Weight control, in its simplest form,seems pretty straightforward: We gain weight because we eat and we eat because we’re hungry. It’s completely logical, then, to assume that appetite suppressants hold the key to weight loss. But do these supplements really offer a useful solution? Are there any potential side effects associated with common, over-the-counter products?
How They Work
Appetite suppressants, as the name suggests, limit your cravings for food. The hope is that this will stop you from taking in the excess calories that get stored as fat. Different products try to . Generally, a stimulant such as caffeine, is also included to increase the effects. In fact, caffeine itself has appetite suppressing effects.
Because of all this variety, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact mechanism by which these products actually suppress your appetite.
The question of whether or not appetite suppressants actually work is as difficult to answer as how they work, and for the same reasons. With all this uncertainty, you may not be comfortable investing money in some of these pills. Is there anything else you should know if you’re considering using appetite suppressants?
A major source of concern when it comes to the efficacy of appetite suppressants is this very lack uniformity.
When combined with a lack of evidence regarding the usefulness of some compounds, the situation becomes even more difficult. Substances such as hoodia and green coffee extract are commonly promoted and featured in appetite suppressants. Both of these substances, despite their popularity, have little backing from the science.
There’s also the issue of your nutritional needs that comes into play. While you do need to achieve a caloric deficit to lose weight, you need to do so in a way that will still provide the necessary nutrients. This is especially critical when you’re following an exercise program and need proper amounts of carbs, protein and fat to perform and recover.
Of course, safety should be the deciding factor when it comes to any supplement. Many of the substances used in over-the-counter products have not been fully tested and may have severe side effects. You should always consult your doctor when considering a supplement.
Do have experience with appetite suppressants? Please share your thoughts in the comments.