Many people suffer from serious health problems due to their weight. Despite trying diets or workouts, there are those who prefer to try diet pills in order to lose weight faster. But is it true that they work?
- 1 How do they work?
- 2 Who can take them?
- 3 Possible benefits
- 4 Side effects
- 5 weight loss medications
- 6 Other slimming pills
How do they work?
There are many possible solutions to lose weight. Some options are more popular than others, including certain pills, medications, and natural supplements. These claim to help us lose weight, or at least facilitate weight loss when combined with other methods.
They tend to work through one or more of these mechanisms:
- Reduce appetite , making us feel fuller so we eat fewer calories.
- Reduce the absorption of nutrients such as fat, which makes us eat fewer calories.
- Increase fat burning , making us burn more calories.
It is important to note that few of these treatments have any scientific basis and some could have serious health consequences. We should always discuss any dietary or supplement changes with a doctor or registered dietitian.
Prescription weight-loss drugs approved for long-term use (greater than 12 weeks) produce significant weight loss compared to placebo. The combination of weight-loss medications and lifestyle changes result in more weight loss than lifestyle changes alone.
Over the course of a year, that can mean a weight loss of 3% to 7% of total body weight, more than we would achieve with lifestyle changes alone. It may seem like a small amount. But sustained weight loss of 5% to 10% can have important health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, blood glucose, and triglycerides.
Who can take them?
A doctor may consider the use of a weight-loss drug if we have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise, and we meet one of the following requirements:
- Body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30.
- The BMI is greater than 27 and we have a serious medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Before choosing a medicine, the doctor will review your history and health problems. Then the doctor will talk with us about the pros and cons of prescription weight loss medications. It is important to note that diet pills are not for everyone. For example, prescription weight loss medications should not be used if we are trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
It is a misconception that diet pills alone can make a big difference in weight loss. However, there are other advantages that diet pills provide that can lead us to live a healthier and happier life.
Catalyze the effects of diet and exercise
Diet pills give their maximum effect when combined with an efficient diet plan and regular exercise. They are mainly used to help us lose inches and pounds faster than we would with just a good diet and regular exercise. They are an ideal solution to lose weight just before the wedding or any other big event, or simply because we think we have been overweight most of our lives.
They do this by acting as an appetite suppressant that allows us to eat less and gives us more energy. Caffeine or any other similar supplement increases our endurance and makes us train much more efficiently than we would without the pills.
They can make a difference
Diet pills act as very efficient appetite suppressants. By taking these pills, we will itch less between meals. The urge to eat large portions during any meal will also be suppressed.
Other than that, slimming pills are great for reducing fat synthesis in the body. This is great news for people who accumulate a lot of fat on their bodies from the slightest of stimulants.
Naturally we would be concerned about the effect these pills have on our kidneys. Fortunately for us, they make our diuretic functions much more efficient and ensure that all the waste in our body is eliminated properly and that toxins and such are not stored for long periods of time.
Increase base metabolism
Diet pills are also known to increase the rate of metabolism in our body. This makes the food we eat digest quickly, which releases energy in our body very quickly as well and motivates us to be physically active.
If we have a lazy day and want to skip the training session, we can do so and still benefit from the rapid metabolism that the body will experience as an effect of the slimming pill.
They keep us active and energized
Most diet pills contain caffeine as a supplement. Caffeine is ideal for keeping us energized, which makes us be active throughout the day.
We will experience far fewer rest days as we will always have the stamina to perform physical tasks at any time of the day with the use of a diet pill.
The most common side effects are nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. Over time, they can be reduced. In rare cases, serious side effects may occur. For this reason, it is important to discuss treatment options in depth with a doctor.
Diet pills can be expensive and are not always covered by insurance. Many people gain back some of the weight they lost when they stop taking weight-loss medications. However, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help limit weight gain.
How long we have to take a weight loss medicine depends on whether this medicine helps us lose weight. If you’ve lost enough weight to improve your health and don’t have any serious side effects, your doctor may suggest you continue taking it indefinitely.
