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Appetite suppressants are also known as “weight loss pills” or “diet pills.” When paired with a balanced diet and regular exercise, appetite suppressants may help you lose weight. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, you could lose more weight when you combine weight loss pills with healthy lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Remember that appetite-suppressing supplements are not a magic cure. They can help reduce your appetite, but you’ll still need to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise to shed excess weight.
So what exactly should you look for in an appetite suppressant, and what can you expect from using one? There are countless options, ranging from teas and off-the-shelf powders to prescriptive shots and over-the-counter pills. You’ll want a product that will boost your energy and curb cravings—without leaving you jittery or irritable. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best appetite suppressants to help reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism. We’ll also do our best to tell you how each product may make you feel mentally and physically. All of the supplements on our list are available without a doctor’s prescription.
This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.
Transparent Labs Fat Burner contains a blend of all-natural ingredients designed to control cravings, increase your metabolism and burn fat. Two of the main ingredients you’ll recognize from energy drinks or other diet pills: Green tea and caffeine, when taken together, have been shown to increase fat burning and help with weight control. Transparent Labs Fat Burner is also one of the only products on our list to contain Coleus forskohlii, a plant that has been shown to stimulate thyroid function. Thyroid function is closely tied to metabolism and healthy weight maintenance.
Although Transparent Labs Fat Burner is a great overall appetite suppressant and fat burner, it may not be the best choice for everyone. People with caffeine sensitivity might want a supplement without a stimulant. Or they could also consider taking a lower dose. This fat burner also contains cayenne pepper, which may affect people with a sensitivity to nightshades, such as those with autoimmune conditions like psoriasis, arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
Transparent Labs recommends starting with one capsule daily for three days to see how it affects you. If you feel fine, you can increase the dose gradually to a maximum of two capsules four times a day, 30 to 60 minutes before meals, on an empty stomach. Since it can cause increased energy, Transparent Labs warns against taking the supplement within four hours of bedtime so it won’t affect your sleep.
Active ingredients in one dose include:
The official website does not list any potential side effects. Still, each dose contains the equivalent of one to two cups of coffee. Side effects from taking too much caffeine include restlessness and shakiness, insomnia and headaches.
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Kaged Clean Burn is a stimulant-free appetite suppressant that works to increase your metabolism without caffeine. This product is blended with proprietary ingredients designed for maximum effect. One of these ingredients is Capsimax, a whole-food extract from red chili peppers that increases resting metabolic rate.
Kaged Clean Burn also contains Gymnema Sylvestre Extract, which in Hindi is known as the “sugar destroyer.” It has demonstrated healthy benefits on fat and blood sugar levels, blood pressure and body weight. There’s also some clinical evidence that Gymnema Sylvestre may help with Type one and two diabetes. The FDA doesn’t regulate herbal supplements, but Kaged supplements are third-party tested for purity and potency and free of banned substances by the Banned Substances Control Group Certified Drug-Free.
The recommended dose for Clean Burn is two capsules taken three times daily, 30 minutes before meals.
Contains six active ingredients in one dose, including:
Although no side effects are listed on the label, users could still notice mild side effects. The three-gram dose of Carnipure L-Carnitine in this supplement has been linked to nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
Pure Encapsulations 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is our top choice for best natural appetite suppressant supplement. By that, we mean it’s a chemical your body already naturally produces as it makes serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates your mood and appetite. By supplementing your body’s natural 5-HTP, you could experience better appetite control, improved mood and even better sleep. Pure Encapsulations’ formula is free from artificial additives, allergens, GMOs, environmental contaminants and added fillers. Because it’s a hormone, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take it. Also, people who take certain medications for depression called SSRIs or MAO inhibitors should not take this supplement because it can interfere with the body’s chemistry.
Take one capsule one to three times daily before meals.
Contains only one active ingredient: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (100 milligrams). Other ingredients include hypoallergenic plant fiber (cellulose) and a vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water).
Side effects of 5-HTP are generally mild, but may include heartburn, gas and nausea. Some people report stomach rumbling or feeling bloated. At high doses, a dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome could develop. That’s why people taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications cannot take this supplement.
