Can A Pill Really Make You Feel Full?

For years now, I’ve been on a cocktail of antidepressants that keep me bobbling along in the land of the living. No sitting inside crying and weeping for me any more—no siree! These days, I manage the amazing feat of getting to work each day, and talking to people of my own free will. Miracles can happen!

The only downside to my particular breed of antidepressants is that they make me feel constantly ravenous. If I’m not eating, I’m thinking about eating—sometimes even to the point where I have to sit on my hands to keep myself from ripping through contents of the fridge, Cookie-Monster style.

So when I saw an article about a woman who lost 13.5 kgs in eight weeks with a “miracle” drug developed from New Zealand grape seeds, I was curious. Hell, let’s call a spade a spade–I was desperate.

A pill that makes you feel full–too good to be true?

Satisfax was developed after $12 million of research, analysing 600 potential products to find a natural product to help people lose weight.

The idea behind Satisfax is that many people eat too much because they feel hungry. Satisfax’s ingredients have been developed to help you feel full for longer after meals, meaning that you eat less than you normally would.

Satisfax slows down your body’s digestion of complex carbohydrates—since those carbohydrates are hanging around, it makes your stomach feel full for longer. Satisfax also slows down the release of glucose into your bloodstream, so your blood glucose levels don’t suddenly spike and then fall off, leaving you hangry and on the hunt for more food.

How does Satisfax work?

The science behind why Satisfax could curb your hunger pangs checks out, but the one human trial that has been done doesn’t really shed much light on whether it works for us plebs.

Tuatara, the company that makes Satisfax, asked 200 overweight people to take part in a “Fat Mates” trial. The participants all had to have a BMI between 30 and 40, and were asked to make no lifestyle changes for the 8 weeks they took Satisfax.

The participants who took Satisfax as recommended (taking two pills an hour before three of the day’s main meals) lost an average of 2.9 kgs.

But—and it’s a big but—with no control group taking a placebo, it’s nearly impossible to tell whether people lost weight because of Satisfax, or because they thought they were taking  magical hunger reducing pills. Sure we can look at the average weight loss for placebo trials (about 1 kg), but the placebo effect is bigger when people are more convinced that a pill will work—and Satisfax is pretty damn convincing.

Taking Satisfax for a test drive

Since I was already living in a haze of relentless hanger, I figured I had nothing to lose. So I put aside my “but what about the control group!” qualms and gave Satisfax a try to figure out if a pill really can make you feel full. I put in my order online—wincing a little as I paid NZD $180 ($135 USD) for 60 days of Satisfax.

A couple of days later, and my magic beans were here; white capsules in a white bottle with red and black accents. The instructions said that they would be most effective if I took them an hour before each of my three of my main meals. “Too easy!” I thought.

In practice though, it wasn’t that simple. My usual routine in the morning is to snooze my alarm for an hour or so until gets to HOLY FUCK I HAVE TO GET TO WORK o’clock, have a Speedy Gonzalez shower, bolt down some breakfast, and then run out the door and speed-walk to work while I slap a face of makeup on. It was pretty clear that my slapstick morning routine wasn’t going to mesh well with my new Satisfax routine.

So I waved goodbye to the world of poorly applied makeup, and became one of those people who potter around before they go to work in the morning. I’d take Satisfax as soon as my alarm went off, and then used my hour waiting time to do some exercycling.

Taking the lunch and dinner pills required fewer adjustments—the only drag was when I forgot to take my pills and had to wait an hour for the Satisfax to kick in. The one hour window meant I had to be more disciplined about when I ate, which probably also had the bonus of making me more mindful about what I was putting in my mouth when I finally got to eat.

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As for side effects, some people report feeling a bit nauseous after taking the pills, especially on an empty stomach. I did feel a bit squiffy the first few days that I took it, but after a while the nausea just went away.

The verdict

So did Satisfax work? The answer, for me, is yes definitely.

I’ve lost 8 kgs (about 18 lbs), and I haven’t done it while in a constant haze of hanger. I don’t graze constantly. I come home from work and can have human adult conversations with my boyfriend because I’m not secretly imagining what he’d taste like fried up with a side of potatoes. And I’ve become one of those mythical beasts who can put half a meal aside for tomorrow if I’m not hungry anymore.

Sure, I did start doing more exercise during my Satisfax experiment. But I could also concentrate at work because I didn’t have a constant gnawing hunger driving me to EAT ALL THE THINGS.

The days that I’ve forgotten to take Satisfax are noticable because I’ll suddenly get hunger pains, and it takes everything in me not to stampede the local supermarket. Sure, it could still be a placebo effect—but if it’s a placebo effect that means I’m not a walking, talking Hanger Beast, I’ll take it.

I can’t say Satisfax will work for everyone. If you’re not overeating because you’re hungry, then Satisfax is unlikely to alter your grazing habits. But if hunger is what’s depleting your fridge and expanding your waistline, then Satisfax is definitely worth a try.

P.S. We weren’t paid for this—all opinions Rebekah’s.

View Comments (2)
  • At the end of the day, eating the right ‘clean’ foods in moderation along with regular exercise will always be the best way to lose and keep off unwanted kilos. Society’s food these days is so processed and we are all looking for an easy way out. Take responsibility for your body and treat it with respect and you’ll be happier and healthier for it.

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