If we don’t lose at least 5% of our body weight after three to six months on the full dose of the drug, the doctor will probably change the treatment plan and put us on a different drug for weight loss.
weight loss medications
For now there are four drugs approved for weight loss and long-term use. Most prescription weight-loss drugs decrease appetite or increase feelings of fullness. Some do both. The exception is orlistat, which interferes with fat absorption.
- Bupropion-naltrexone . This is a combination drug. Naltrexone is used to treat addiction to alcohol and opiates. Bupropion is an antidepressant and helps to stop smoking. Like all antidepressants, bupropion contains a warning about the risk of suicide. Bupropion-naltrexone can raise blood pressure and monitoring is needed at the start of treatment. Common side effects include nausea, headache, and constipation.
- Liraglutide. Liraglutide is also used to control diabetes. Unlike other weight-loss drugs, liraglutide is given by injection. A common complaint from patients is that it makes them nauseous. Its use may be limited by vomiting.
- Orlistat . Orlistat is also available in a lower-strength formula without a prescription. Orlistat can cause bothersome gastrointestinal side effects, such as flatulence and loose stools. It is necessary to follow a low-fat diet when taking this medicine. Isolated cases of serious liver injury have been reported with orlistat. However, no cause and effect relationship has been established.
- Phentermine-topiramate . This is another combination of a weight-loss drug (phentermine) and an anticonvulsant (topiramate). Phentermine can be an addictive substance because it has amphetamine-like effects. Other possible side effects include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, constipation, and nervousness. Topiramate increases the risk of birth defects. Phentermine is also used alone for weight loss. It is one of four similar weight-loss drugs that are approved for short-term use (less than 12 weeks).
Other slimming pills
Beyond prescription medication, there are some diet pills in the form of supplementation.
Garcinia cambogia extract
It is a small green fruit shaped like a pumpkin. The skin of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract, which is marketed as a diet pill. Studies show that it can hinder a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase serotonin levels, which could help reduce cravings.
Although it is widely accepted that garcinia cambogia is safe to take in recommended amounts, studies in recent years have pointed to some serious side effects. In addition, hepatotoxicity or liver failure and some episodes of mania have also been reported in conjunction with taking garcinia cambogia.
Green coffee bean extract
Green coffee beans are simply coffee beans that have not been roasted. They contain two substances that are believed to aid weight loss: caffeine and chlorogenic acid. Caffeine can increase fat burning and chlorogenic acid can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the intestine.
Additionally, green coffee bean extract may help lower blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. It is also rich in antioxidants. It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. The chlorogenic acid it contains can also cause diarrhea and some people may be allergic to green coffee beans.
Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It is found naturally in coffee, green tea, and dark chocolate and is added to many processed foods and beverages. Because caffeine is believed to stimulate metabolism, companies often add it to commercial weight loss supplements.
One study looked at the effect of caffeine on regulating body weight by increasing energy expenditure, which essentially means you burn more calories through increased fat breakdown as well as through a process of heat production body called thermogenesis.
In some people, high amounts of caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, nausea, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Caffeine is also addictive and can reduce the quality of your sleep.
A type of orange called bitter orange contains the compound psinephrine. Psynephrine is related to ephedrine, which used to be a popular ingredient in various weight loss pill formulations. However, ephedrine has since been banned as a weight-loss ingredient due to serious side effects.
Psynephrine has similar mechanisms to ephedrine but is less potent. It could help reduce appetite and increase fat burning. Like ephedrine, synephrine can have serious heart-related side effects. It can also be addictive.
Raspberry ketone is a substance found in raspberries and is responsible for their characteristic smell. A synthetic version of raspberry ketones is sold as a weight loss supplement.
Raspberry ketones increase the breakdown of fat and increase levels of a hormone called adiponectin, which is thought to be linked to weight loss. There are very few studies of raspberry ketones in humans, although one study looked at raspberry ketones along with a few other ingredients and found a potential 2% increase in weight loss over 8 weeks compared to a placebo.
However, high doses of raspberry ketones were also associated with higher blood sugar levels and higher levels of ALT, a liver enzyme, indicating liver dysfunction.