appetite suppression

Why Appetite Suppression Is Needed To Lose Weight?

Introduction and background

The question of why appetite suppression is needed to lose weight is one of the most frequently  asked questions from the dieticians, fitness and weight loss experts and even doctors. This is because of the fact that appetite is, perhaps, the hardest-to-control part of one’s diet or weight loss regimen and schedule. People may exercise easily, choose to eat foods of their own choices pretty quickly and yet they find it extremely difficult to control their desire to eat more. So, what’s the solution and is controlling appetite needed at all? The following article is intended to answer these questions in an easy, helpful way. Read on to discover below.


What is appetite?

Appetite can be defined as the natural, physiological desire or need that urges a person to eat. or consume food. Other terms often used for appetite include hunger or eating desire. The foods or factors that enhance or increase your appetite are, accordingly, known as “appetizers”.  When a person fulfils his / her appetite by eating something, he or she is said to be “satiated”. Thus, the term “satiation” is opposite to appetite.


What is appetite suppression?

Appetite suppression is the process or phenomenon of curbing the appetite or desire to eat more by natural or artificial means to achieve a desired objective. For example, if you want to eat less, you will need to curb or suppress your appetite either by means of some drug, some food or anything that will give you a feeling of fullness or satiation.


What are appetite suppressants?

Appetite suppressants are any substances, compounds, foods or drugs that will suppress, reduce or block your appetite. Examples of such appetite suppressants include herbal appetite suppressants, medical drugs that are prescribed to reduce appetite or surgery (gastric bypass surgery).


Is not appetite suppression dangerous?

A wise mind may naturally ask that if appetite suppression is a natural, normal physiological process that is found in every individual, why we need to suppress it all. And if we do, will not it affect other vital processes of our body? Will it be all right at all?  The answer to this question is simple…

Appetite suppression does not mean “permanently blocking” your appetite  All it does is that it “reduces or decreases” your urge to eat more for short term or temporarily. As a result you eat less. In other words, it does not eliminate or remove your appetite. Rather, it just “optimizes” it or minimizes it so that you still get all the much needed nutrients through your food and yet does not eat the fatty, bulky calorie rich food.


Why appetite suppression is needed at all?

We now come to our key question i.e. why one needs to suppress or reduce his / her appetite all?

The answer to this question is quite simple. A weight loss seeker, a fitness enthusiast or a focused dieter will definitely need to reduce his appetite to achieve his (or her) weight loss goals within an optimum time frame. To lose fat and body weight, one must need to waste or expend his calories in a greater quantity. Our body’s calorie balance works as follows:

Calorie input: This refers to the total calories that our body takes in the form of food or whatever we eat. It is also known as calorie consumption  To lose weight, our calorie input must be less than our calorie output.

Calorie output: This refers to the total calories that our total body burns or expels in the form of physical activity or metabolism / digestion. It is also known as calorie expenditure. To lose weight, our calorie input must be more than our calorie input.

Successful weight loss = Calorie input < Calorie output


What appetite suppressants will work best for me?

Appetite suppressants can be of many types such as:

Water: Water is an excellent natural zero-calorie appetite suppressants that is completely free and works best if consumed thirty minutes before having your meals.

Foods: Certain foods can also act as natural appetite suppressants. Examples of such foods include fibre-rich foods like lettuce, green leafy vegetables, vitamin C rich foods, green tea etc.,.

Medical drugs: There are certain allopathic ./ medical drugs that doctors often prescribe to people who are “obese” and can;t seem to control their appetite by other means. It should be, however, always be remembered that medial drugs have a number of serious side effects and complications. Furthermore, they work only temporarily and are actually quite expensive  In most cases, the consumption of these drugs is also not covered by your insurance provider.

Herbal suppressants: Fortunately, with the advancements in naturopathy and herbal health sciences, the use of natural appetite suppressants / herbal appetite suppressing supplements has increased drastically. Care should, however, be taken in choosing the right and most suitable supplement as what works best for you may not work best for others.

