences of Hoodia’s ability to reduce food cravings.

It’s an extract from Hoodia Gordonii, a cactus-like plant which grows in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa.

The nomadic Sans Tribe have used Hoodia Gordonii for centuries in suppressing their appetite. They make use of it when going on long hunting trips across the desert.

Due to its revered potency, counterfeit Hoodia products abound. Therefore, be careful when looking for a quality Hoodia-based appetite suppressant.

Appetite suppressants have one side effect or the other especially the prescription based ones. These may include dry mouth, and headaches. There is also the possibility of dependence if used for extended periods.

How to use Appetite Suppressants

Despite their effectiveness, appetite suppressants are not a “miracle cure” for obesity.

It is best to use an appetite suppressant to supplement a healthy weight loss program.

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They can provide extra motivation for dieters due to the reduced hunger pangs. You will definitely achieve more weight loss this way than by dieting and exercise alone.

Usage of prescription weight loss drugs is only a few weeks. Also, few studies have examined the effects of long-term use of weight-control medications.

However, many experts and some long-term studies do recommend longer periods of usage. They believe that the continued use of appetite suppressants may be effective in achieving and maintaining long-term weight loss.