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Bare Organics Metabolism Tea may be your best choice if you’re looking for an all-natural, stimulant-free hunger suppressant that you take only once a day. It’s a vegan product made from organic oolong tea blended with other certified-organic, non-GMO ingredients such as orange peel. One benefit of this tea is the addition of probiotics (Bacillus coagulans) to help balance microbes in the gut. One study showed that this probiotic significantly improved abdominal cramps and bloating. Yerba mate is another ingredient that can improve overall health. Clinical studies show that it’s heart-healthy, anti-diabetic and decreases inflammation in the body. Bare Organics describes their tea as a fruity, floral tea with notes of orange and rose hips. Metabolism tea comes in single-serve K-cups, so this one requires water, electricity and some preparation.
Drink one cup per day.
Seven all-organic active ingredients in one dose, including:
Since the ingredients in this tea are organic and all-natural, it’s unlikely that there will be any side effects with this supplement.
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If you’re looking for an herbal way to support healthy weight loss that could help balance blood sugars too, Nutra BioGenesis Ultra Lean Appetite Control may be right for you. It’s packed with herbal ingredients to support the body’s natural hormone production and help you feel balanced and energetic. These ingredients can promote healthy insulin action, blood sugar balance and healthy body weight when used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan recommended by your healthcare practitioner.
For example, Garcinia Cambogia extract (fruit rind) has been shown in many studies to improve cholesterol and glucose levels, reduce body fat and decrease appetite. Bladderwrack (edible seaweed) is another ingredient that has recently been in the spotlight; it’s a rich source of nutrients and fiber, has prebiotic effects and could naturally suppress your appetite. Phenylalanine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and L-Tryptophan are amino acids (building blocks) your body uses for metabolism (energy production).
Each bottle of Nutra BioGenesis Ultra Lean Appetite Control contains 200 capsules. The caps contain gelatin, so they are not vegan. Also, this supplement should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women and those taking prescription MAO inhibitors.
Take four capsules 30 minutes before a meal or meal replacement shake. You may use this supplement twice daily or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Ten active ingredients in one dose include:
This all-natural supplement is unlikely to cause side effects. However, people born with a condition called Phenylketonuria (PKU) must avoid phenylalanine because it can affect their brain.
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Alpha Lions Craving Killer is a blend of three proprietary ingredients designed to help avoid feeling snacky throughout the day. The first ingredient is InnoSlim, a blend made from Panax Notoginseng and Astragalus Membranaceus. These two traditional Chinese medicine herbs work together to block carbohydrate and fat absorption while reducing appetite. The second unique ingredient in Cravings Killer is Supresa, an extract derived from the Crocus Sativus flower. It has been shown to reduce snacking and create the sensation of feeling full. The third ingredient is Chromax, a form of chromium picolinate that absorbs in the body faster than other forms of chromium. Chromium helps burn fat, maintain healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to increase muscle mass. All the ingredients in Alpha Lions Cravings Killer are free from artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Take one capsule twice daily (morning and evening) with food.
Contains four active ingredients per serving, including:
Side effects with Craving Killer are uncommon. However, with Astralagus (seaweed), possible side effects with oral use include rash, itching, nasal symptoms or stomach discomfort.
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If you’re looking for a stronger supplement to curb your cravings while noticeably increasing your energy levels, Swolverine THERM Fat Burner Appetite Suppressant is worth a look. Swolverine is a thermogenic fat burner, which means that it helps the body burn fat by producing energy and heat. However, these actions take place on the cellular level, so don’t expect to feel warm or see any change in your body temperature.
Swolverine THERM stimulant fat burner is packed with 20 high-quality ingredients to help boost your metabolism and suppress your appetite. Among them are green tea leaves, Garcinia Cambogia and yerba mate. Each dose also contains 100 milligrams of caffeine—the equivalent energy boost of one cup of coffee. And this blend is reasonably priced at 90 tabs for $32.99. Note that THERM’s label warns this supplement contains shellfish (crab and shrimp), so those with seafood allergies should steer clear.
Take one tablet one to two times daily, preferably with meals or as directed by a healthcare professional. For best results, take one tablet early in the afternoon.
Twenty active ingredients in one dose include:
Side effects of Uva Ursi Leaf could include nausea, vomiting, irritability and insomnia.
