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Modafinil and Appetite | What You Must Know

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Would modafinil help you lose weight?

Some people swear by modafinil as an appetite suppressant, even though the majority of modafinil users are using the smartdrug for the cognitive enhancement effects it exerts.

Anecdotes of moda reducing weight radically are affluent in various forums across the Internet, however, these stories bring a lot of questions to mind.

Today we'll cover why does modafinil reduce appetite? Should you use modafinil as a weight loss pill? How can you prevent this reduction in appetite and enable your body to eat?

The theme of this article (and our site) is safety, so you can be sure you've come to the right place!

Brain workout with nootropics


Modafinil Overview

For the unacquainted here is some background information about modafinil.

Modafinil to the brain is like how a shovel is to a farmer - it makes the brain much more effective at his job.

Some people refer to it as the best smart drug around.

And as the pretty face of the biohacking world, it's definitely is the entering ticket for the cognitive enhancement scene.

While modern biohacking contains a plethora of tactics (even outside the supplementation niche), for better cognition and well-being, a few decades ago the options were limited.

Modafinil being a man-made substance was not available for the public throughout its first years, you must've gotten a prescription from a doctor to buy the expensive brand name versions of the drug - there was no other choice. [1]

After modafinil was prescribed by doctors in the early 90s in France, the FDA gave the "OK" in 1998 for using modafinil to treat a medical condition called narcolepsy, a severe disease that makes a person fall asleep randomly.

03' came, and modafinil was accepted by the foods and drug administration for other sleep related medical conditions, specifically "shift work sleep disorder" and sleep apnea because the wakefulness promoting effects (eugeroic) of modafinil were profound.

To this day the FDA's official recommendation to using modafinil are for treating excessive sleepiness and not for the off-label applications most of its users are using it for.

And so, after modafinil gained popularity in the midsts of healthy people using it to stay awake, the word of the positive cognition altering effects it exerts spread like wildfire and highly competitive industries and communities like brokers, entrepreneurs, computer programmers and many CEOs started using modafinil off label to achieve excellence in their jobs and stay ahead of the game.

Modafinil helps these high performing individuals with some of the next cognitive traits:

  • Concentration levels

  • Motivation

  • Self-discipline

  • Mental grasping abilities

  • Higher energy levels

As time passed users began reporting the weight reduction effects of modafinil [2], let's dive deeper into that.


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Modafinil and Weight Loss

If you are inquisitive about the mechanism of weight loss, great - intellectual appetite is essential to fully understand your physiological appetite!

You must've heard the word calories before, usually associated with food and diets.

Calories are essentially the currency of energy to our bodies, and we use them 24/7 whether laying down or running a sprint [3], different organisms have different basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories your body burns when at rest [4].

As you know, we consume calories via the foods we ingest, when we spend more energy than the amount of energy ingested we arrive at a state called "calorie deficit", your body wants to reach equilibrium, so it uses fat reserves to create that energy that your body didn't receive from food, and vice versa - when you consume more than you've spent - the body's mechanism is to store that energy as fat tissues.

However, when your energy expenditure and energy ingestion are even, your weight stays the same.

Weighing scale

How does your body disposes fat?

There are few pathways for fat to leave when the body reaches a calorie deficit state.

""These results show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss. The water formed may be excreted in the urine, feces, sweat, breath, tears or other bodily fluids, and is readily replenished," the researchers said" [5].

Why modafinil reduces weight?

So now you understand the process of weight loss, and you might ask, what is the correlation between moda and losing weight?

There are a few facets to that connection:

  • Modafinil boosts ambition and forces the brain into a flow state.

Flow states are a mental space of being totally immersed in whatever your activity is, the mind's chatter or the monkey mind as defined by Buddhists is completely faded away and extreme concentration is taking over [6].

Modafinil produces flow states and increasing motivation by elevating levels of dopamine, but motivation has a lot of branches, as a result of the different dopamine pathways in the brain.

The common effect is that modafinil boosts your desire to work and "get stuff done" so it pushes the notion of eating very far to the "brims" of your psyche, thus enabling you to forgo the need to eat.

But, and this is a very obscure topic that is hardly addressed -modafinil is not a selective dopamine reuptake inhibitor, it does not elevate dopamine only in the prefrontal cortex (the brain area that controls executive functions, forward thinking, problem-solving, etc...) hence, modafinil might motivate you to eat, since the desire to eat is also regulated by dopamine [7].

It is a subjective matter and differs from person to person, and although it is uncommon we mentioned it just for you to be aware of this possible effect.

  • Modafinil actively "crumples" your appetite by activating the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

The SNS is a sub category of the autonomic nervous system (the system controlling our involuntary responses and processes) and regulates emergency states, also known as the "fight or flight" responses.

