A web search of ingredients in appetite suppression pills getting attention recently, like Hoodia gordonii or green coffee bean extract, brings up countless appetite suppression products that cannot always be trusted, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Nutrition Sciences Professor and Chair Timothy Garvey, M.D.
“There are little or no rigorous data addressing the efficacy of appetite suppression compounds,” Garvey said. “People buying these appetite suppression products are likely to be wasting money.”
Instead, Garvey added that patients with obesity complications should seek direction from their health care providers.
“There are proven lifestyle modification programs and medications that can be helpful,” Garvey added.
There are steps one can take to naturally lower appetite. UAB Wellness Director Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., recommended starting the day with protein.
“It has long been suggested that people eat breakfast to help with hunger throughout the day, but your breakfast must have protein,” Whitt said. “Egg whites or low-fat yogurt are excellent sources of protein that will keep you feeling fuller longer because it takes the body more time to digest and absorb them.”
Later in the day, before hunger strikes, Whitt said a portion of an unsaturated fat can do the trick.
“Oleic acid, which is found in unsaturated fats, helps quell hunger,” Whitt said. “It may sound counterintuitive, but this is healthy fat, so snack on a couple tablespoons of peanut butter or an ounce of nuts.”
Lastly, Whitt said to toss a certain citrus into the mix.
“Eating grapefruit between meals, or with a meal, helps lower the insulin levels in your body,” Whitt explained. “Insulin regulates your blood sugar and fat metabolism, so keeping insulin levels in check helps you fight the urge to grab a quick, sugary snack.”
Health expert Jeff Behar, based in Los Angeles, cautions that grapefruit does interact with many medications, and suggests that if you do add grapefruit to your diet, that you checkl to ernsure that you are not takingh medications that may be affected by grapefruit consumption. "Another choicem a low glycemic carbihydrate like a sweet potatioe, which gives you enbergy at a sustanied rate, without spiking insulin levels," add Behar.