If you’re wanting to lose weight, the temptation to believe a colorful label and an advertisement full of promises is hard to pass up, especially when that ad tells you that all it takes to lose your body fat is to pop a daily diet pill. Of course, if diet pills worked the way the ads want us to believe, the majority of the American population wouldn’t be overweight or obese. Yet they are.
If you’ve never used weight loss pills, it would be a good idea to do a bit of research first, and throw a bit of common sense into your inquiries too.
Who Manufactured the Weight Loss Pills?
Are these pills from a foreign country? What are the ingredients? Have I searched for reviews/complaints? Does the manufacturer have a Better Business Bureau listing? There are companies that knowingly manufacture weight loss pills that don’t work, adding a shiny new name and label when word gets out.
And Then There’s The Cost
Diet pills aren’t cheap. It’s common to pay anywhere from $20 to $400 for a month’s supply. This wouldn’t be so bad if they provided safe, effective, lasting weight loss. They don’t.
Are These Diet Pills Safe?
Diet pills have been involved in serious health problems before, and even deaths. Last year, right here in Hawaii, there were reports of 30 cases of liver failure linked to weight loss pills. One woman died of liver failure after taking the diet supplement OxyElite Pro.
This year, another weight loss pill, DNP, has been blamed for 60 deaths worldwide, including teenagers.
In 2008, the FDA attempted to recall 23 different kinds of diet pills “that contained undeclared active pharmaceutical substances that may present health risks to consumers.”
“These tainted weight loss products pose a great risk to public health because they contain undeclared ingredients and, in some cases, contain prescription drugs in amounts that greatly exceed their maximum recommended dosages.”
– Dr Janet Woodcock, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
Will The Pills Mess Up My Sleep Cycles?
Many diet pills in the past have contained large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants, in hopes of burning more calories. One result is that sleep cycles can be messed up, leading to discomfort and fatigue, or even more severe health consequences.
Here’s an excerpt from a first person account by a journalist writing for XOJane:
“My heart was going pitter-patter and I felt anxious. According to the pill bottle, I’d taken in as much caffeine as I’d drink in two cups of coffee, but I’m pretty sure that was bullshit. This was not like two cups of coffee — more like two or three shots of espresso on an empty stomach while floating in a queasily swaying boat… That was 12 hours ago. I’m still awake!… And now I still can’t sleep, and probably never will ever again. The moral of the story is this: diet pills are for suckers. Do not want.”
Fad Diets Don’t Work
You’ve probably heard about fad dieting actually causing weight gain in the long run.
Weight loss is very achievable, if you work with a knowledgeable doctor who can help you craft a plan specific you your weight goals and health conditions. Without professional testing, knowledge and support, your chances of lasting weight loss drop.
What About Prescription Diet Drugs?
Even prescription appetite suppressants can have side effects, and need to be carefully monitored. I use them, when necessary, in my practice. However, I never prescribe them except as part of a balanced weight loss program, after careful consideration of a patient’s specific medical history. They won’t work as a solution by themselves.
Another Important Factor
Of course safety is paramount, but beyond that, I believe there are even more negative consequences to choosing diet pills. There’s a self-destructive psychological game we play when we choose diet pills, because most people, deep down, KNOW they don’t work. So we tell ourselves we’re taking action to improve our lives… but set ourselves up for failure. This is hard on self-esteem and motivation, and you may be even less likely in the future to take the steps needed to get healthy and stay that way.
You can lose weight, safely and permanently. It’s not as hard as you think it will be, either. Read some of our medical weight loss testimonials. It’s not going to happen just by popping a diet pill, though.