I’m going to do a series of short blogs on different diet pills and what they claim to do. They fall into different categories:
1) Fat binders/blockers;
2) Carb blockers;
3) Metabolism boosters;
4) Appetite suppressants;
5) Those that claim to do most of the above and then some!
This fourth blog is on the Appetite Suppressants:
Examples of products include: Bio-Synergy Pinnothin. The blurb says: “The primary component of Bio-Synergy Pinnothin is pine nut oil (a natural plant source), which comes from Korean pine tree nuts. It is scientifically proven to increase the body’s release of satiety hormones such as CCK which means that you feel fuller for longer and are less likely to snack.”
Hoodia: The blurb says “Traditionally, South African Bushmen have suppressed their hunger on long hunting trips by chewing Hoodia Gordonii, which also sustains energy levels. In the UK, the prickly plant has a new use as part of a calorie-controlled diet and is hailed by some experts as a weight loss wonder.”
Higher Nature Full Stop!: The blurb says “This revolutionary, new, patented extract from white potato helps manage appetite and hunger naturally.”
Zotrim – appetite suppressant: The blurb says “By using our natural herbal supplement, you can give your body the support it needs to make significant changes to your eating habits, whilst experiencing credible weight loss results.” Zotrim contains maté, guarana and damiana.
Appesat – appetite suppressant: The blurb says “Appesat is for people who have got used to eating larger portions. It is made out of seaweed is been likened to a gastric band – but without the invasive risks of surgery.”
Zoë comment: There is a well known diet book that advises “when you are hungry – eat”! I would be the size of a small village if I had followed this advice! The problem with people desperate to lose weight is that we don’t eat because we are hungry. We eat because we have particular cravings for particular foods.
The fundamental problem with appetite suppressants, therefore, is that most overweight people have no sense of appetite and/or fullness anyway. We generally manage to finish almost every meal before any food reaches the stomach and starts registering fullness. More importantly, people who find themselves eating things that they don’t want to, despite desperately wanting to be slim, are addicted to food. Food addicts have no concept of feeling full and they have a physical ‘need’ for a particular food. Appetite has very little to do with any of this. So curbing appetite will also have very little effect.
Generally the ingredients in appetite suppressants are harmless (and ineffective). However, some are worth taking extra care before you take them. Zotrim, for example, contains the extracts of three herbs: maté, guarana and damiana. The product leaflet says that guarana contains caffeine, but so does maté (along with other stimulants). Guarana contains approximately twice as much caffeine as coffee beans. Damiana, interestingly, is better known as an aphrodisiac! Hence Zotrim would appear to be trying to work on the basis of making the consumer hyper active, sexy and jittery! Caffeine stimulates the production of insulin and this will lower your blood sugar and make you vulnerable to food cravings. Not an ideal outcome!