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Instant Knockout Cut is our top pick for the best appetite suppressant for men. It’s a dietary supplement promoted by MMA fighter and trainer Greg Jackson, who uses it to help his students cut weight before fights. How? By quickly reducing body fat while maintaining muscle mass.
The Cut formula contains many of the same ingredients commonly listed in appetite suppressants, including cayenne pepper seeds known for their thermogenic and appetite suppressant effects. But it also contains an 1,800 milligram dose of glucomannan. Glucomannan is a natural fiber that absorbs water and becomes a thickened gel when ingested in the stomach. It works by reducing your appetite and food cravings and helping you feel fuller for longer. Drink plenty of water with this suppressant to get the best results. In addition, studies have shown it may also have other health benefits, including lowering blood sugar, cholesterol and weight.
Instant Knockout Cut contains the caffeine equivalent of three cups of coffee, so it’s not a good fit for those with stimulant sensitivities or heart conditions. It comes in powder-filled capsules, and you get 120 capsules for around $65. One serving is four capsules.
Recommended dosing is one capsule four times daily.
Nine active ingredients in one dose include:
With this supplement, watch out for caffeine-related side effects including fast heart rate, anxiety, dehydration, dizziness and headaches.
Leanbean is a product by Ultimate Life Ltd., a well-known brand in the U.K. Like our top pick for men, this appetite suppressant for women contains a 1,000 milligram dose of glucomannan, which we think makes Leanbean one of the most potent appetite suppressants for women. The natural dietary fiber swells in your stomach, so you don’t feel hungry and lower your calorie intake.
There are ten other natural ingredients in Leanbean, including B6 and B12, choline, piperine and zinc. These nutrients help break down fatty acids and carbohydrates. Leanbean doesn’t contain stimulants, but relies on nutrients like vitamin B12 and antioxidant-rich green coffee beans to naturally boost your energy level without feeling super-charged or jittery. It also contains one special ingredient with numerous health benefits for women that we haven’t seen in any of the other picks on our list: turmeric (curcumin). Each dose of Leanbean contains 16.67 milligrams of turmeric. In women, this natural herb is shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-arthritis, anti-asthmatic, anti-microbial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
The recommended dose of Leanbean is two capsules, three times a day, with at least 250 milliliters of water (a total of six capsules daily). Two caps before breakfast, two before lunch and two before dinner.
Twelve active ingredients in one dose include:
This supplement is all-natural, and there are no possible side effects reported on the product’s website.
Appetite suppressants are supplements that can trick your brain into thinking you are full. They come in many forms, including pills, powders, teas and gummies, and work in three main ways:
Fiber fills up the stomach, causing you to feel fuller more quickly. Fiber also digests slowly, which means you’ll feel fuller longer, less hungry and less likely to snack. These changes can lead to weight loss.
A second type of appetite suppressant targets hormones in your body that send hunger signals to the brain. Hunger hormones include insulin, leptin and ghrelin, among others. Some minerals and nutrients can affect the regulation of these chemical messengers. For example, zinc is known to help balance leptin levels in the blood. That’s why you may see zinc in some natural appetite suppressants.
The third type works to increase or support your body’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is another hormone in the body, and is known as a “feel good” hormone. It also helps regulate your appetite and tells your brain when you are full.
People take appetite suppressants or diet pills for a variety of reasons not limited to: losing weight, controlling cravings or treating health problems that make it difficult to lose weight. Regardless of the reason, appetite suppressants can help achieve your dietary goals. Some of the benefits include:
Appetite suppressants help with hunger control, and they curb food cravings so that you eat fewer calories overall. This helps you lose weight quickly, regardless of how much you usually eat.
Trying to stick to a healthy diet on your own is hard, but suppressants may help. Appetite suppressants make it easier to resist temptations and stay on track with a healthy eating plan over time.
Some people find that taking appetite suppressants helps them better manage their food cravings. Rather than feeling overwhelmed and giving into a sweet tooth, binge-eating or stress snacking, they can take back a little control by feeling fuller longer.
Depending on the formula, some appetite suppressants can cause side effects. Always read the labels and follow the recommended dosage and instructions to avoid side effects. Common possible side effects include:
One common ingredient in many appetite suppressants is caffeine. Too much caffeine can cause side effects like irritability, fast heart rate, dehydration and anxiety. If you choose an appetite suppressant containing large amounts of caffeine, consider restricting caffeinated beverages while taking the appetite suppressant. If you notice a change in how you feel when taking an appetite suppressant, you could be sensitive to one or more ingredients. Stop the supplement and talk with your doctor to determine what to do next.