Ghrelin – The Appetite Hormone

Introduction & background

Ghrelin, also known as the appetite or hunger hormone, is the first hormone demonstrated to stimulate food intake or appetite in humans. In simple words, this hormone tells your brain that your body has to be fed and you are feeling hungry. Therefore, Ghrelin carries signals messages between your brain and stomach (digestive system). Ghrelin was first described by Japanese researchers in the journal Nature in December 1999. They chose the name ghrelin because “ghre” is the Proto-Indo-European root of the word “grow,” and ghrelin also stimulates the pituitary gland to release growth hormone. Today, scientists consider ghrelin as a potentially important regulator of the complex systems controlling food intake and body weight.


Where is ghrelin produced?

Ghrelin is produced and secreted by specialized cells in the stomach (and to some extent by intestine and placenta) and the upper part of the small intestine.


How ghrelin acts to cause appetite?

Ghrelin is first natural appetite stimulant found to be made outside the brain and its blood concentrations increase progressively before meals and decrease after meals. After its release from stomach and other parts of the body, ghrelin acts directly on the brain. Like leptin, it acts on the hypothalamus (part of the brain). However, unlike leptin, it increases appetite rather than decreasing it.
The levels of ghrelin appear to be regulated throughout the day and are closely correlated with meal time. For example, levels of ghrelin are highest in your blood just before a meal.

What does ghrelin do?

Increases your food intake: As explained above, ghrelin is the hormone that your body makes in order to ensure that you eat enough and lets the body know if the stomach is empty (stimulates appetite). In various studies, Ghrelin has been found to increase the appetite before eating and to decrease it afterward.

More compelling evidence for ghrelin’s role in stimulating hunger in humans is that after injecting ghrelin into the blood and allowing people to consume as much as they please from a buffet, a 30% increase in food intake was found to occur.

It is now established that ghrelin is a peripheral signal from the stomach that is secreted upon hunger. Ghrelin travels in the blood to the brain where it activates neurons in the hypothalamus and stimulates eating. Satiety signals will then feedback to the stomach through vagal afferents (nerves) and decrease the urge to eat.

Helps release growth hormone: Ghrelin is a naturally produced peptide (protein) that releases growth hormone in the body by stimulating pituitary gland in the brain.
Role in weight gain or loss: It has been observed that dieters who lose weight and then try to keep it off make more ghrelin than they did before dieting, as if their bodies are fighting to regain the lost fat, researchers are reporting today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

By contrast, the same study showed that very obese people who have an operation called gastric bypass to lose weight wind up with relatively little ghrelin, which may help explain why their appetites decrease markedly after the surgery. It is said that obese people are sensitive to the appetite-stimulating effects of ghrelin and inhibition of circulating ghrelin may be a useful therapeutic target in the treatment of obesity.

One of the reasons that some people find dieting so difficult to maintain is that when dieting the body will produce ghrelin in response to hunger, thus stimulating eating and fat retention. Anti-obesity drugs usually act by being agonists (stimulate) or antagonists (inhibit) of receptors involved in appetite. Therefore when the drug is taken continuously, weight is reduced but upon stopping the weight may well go back on.

Effect on body fat: Research has demonstrates that ghrelin suppresses the utilization of fat in the adipose tissue. According to international journal of obesity, Ghrelin also favors the accumulation of lipids in visceral fatty tissue, located in the abdominal zone and considered to be the most harmful. Researchers theorize that it causes the over-expression of the fatty genes that take part in the retention of lipids. It is precisely this accumulated fat in the region of the abdomen that is deemed to be most harmful, as it is accompanied by complications, visceral obesity being related to higher blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Moreover, being located in the abdominal zone and in direct contact with the liver, this type of fatty tissue favors the formation of liver fat (fatty liver).



All in all, based on the above facts and discussion, it can be concluded that ghrelin (the hunger hormone) has a direct role in causing and regulating your appetite. In fact, both leptin and ghrelin act as “non-identical” twins in reducing or increasing your appetite and, hence, have a direct connection with how diet can cause weight gain or weight loss. Fortunately, there are some natural and recommended appetite suppressants in the market that can actually suppress the excessive appetite caused due to the over secretion of ghrelin. The following comparison chart lists some of the highly recommended and quality appetite suppressants.

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