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"Appetite Suppressants for Success: I need help!"

I follow various health and fitness groups on Facebook. There was an inquiry on a health page about an appetite suppressant and I have seen other types of questions and content about the issue. I thought about answering the question with a question.

Isn't the best appetite suppressant food?

But since this is a sensitive topic there are better ways to go about it. First of all, food is important and if you are hungry, you should eat. Fundamentally, you should eat nutritious food that you have available to you. But sometimes we struggle to eat less or differently when we want to see fat loss or muscle gain.

If you desire fat loss and muscle gain, there is a appropriate balance of calories and nutrients. I will be soon interviewing a dietitian about these issues people encounter when exercising and eating to lose fat and gain muscle (recomposition). Stay tuned for that! Of course it is individualized and you may want to consult your own doctor or dietitian.

Are appetite suppressants healthy?

According to the Cleveland clinic website, they are generally safe- especially after you have had the ok with your doctor and don't have certain underlying conditions or pregnancy. There are side effects to consider!

That being said, if a client asked me about appetite suppressants, I could defer that kind of discussion with their doctor. There is a medical and mental health side to appetite. Appetite is not the little demon on your shoulder telling you to eat. So, we shouldn't look at it as such.

What tips do I have in regards to fat loss and eating then?

  1. Think about what works for your schedule, but do not eat so close to bed time. I would say 3 hours before bed time. Limit the times when you will eat, basically.

  2. Think about an appropriate caloric deficit that also matches your calorie loss in exercise. A healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. If you exercise, you are going to burn calories and feel hunger. Prepare yourself for the exercise by eating a carb. Your body will burn that, but if you are in a deficit, you will eventually see the body begin to lose weight. It is not just about the calories you burn during exercise, it is what you use all day long! Having a calorie deficit too low can cause deficiencies and loss of muscle mass. Running, endurance training, and HIIT burns a lot of calories. So, be prepared for those that you don't have too much of a deficit.

  3. Think about fiber to carb ratio. Simple carbs like pasta, juice, and rice will be the first your body uses for fuel. Fiber along with carbs, can help you burn up the fuel slower. This will be good for endurance exercise. Having a carb before exercise may be beneficial to most. You can learn more from reading Nancy Clark's Sport's Nutrition Guidebook. I've also used the Sports Nutrition course and book from ISSA. Having a diet with fiber can also help your body absorb nutrients as well.

  4. Plan to sometimes eat "less than healthy" foods. You don't have to confess to a priest after eating a 1100 calorie cheesecake at the Cheesecake factory. Think of healthy foods you like and stick to those. Try new things when you can, but don't beat yourself up if you ate a Big Mac meal. Over restriction has a failure rate and people have gained weight on super restrictive diets.

  5. List all of the healthy foods you do like. This helps you view your healthy choices as abundance rather than restriction.

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