Many different people can benefit from using an appetite suppressant, including:
Anyone who wants to lose weight, but struggles with staying on a diet, can benefit from taking appetite suppressant supplements. Eating less can help create a calorie deficit, and your body can use stored fat for fuel. Failure to meet your weight-loss goals can lead to many health issues related to obesity, including chronic diseases and early mortality. Appetite suppressants are one way to combat this issue. Also, being physically active will burn more calories and prevent fat buildup in your body.
According to the CDC, you are overweight if your BMI is over 24.9. You might think about using an appetite suppressant to help with your health-related goals, if:
You should use an appetite supplement if you have checked with your doctor and know how to use the supplement properly as part of a healthy nutrition and exercise plan to eliminate excess weight.
Appetite suppressants contain a wide range of ingredients, from vitamins and minerals to herbs and herbal blends. Reading all the labels can be confusing, so keep it simple by looking for ingredients you recognize. Also keep an eye out for ingredients that have been shown to help reduce cravings, improve energy or aid weight loss. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common appetite suppressant ingredients:
The appetite suppressants on our list are over-the-counter (OTC) options, but there are prescription-strength diet pills available. Here are the main differences to know.
OTC diet pills can be purchased online or in many stores without a doctor’s prescription. They generally have fewer side effects than prescription diet pills and do not require special medical supervision. Common side effects from OTC diet pills can include headache, dizziness and nausea. Since OTC suppressant supplements are freely-available, you can purchase a large quantity at once and start or stop them when you want or need to.
Alternatively, you must obtain prescription appetite suppressant pills from a doctor. To get a prescription, you’ll need to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your plan. The doctor may even help by giving you resources for healthy meal plans or exercise routines to use while taking your appetite suppressant. Many weight loss programs can be used in conjunction with diet pills.
Examples of prescription drugs that may be available through a physician include:
Your doctor will want to monitor you every month or so while you take the medication. In some cases, prescription drugs may be taken only for a short time—for example, up to 12 weeks. Common side effects of prescription appetite suppressants include dry mouth, trouble sleeping, increased blood pressure and mood changes. You should always consult a doctor before taking any diet pill or appetite suppressant if you have any medical conditions.
When used under a doctor’s or healthcare provider’s supervision, appetite suppressants are generally safe for most people. If you follow the dosage instructions and check with your doctor about any considerations, such as drug interactions with other medicines or supplements you may take, you can feel sure that a weight loss supplement is not likely to harm you.
Some people, however, should avoid appetite suppressants. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid them because they want to gain weight for a healthy pregnancy.
Appetite suppressants can help people lose three to nine percent of their starting weight in 12 months when combined with lifestyle changes, like better nutrition and a healthy dose of exercise.
While your doctor can give you the best recommendation for your health and personal goals, appetite suppressants are generally a short-term treatment. Most prescription appetite suppressants are FDA-approved for a 12–week treatment plan. After 12 weeks, your doctor will assess your progress and determine what your next steps should be. It’s possible to build up a tolerance to the ingredients in appetite suppressants over time, which means they will lose their effectiveness.
When you should take appetite suppressants will depend on your product and how your body responds. Usually, you’ll take one dose in the morning, followed by additional doses before meals to maintain your energy and stave off cravings. Take the last dose four to six hours before bedtime.
Make sure to read the instructions. The best time to take an appetite-suppressing supplement will depend on what’s on the label. If you don’t follow the instructions on the label, you may not get the results you want.
Most brands prescribe using appetite suppressants an hour before a meal. Doing so gives your body time to digest the supplement and send the active ingredients to your bloodstream. If you take the pill a few minutes before eating, you could end up overeating because the supplement hasn’t had time to suppress your appetite.
Also, you should not take an appetite-suppressing supplement before bed, especially if it contains caffeine or other stimulants. If you use such a supplement at night, the stimulants may keep you awake or affect your sleep quality.
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.
Sarah S. Falcone, BSN, RN, is a registered nurse, certified yoga teacher, and health content writer with over 15 years of experience in healthcare.