7 Natural Ways to Decrease Appetite

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

With so many options around, we are always tempted with treats and constant snacking opportunities that tend to be loaded with sugar. Because sugary foods are delicious, right? But at the same time, they don’t tend to fill us up and make us feel satiated. It’s no wonder many of us struggle with overeating. If you’re trying to decrease appetite or boost your metabolism, many people turn to natural appetite suppressants — either in the form of supplements or certain foods.

While the market is flooded with supplements claiming to aid weight loss, it’s important to note that many of them are a quick fix to a more complex problem (not being able to put the fork down.

For this reason, the general consensus leans towards natural ways to decrease appetite rather than supplements. It is important to note that certain herbs and plants can help promote weight loss and decrease appetite. Their influence on appetite reduction can take various forms, from enhancing feelings of fullness to slowing stomach emptying or even impacting appetite hormones.

In this article, we will learn about seven natural ways how you can decrease appetite to not only help you feel more satiated but also to support your weight loss and fat loss goals.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor or dietician if you plan on making any changes to your nutrition plan.

7 Natural Appetite Suppressants for Weight Loss

It is always better to go the natural way versus putting things into your system that could do you harm or cause a negative/adverse reaction.

Below are some of the best natural appetite suppressants that you can take for weight loss and to decrease appetite.

1.      Consume more protein and healthful fats

When it comes to satisfying hunger, not all foods are created equal. Protein and specific fats have proven to be more effective than carbohydrates in keeping people feeling full for extended periods. By strategically replacing some carbohydrate sources with proteins and healthy fats, individuals can better manage their appetite.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advocate incorporating the following high-protein foods into the diet for optimal satiety:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Lean meats
  • Eggs
  • Soy products
  • Beans and peas

2.      Drink plenty of water

While anecdotal evidence hints at water’s potential to curb hunger and aid weight loss, animal studies show that thirst can often be misinterpreted as hunger.

A small human study revealed a 22% reduction in meal intake when participants drank two glasses of water beforehand. Scientists suggest that around 17 ounces (500 mL) of water may stretch the stomach, signaling fullness to the brain. You will get the best results when water is consumed closely before meals, focusing on its swift stomach emptying. These findings highlight a simple yet effective strategy: hydrate strategically to potentially reduce calorie intake and support weight loss.

3.      Coffee

Savoring a moderate cup of coffee goes beyond a morning ritual; it might just help you manage and decrease appetite and give your metabolism a gentle nudge.

A review shows coffee’s appetite-decreasing capability when consumed 30 minutes to 4 hours before a meal. The answer lies in caffeine and the antioxidants brewed from those aromatic coffee beans. However, it’s wise not to sabotage these benefits with an excess of sugar or cream. So, enjoy your cup, savor the boost, and keep it in moderation for a delightful and healthy experience.

4.      Exercise before taking a meal

Exercise goes beyond its well-known benefits for physical health, as it can help decrease appetite.

A comprehensive review of findings from 20 distinct studies underscores the immediate impact of exercise on appetite hormones, particularly following high-intensity workouts. The research reveals a noteworthy suppression of ghrelin, the hunger-inducing hormone, accompanied by increased levels of satiety hormones like PPY and GLP-1.

5.      Spicy food

Consider spicing up your meals for both taste and potential health benefits. Spices like cayenne, black pepper, curry, turmeric, ginger, dandelion, and cinnamon, known for their natural zest and anti-inflammatory properties, might boost your body’s fat-burning capacity. These ingredients not only add flavor but also have appetite-reducing qualities, help regulate glucose levels, and combat aging-related free radical damage.

Research suggests that incorporating cayenne with high-carb meals increases diet-induced thermogenesis and lipid oxidation. Additionally, capsaicin, the compound responsible for pepper spiciness, can modulate metabolic activities by affecting digestive system receptors like TRPV1.

6.      Chewing gum

When you chew on chewing gum, your brain tricks your body into feeling satisfied. Numerous studies indicate that chewing gum, in particular, has the potential to diminish the desire for food, especially sweet treats.

More research shows that individuals not actively restricting their calorie intake ended up consuming approximately 40 to 70 fewer calories. Furthermore, they burned about 5 percent more calories.

7.      Mindful eating

The brain holds significant sway overeating habits. Focusing on food, rather than watching TV during meals, can lead to consuming less.

According to a study, it was revealed that eating in the dark resulted in a 36% increase in consumption. Mindful eating can curb overeating, as demonstrated by studies linking mindfulness to reduced binge and comfort eating—key factors in obesity. Attentiveness to food may prove to be a powerful tool in promoting healthier eating habits and weight management.