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Overweight and obese individuals often want to try weight loss drugs to help control their appetite. Many people go for over-the-counter appetite suppressants, including herbal supplements that promise rapid weight loss. Others ask their doctors for prescription drugs to reduce their appetite and improve their health. If you are wondering what is the best appetite suppressant to achieve weight loss, here are a few points to consider.

First of all, there are no herbal or other dietary supplements specifically for weight loss that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The products you find in grocery stores, pharmacies, or online health shops are being marketed as health or dietary supplements with no approved indication for weight loss. Furthermore, their long-term effects have not been studied and there is little scientific evidence on their effectiveness or side effects as shown in large populations.

That being said, you can consult your doctor about safe ways to lose weight by controlling the appetite. Currently, there are two weight loss drugs approved by the FDA, which act as appetite suppressants. One is Qsymia, a mixture of phentermine, which reduces one's desire to eat, and topiramate, which is used to treat migraines and seizures. This drug gives you a feeling of fullness and makes food less appealing. The other drug is Belviq (lorcaserin), which acts on brain receptors, which gives you a feeling of satiety after eating small amounts of food.

These drugs are often prescribed to obese individuals and overweight patients who are at risk for some health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. However, they should be used for short periods only and they must not substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Belviq and Qsymia are classified as controlled substances, which may lead to tolerance and addiction after prolonged use. Side effects may include rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, dry mouth, sweating, constipation, headache, insomnia, anxiety, excessive thirst, drowsiness and stuffy nose.

Natural Appetite Suppressants

Appetite suppressants, when taken with a healthy diet and exercise, may help you lose 5-10% of your initial weight after one year.

Health experts, however, recommend additional ways by which one can trick the body into feeling full longer and reducing the desire to eat. These natural methods are safe, practical, sustainable, and healthy.

First, eat a protein-rich breakfast consisting of lean meat such as Canadian bacon and egg whites. These will keep you satisfied longer during the day. Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and low fat dairy. Incorporate high-fiber foods into your salad, soup, stew, casserole, or pizza to make a healthful, satisfying meal. Include healthy fats into your diet from nuts and seeds, peanut butter or avocado to curb hunger.

Aerobic exercise and high-intensity cardio exercises not only burn calories - they also reduce appetite. Chewing your food slowly and taking small bites also help reduce the amount of food you eat. Some studies show that chewing sugar-free gum can reduce one's urge to eat. Finally, advocates for natural weight loss recommend sniffing peppermint or vanilla several times a day to reduce anxiety and curb appetite.

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