Written by Arlene Semeco, MS, RD on January 22, 2018
There are many weight loss products on the market.
They work in different ways, either by reducing your appetite, blocking the absorption of certain nutrients or increasing the number of calories you burn.
This article focuses on natural herbs and plants that have been shown to help you eat less food by reducing appetite, increasing feelings of fullness or reducing food cravings.
Here are the top 10 natural appetite suppressants that can help you lose weight.
Fenugreek is a plant rich in galactomannan fiber. This soluble fiber helps reduce appetite by increasing satiety levels, slowing stomach emptying and delaying carbohydrate and fat absorption.
- Whole seed: Start with 2 grams and move up to 5 grams, as tolerated.
- Capsule: Start with a 0.5-gram dose and increase to 1 gram after a couple of weeks if you do not experience any side effects.
Glucomannan is one of the most effective types of fiber for weight loss. This soluble fiber forms a viscous gel, which delays fat and carbohydrate absorption. When taken before meals, it can help suppress appetite.
Start at 1 gram three times a day, 15 minutes to 1 hour before a meal (16).
Gymnemasylvestre is an herb able to help decrease sugar cravings. Its active compounds can help you eat fewer sugary foods, decrease sugar absorption in the blood and even block the digestion of fats.
- Capsule: 100 mg three to four times daily.
- Powder: Start with 2 grams and move up to 4 grams if no side effects are experienced.
- Tea: Boil leaves for 5 minutes and let steep for 10–15 minutes before drinking.
4. GriffoniaSimplicifolia (5-HTP)
Griffoniasimplicifolia is a plant rich in 5-HTP. This compound is converted into serotonin in the brain, which has been shown to decrease appetite and reduce carbohydrate intake.
5-HTP supplements are probably a more effective appetite suppressant than Griffoniasimplicifolia, given that 5-HTP is the main active compound in this herb.
Doses for 5-HTP range from 300 to 500 mg, taken once a day or in divided doses. It is recommended to take it with meals to increase satiety from foods.
Carallumafimbriata is an herb that may help decrease appetite levels. Combined with exercise and a calorie-controlled diet, Carallumafimbriata has also been shown to promote weight loss.
It is recommended in doses of 500 mg twice daily for at least a month.
6. Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract contains caffeine and catechins, which can boost metabolism, burn fat and help with weight loss. Combining green tea extract with other ingredients may decrease appetite levels and reduce food intake.
The recommended dosage for green tea with standardized EGCG as its main ingredient is 250–500 mg per day.
7. Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid is a trans-fat with appetite suppressant benefits. CLA has been shown to increase fat burn and block fat absorption.
The recommended daily dose is between 3 and 6 grams. It should be taken with meals.
8. Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA has been shown to help increase serotonin levels, which may improve satiety levels. However, some studies show no significant effects from this supplement.
Garcinia cambogia is recommended at doses of 500 mg of HCA. It should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals.
9. Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is a plant known for its energy-boosting properties. It has been shown to help increase glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and leptin levels. Both of these compounds may increase satiety levels and decrease appetite.
- Tea: 3 cups (330 ml each) daily.
- Powder: 1 to 1.5 grams per day.
Coffee has been shown to decrease appetite, delay stomach emptying and influence appetite hormones, which can help you eat less. Caffeine has also been proven to increase fat burn and assist with weight loss.
One cup of regular brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine (76).
Doses of 200 mg of caffeine, or about two cups of regular coffee, are usually used for weight loss. Research generally consists of doses of 1.8–2.7 mg per pound (4–6 mg per kg) of body weight.
However, these doses may depend on the individual and possible side effects.
The Bottom Line
There are certain herbs and plants that are proven to promote weight loss.
They work by reducing appetite, increasing satiety levels, slowing down stomach emptying, blocking the absorption of nutrients and influencing appetite hormones.
Soluble fibers like fenugreek and glucomannan are great at delaying gastric emptying, increasing satiety and inhibiting nutrient absorption.
Carallumafimbriata, Griffoniasimplicifolia and Garcinia cambogia have compounds that help increase serotonin levels in the brain, which has been shown to increase satiety and decrease carbohydrate intake.
Yerba mate, coffee and green tea extract are rich in caffeine and compounds like EGCG that have been shown to reduce food intake, influence appetite hormones and boost metabolism.
Lastly, CLA has been shown to increase fat burn and reduce appetite levels.
While results may vary by individual, these supplements seem to be a good approach for those looking to take a more natural approach to weight loss.