Is appetite suppression dangerous?

Introduction and background

The phrase “appetite suppression” is commonly misunderstood. First of all, many common people believe that “appetite is always something normal and should never be suppressed”.  Also, there are also some other schools of thought that believe that supplements or pills used to suppress appetite are always dangerous and may lead to potential toxic effects. While both of these statements may be partially true, they are not entirely right. Read the following article to differentiate between fact and fiction about appetite suppression and appetite suppressants.


What is appetite suppression?

Definition: By definition, appetite suppression refers to the phenomenon or process of reducing or blocking or inhibiting the appetite or desire to eat.


Why is appetite suppression needed?

We get fat or obese or overweight because of the increased amount of calories in our bodies that are taken and stored in our bodies in the form of carbohydrates and fats. There are two ways through which these calories get accumulated in our bodies:


By means of increased calorie consumption: We are what we eat. Almost everything we eat contains calories, be it a protein, carbohydrate or a fat. Therefore, the largest portion of calorie intake / calorie input comes into our body in the form of food or diet consumed.  A high fat diet, for example, typically contains high amount of calories.

By means of lower calorie expenditure: The term calorie expenditure refers to the burning or calories as a result of metabolism. Exercise or physical activity is one of the fastest and sure ways to boost our metabolic rate. Hence, people who are athletes or sports people have higher than normal metabolic rates and, as a result, have higher calorie burning rate / greater calorie expenditure or output. People with sedentary lifestyle (physically inactive lifestyle), on the other hand, have lower metabolic rate that leads to lesser calorie burning (lower calorie expenditure).


Is appetite suppression dangerous?

Well, the answer to this question actually depends on the extent and objective of appetite suppression.

For example, a person who is already underweight or malnourished will surely put his / her life at danger by further suppressing hi/her appetite  However, a person who is either obese or overweight will definitely need to suppress his appetite, at least partially. This, however, does not mean that appetite should be completely suppressed. All it means is that people who have desire to eat more and more should be more careful about their dietary and eating habits.


What do the statistics say?

According to a meta-analysis of multiple published clinical trials, scientific studies and internet surveys polls, as much as 65% overweight or obese people believed that the main reason of their body weight was excessive eating / overeating due to uncontrolled appetite (National diet data, 2009).

Therefore, it is quite clear that appetite is considered as, perhaps, the single most important factor that could lead to obesity especially for people who are either physically inactive or have sedentary lifestyle.


Strategy for safe appetite suppression

The best strategy that most nutritionists and dieticians recommend for safe and natural appetite suppression is called as food-supplement strategy. According to this strategy, uncontrolled appetite should be partially managed and suppressed by means of food as well as natural / herbal diet supplements.


Foods that suppress appetite: Foods that suppress or partially reduce appetite include fibre rich foods, green leafy vegetables, apples, bananas, lettuce, carrots and, of course, water.

Supplements that suppress appetite:  There are certain herbal / organic / vegetative supplements in the market that are primarily meant to decrease one’s desire to eat more. Depending on their contents and composition, each of such supplements may act differently. Some of these supplements create a feeling of fullness in the stomach. Others inhibit the “eating centre: in one’s brain that automatically reduces appetite and brings about early satiety.



In short, it can be said that appetite suppression, itself, is not a dangerous thing to practice especially if its is done within the recommended parameters and in accordance with the expert recommendations. Using appetite suppressing supplements and above mentioned foods can be the best and most effective and yet safest way to reduce or suppress your appetite naturally and, hence, your weight loss goals within the minimum time frame and without any significant side effects or health risks.