Appetite suppressants work by tricking the body into thinking it isn't hungry. Some appetite suppressants are available over the counter while others require a prescription. Doctors may recommend the use of weight-loss products for overweight people, particularly those who have certain conditions related to obesity, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Prescription Appetite Suppressants
Phentermine is the most often prescribed appetite suppressant, according to the Weight-control Information Network. Other choices include diethylpropion or phendimetrazine. In most cases, an appetite suppressant is only prescribed for a person with a body mass index of 30 or higher, or a person with a body mass index of 27 or higher with a health condition that is affected by obesity. Prescription appetite suppressants are typically prescribed for three to six weeks or up to a maximum of 12 weeks. They aren't recommended to be used longer than that, because they can be habit-forming. These medications may cause sleeplessness, nervousness or abdominal discomfort.
OTC Appetite Suppressants
People who need to lose weight often wish for a magic pill to help them do so. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of over-the-counter diet pills is usually unproven or dangerous. Many appetite suppressants sold over the counter contain stimulants, which can lead to nervousness and restlessness. There are claims that certain herbal supplements can help with weight loss, such as green tea or acai berry, but these claims are controversial and inconclusive.
Foods That Suppress Appetite
In some ways, a healthy diet is the most powerful appetite suppressant of all. One of the easiest changes to make for a person who has a problem with over eating is to drink more water. What is perceived as hunger is often really thirst. A conscious effort to drink more water at the first sign of hunger can help tremendously in curbing the craving to overeat. Negative calorie foods, such as celery, spinach or cabbage require more calories to digest than are in the foods themselves. Snacking on these foods or high-fibre foods can help suppress appetite.
Appetite suppressants are only meant to be used on a short-term basis, and should be used along with lifestyle changes, such as limiting portion size and becoming more active. Suppressing appetite is a small part of successful weight loss strategy. The more important part of losing weight is following a healthy diet and including exercise whenever possible.