Blond Psyllium May Help Suppress Your Appetite While You’re Dieting

It seems a simple equation—consume fewer calories than your body burns, and the weight will melt away. Anyone who has struggled to lose weight knows it is not that simple.

Our bodies are designed to conserve energy and store excess fuel — in the form of fat on our hips, thighs and bellies. It is a precaution against starvation during times of food scarcity. If we slash consumption too severely, our bodies respond by slowing our metabolism. This is why starvation diets don’t work.

When your mind says no, but your stomach says, “Eat!”

Even with a sensible diet plan, our brains sends out hunger pangs that threaten to derail our best intentions. Food looks so much more appetizing when we are hungry, and hunger can easily override the thoughts of our rational selves that know the package of chocolate chip cookies should be left unopened. Add to this all the social and emotional connections we have with food, and dieting often seems a futile pursuit.

Finding satisfaction in a calorie-restricted diet

Unless you have emotional problems that lead to uncontrolled eating (and these types of problems are often best addressed with therapy), you will lose your desire to eat when your stomach is full. This may be hard if you’ve cut your daily calorie intake. Short of weight-loss surgery, how can you fill your stomach without adding excessive calories?

The satiety properties of blond psyllium

Blond psyllium comes from a shrub-like herb. Its seeds and the seed husks are commonly used in food supplements to aid in digestion. It is most commonly known as the active ingredient in the fiber supplement Metamucil and its generic equivalents. It primarily is used as a mild laxative, and studies have found it effective in lowering cholesterol levels. It may even do more. According to the National Institutes of Health, preliminary studies provide evidence that blond psyllium can reduce appetite and body weight in people who are overweight or obese. Taken a half-hour before meals, it can satisfy your appetite with a negligible amount of calories.

How blond psyllium works

Psyllium is a soluble fiber, which means it dissolves in water. The husks swell when they come in contact with water, creating a gelatin-like mass that fills the stomach and helps carry waste through the digestive system. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dosage of 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of psyllium seed, taken with at least eight ounces of water. Your health care provider may adjust this dosage. If you use a product such as Metamucil, follow the label directions for dosage. Drinking the full amount of water is necessary to prevent the psyllium from expanding in your throat and creating a choking hazard.

Negative side effects of blond psyllium

If you normally have a low-fiber diet, your body may need time to adjust to the added fiber. Initially, you may experience stomach pain, gas, nausea, diarrhea or constipation. You may avoid these unpleasant effects by starting with a low dose and gradually building up to recommended amounts.