Researchers have found a herbal supplement that can reduce appetite by a fifth and even stop the longing for treats.
A study of 58 healthy to slightly overweight young women found that Zotrim - a formulation of the plant extracts Yerba Mate, Guarana and Damiana - can cut calorie intake by an average 17.6 per cent over a mealtime.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool invited participants to eat as much as they wanted at a buffet lunch, either after taking the formulation or a placebo before breakfast and again before lunch.
It was found that Zotrim could reduce calorie consumption by an average of 132 calories at lunchtime.
In addition, the researchers observed a decrease by over a quarter in the selection of high fat, sweet items when taking Zotrim.
The volunteers also finished their meal on average three minutes earlier, indicating an earlier onset of satiety.
The researchers also saw a trend of reduced hunger and reduced desire to eat before lunch by subjects when taking the diet aid.
"These findings suggest that the ingredients contained in the Zotrim formulation produce a robust acute effect on caloric intake," the Telegraph quoted Dr Jason Halford, who led the study at the Kissileff Laboratory for Ingestive Behaviour at the University, as saying.
"If sustained, such changes could benefit weight control, as observed in previous studies on the formulation," she added.
The scientists even conducted another key weight loss study on continuous use of the Zotrim herbal formulation - tested without any dietary changes or advice.
They found that the overweight participants lost 11.5 pounds in 45 days, compared to a rate of just 0.5 pounds in a placebo group.
In a separate study on overweight health care workers, volunteers felt better able to resist snacking, control portion sizes and avoid emotional eating when taking Zotrim.
Zotrim costs around 21.95 pounds for a month's supply of 180 tablets.
The findings will appear as in the peer reviewed international research Journal Appetite.