If you are struggling to manage your body weight or you have a certain condition that is preventing you from attaining and maintaining a healthy weight, you may have thought about appetite suppressants. The main challenge people have when they are trying to lose weight is the dieting aspect of the process. People are often struggling with their food intake, and even though they (think they) regularly exercise they don’t see the results they expect.
For many people losing weight is not just about looking better. It is critical for their health. There are a number of diseases including cardiovascular problems that stem from being overweight. Staying in an overweight state for an extended amount of time can not only complicate the matter further but can also prove to be fatal in the long run. In such situations losing weight becomes a critical task and appetite suppressants could be a helpful option.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about appetite suppressants. I will discuss what they are and how they work, how to use them, risks, efficacy and I will compare prescription versus natural suppressant.
Generally, I am not a big fan of everything that is not natural. However, if you are in serious health conditions and this may seem as an option to you, please consult your doctor. What I am presenting here is not medical advice.
What Are Appetite Suppressants?
Appetite suppressants are medicines designed to reduce the sensation of hunger in the body so that a person consumes less food or eats less frequently. There are a number of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and even natural/herbal medicines that are advertised as appetite suppressants. It’s also important to note that appetite suppressants may not work for everyone.
Food intake is only one factor in gaining or losing weight. At 4 Legs Fitness, I am always promoting a holistic model that sits on four pillars. Appetite suppressants will not be effective if you suffer from an emotional eating disorder, have a sedentary lifestyle, or have weight management problems due to some underlying medical problem. In that case, please consult a specialist. Appetite suppressants work in a way that they will reduce how much you are likely to eat, but this alone will not guarantee that you will lose weight.
How Do They Work?
Appetite suppressants can work in a few different ways. Some of the most common prescription medications available for suppressing your appetite, including OTC Adipex, work by influencing your neurological system and tricking your brain into thinking that you are full even though the stomach is empty, or not entirely full.
Others work by making you feel full sooner than you usually would so that you feel the same level of satiety from a smaller meal. Some prescriptions also work by reducing the body’s ability to absorb fat thereby making it harder for your body to gain additional calories from the fat you consume.
Other than the fact that different people have different reasons for being overweight, prescription appetite suppressants are not advisable for just anyone. Specifically, if you are struggling with hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, glaucoma, and other medical problems, then even using OTC appetite suppressants may not be a safe option.
Moreover, if you are currently taking medication for other medical issues, it is best to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of appetite suppressant as it could react with your medication. If you do choose to use appetite suppressants, then it is best to do this with advice from your doctor or a specialist, who focuses on dietary and weight problems. When you should be taking these medications and how much you should be eating is also important factor to take into account.
Just like any other medication, there are certain side effects associated with taking appetite suppressants. In most cases, the side effects are very mild and don't last more than a few days. However, if you are experiencing a particularly uncomfortable reaction it is best to stop medication right away and discuss it with your doctor.
Some of the side effects can include coughing, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, headaches, increased blood pressure, and dry mouth. There are other side effects that can also happen as a reaction to medication varies from person to person. The most important thing to watch out for is that the appetite suppressants do not interfere with medications that you are already using. Medicines that clash with each other can have more severe side effects.
Dosing of appetite suppressants depends largely on what your eating schedule is like and what kind of appetite suppressant you are using. Some appetite suppressants are designed to have a slow effect so that they can help you feel full for several hours at a time. These are best used at night so that you don’t feel hungry while you sleep. Others are designed to be taken an hour or so before a meal, in order to feel full before you have eaten, thereby easily managing how much you eat during your next meal.
Generally, appetite suppressants are taken in doses of 25mg and 50mg. When just getting started, you will most likely be taking 25mg per day to get your body familiar with the medicine. Later on in the program, you can increase your dosage to twice or even thrice that amount. Depending on your gender, age, weight, and dietary habits your usage will vary. It is best to consult with a medical specialist to find out what will be best for you.
Prescription Vs. Natural
There are a number of prescription appetite suppressants, but also many natural or herbal solutions that are designed to have a similar effect. The main issue with these natural remedies is that they are not formally tested or approved by the FDA. Therefore it is very hard to make sure that they contain what the label says that they contain or even their efficacy. Even if you choose to use herbal supplements to suppress your appetite, you should still talk to your doctor first to make sure those products are safe for you to use.
Some of the most common natural appetite suppressants include things like coffee, green tea, green tea extract, fiber, garcinia cambogia, glucomannan, fenugreek, and many others. Some of these products such as green tea extract have been used for a variety of treatments and have proven to be safe for use, however other products such as glucomannan do not have such a good reputation.
When considering herbal medicines you also need to factor in the long-term impact of using these products. At first, you may only notice minor side effects such as burping, excess gas, or mild nausea, but the long-term effects can be more severe. Moreover, it is harder to gauge how much of these products you should be used in each serving, so again you will need a qualified professional to advise you on the best uses.
I wrote a whole other article about how real foods and supplements can help you lose weight.
Appetite suppressants have proven to be effective when used in combination with a healthy diet, a good exercise plan, healthy recovery and proper overall maintenance of the body. Simply administering an appetite suppressant once or twice a day will not help you lose weight on its own. You need to make the most of the process of suppressing your appetite and aim to burn as many calories as you can on a daily basis to help you lose weight. Also, you need to work on improving your dietary habits and move towards eating better, more nutritious food. You ideally want to follow a holistic health concept.
The Key You Need to Know About Appetite Suppressants
Things like sleep, water intake, and overall activity levels play an essential role in weight loss. You can go the natural (and somewhat harder way) and “force” yourself to lose weight by starving yourself. This may impact your overall health and well-being and will not be a good long-term solution. As soon as you return to your normal diet and lifestyle the pounds will quickly come back and you will be back where you started.
I am always a big advocate of going all natural and just work that bit harder. But I understand that there are certain circumstance where for some people appetite suppressants may be an option (if that’s you, please speak to a doctor first). For that reason, I covered everything you need to know about appetite suppressants in this article.
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