When this system is activated, you can expect higher activity in functions and organs essential for survival such as the increasing blood rate, boosting adrenaline, increasing energy and perception [8].

The SNS is also disabling or lessening activity in organs and processes which are non-essential for survival, including the digestive system, thus reducing cravings for food.

  • According to this study modafinil might make food addicts and obese people more disciplined and reduce impulsivity [9].

This inference stems from the fact that modafinil helps healthy individuals with self-control, thus boosting self-discipline and eliminating cravings for dirty pleasures.


Using modafinil as a weight loss pill?

There is no magic diet pill and modafinil is no exception in that space, you won't find a "one way" solution here, and usually shedding some weight is a process that requires multiple approaches like a healthy diet and physical activities,

Also, the FDA is not recommending using modafinil for weight loss, as you can see in their monograph [10], albeit most of the medical literature regarding the topic is applying that modafinil can and does exert such effect on the human body [11].

With that being said, the studies do not indicate that there something wrong with using modafinil for that matter, but there are caveats to remember:

  • You need to incorporate a healthy and nutritious diet, all the more so when taking modafinil

  • Keeping healthy sleep patterns

  • Maintaining a rigorous exercise routine.

  • Modafinil is just a added bonus to these lifestyle habits.

And other important notes about using modafinil for weight loss, safely, are:

  • Keeping well hydrated, and considering drinking electrolyte drinks to compensate the loss of important vitamins and nutrients used by modafinil.

  • Eating before taking the modafinil pill to unsure you get sufficient amount of food before the appetite suppression kicks in

* If you are doing some kind of fasting regiment like intermittent fasting, consider moving the eating window early in the say, so you could eat the big meal before dosing,

Be aware that there are more parameters that come to play here such as your dosing frequency, genes, dosages amount, and other supplements or drugs your using.

We highly recommend reading our dosage protocol for you to understand how to harness the power of modafinil to your advantage while mitigating side effects. [12].


Don't want to lose weight?

Bulking? Building your physique? Modafinil gets in the way of your body building dreams?

That's ok, the following solutions might help you with omitting the appetite suppression effects of modafinil and increase your appetite.

  • Use ashwagandha AKA Withania Somnifera - it is a popular herb from the Ayurveda, its use dates as far back as 3,000 years. Also, commonly used as a nootropic adaptogen to increase well-being, reduce stress & anxiety, improve focus, energy, cognition and exert neuroprotection. [13].

Ashwagandha mechanisms of actions:

  1. Neuro augmentation of GABA and serotonin signalling, enabling these neurotransmitters to better bind to their receptor sites [14].

  2. Ashwagandha helps the body reach homeostasis, which is biological balance [15].

  3. Ashwagandha improves the immune system and has antioxidant properties [16].

How does ashwagandha increase the appetite?

Ashwagandha has been put to the test in clinical trials, and some doctors recommend their patients to use it when patients suffer from weight or muscle loss, this may stem from the fact that ashwagandha increases testosterone levels by 17% in healthy men (!).

On top of that, modafinil and Ashwagandha are complementary to each other, whilst modafinil provides the prolonged focus and motivation, Ashwagandha may take the edge off and provide a cleaner experience with less stress induced by modafinil.

  • Another tactic you could use is reducing modafinil dosages, very simple, and we addressed that topic in our modafinil's dosage guide, here.

In short - lower dosage with lower frequency of use might help you lower the appetite suppression, and continue your bodybuilding journey at ease.


Modafinil Alternatives

You may not want to use modafinil because it affects your appetite, in that case, you can check out the profoundly effective nootropic supplement "Mind Lab Pro":

Mind lab pro is a very well thought of nootropic substances formula that elicits a holositic cognitive enhancement with the idea of harnasing the reciprocity between natural and highly studied herbs & amindo acids.

The nootropics in Mind Lab Pro elevate levels of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and NGF (Nerve growth factor), and they carry neuroprotective qualities, thus they'll induce noticeable effects such as a mood lift, better memory, faster processing speed, better understanding of complex concepts and more...



You should adopt a healthier and more holistic approach to losing weight, and not expect modafinil to be your one ticket solution for losing weight. Implement exercising routines, healthy mindful diet and good sleep patterns to make sure you are in the right direction.

If you want to use modafinil to amp up your productivity but still want to gain weight, consider using Ashwagandha, which has reciprocity with modafinil but also improves your need to eat, partially because of the testosterone elevating effect.

Good luck!


Important note: this article may contain affiliate links, with that being said, our articles are always made with good faith and intentions.

Please contact us if you find any outdated information in one of our guides or articles; we put a lot of time and effort into researching, so the info is always scientific literature based from platforms such as NCBI.

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