Understanding Appetite Suppressants: How They Work and Their Impact on Weight Management

Published 7:01 am Monday, October 2, 2023

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Obesity rates have continued to increase globally, at an alarming rate. In fact, The World Obesity Federation’s 2023 atlas predicts that 51% of the world, or more than 4 billion people, will be obese or overweight within the next 12 years. Thus, the search for effective weight management tools has become more critical than ever.

Among the array of approaches available, appetite suppressants stand out as a potential aid in curbing hunger and controlling calorie intake. However, before choosing a particular appetite suppressant, it is essential to comprehend the various types available, how they work and their potential impact on weight management. This article gets deeper into all of that, shedding light on their evolution, classification, and safety considerations.

How Appetite Suppressants Have Evolved Over Time

The usage of appetite suppressants can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Originally, hunger suppressants were derived from natural components like herbs and spices. These natural components were thought to aid in the reduction of appetite and cravings. With the passing of time, more complex varieties of appetite suppressants began to evolve.

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Amphetamines were created as a treatment for obesity in the late nineteenth century. These are central nervous system stimulants that help lessen appetite and cravings. Phentermine was another suppressant that was introduced in the 1950s. Today, there are numerous sorts of appetite suppressants on the market, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter supplements, herbal therapies, and even some foods that can help control your hunger.

Types of Appetite Suppressants

Appetite suppressants come in two main categories: prescription and over-the-counter (OTC).

Prescription Appetite Suppressants: These medications are typically prescribed by healthcare professionals to individuals facing obesity or severe weight-related health issues. Prescription appetite suppressants work on specific receptors in the brain to alter hunger signals and are often used as short-term interventions alongside lifestyle changes. Some common prescription appetite suppressants include phentermine, liraglutide, and diethylpropion.

OTC Appetite Suppressants: Over-the-counter appetite suppressants are dietary supplements available without a prescription. They contain various ingredients, such as glucomannan, green tea extract, Garcinia cambogia, and others. These substances generally promote feelings of fullness or reduce cravings.

It is essential to approach the use of appetite suppressants responsibly, as they may not be suitable for everyone. Before starting any appetite suppressant regimen, consulting with a healthcare professional is highly recommended, especially for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or those taking other medications.

Impact on Weight Management

Appetite suppressants can be valuable tools in the pursuit of weight management, assisting individuals in reducing calorie intake and adhering to a healthy eating routine. By curbing hunger pangs, these aids make portion control and mindful eating more achievable, which are key aspects of successful weight loss and maintenance.

However, it is essential to remember that appetite suppressants are not a standalone solution for weight management. Long-term success requires a balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and mindful eating habits. These suppressants can be most effective when incorporated into a comprehensive weight loss plan, focusing on sustainable lifestyle changes.

Moreover, individual responses to appetite suppressants can vary. While some individuals may experience a significant reduction in appetite, others might have a milder response. It is crucial to be patient and consistent with their use and to pair them with other lifestyle modifications for the best outcomes.

Safety and Considerations

As with any dietary supplement or medication, safety should be a top priority when using appetite suppressants. It is vital to follow the recommended dosage and not exceed the stated guidelines. Overuse or misuse of appetite suppressants can lead to adverse effects and may not be conducive to overall health and well-being.

Potential side effects of appetite suppressants may include dry mouth, headaches, nausea, changes in mood, and digestive issues. It is essential to be aware of any side effects and discontinue use if they persist or worsen.

Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, should exercise caution and seek guidance from a healthcare professional before considering appetite suppressants.


Appetite suppressants can be valuable allies in the journey towards weight management, assisting individuals in reducing calorie intake and supporting portion control. By influencing brain chemistry and hunger hormones, these supplements can play a significant role in curbing cravings and promoting a sense of fullness.

However, it is essential to remember that appetite suppressants should be part of a comprehensive weight management plan, which includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and mindful eating habits. Consulting with a healthcare professional before incorporating appetite suppressants into one’s routine ensures they are safe and suitable for individual needs.

Choosing a sustainable approach to weight management and incorporating lifestyle changes that foster overall well-being is key to achieving long-term success. With responsible use and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, individuals can harness the potential benefits of appetite suppressants in their journey towards a healthier and happier life.