Weight Loss Pills: Understand The Facts

It is time you understood the facts about weight loss pills. Weight loss can be difficult for a number of people for various reasons. The diets they try do not seem to work, or only on a temporary basis. Sometimes they cannot maintain an exercise regimen that will keep the unwanted pounds off. Weight loss pills may seem like an easy answer, but it is important to understand the risks associated with such drugs.


Using diet pills to lose weight is nothing new; it has been a practice dating back to the 1970s. There have been a number of diet pills on the market. Some can be dangerous, as in the case of the once popular Fen Phen (fenfluramine and phentermine) pill combination in the 1990s. This pill produced heart-valve problems requiring risky heart surgery and primary pulmonary hypertension, a devastating disease for which there is no cure.

Fat Burners

Diet pills work on either of two premises: as a fat burner or as an appetite loss. Ephedra or ma huang, a powerful central nervous system stimulant, is the main active ingredient in fat-burners. Unfortunately, it will not produce lasting weight loss since the “weight loss” is actually water loss. There are also the risks ranging from coma and seizure to heart attack and possibly death, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many of the fat burner diet pills contain stimulants that “kick” the body system into a “higher gear”. The body is actually running at a faster rate than normal, and so weight is lost. However, it can be extremely dangerous and very often leads to major health problems. Anyone wishing to use diet pills should consult a physician beforehand in order to understand the health risks and side effects.

Appetite Suppressants

Some diet pills are appetite suppressants. The reasoning is that if there is little or no appetite, an individual will not eat as much, and so lose weight. However, some eating habits are driven by other factors, such as culture, emotions, or metabolism. Some appetite suppressants can be habit forming since they contain amphetamine-like ingredients. Others may cause:

  • drowsiness
  • depression
  • insomnia 
  • irritability

Healthy Way to Lose Weight

Experts recommend eating a well balanced diet from the major food groups and exercise to properly lose weight. This will ensure satisfying the daily nutrient requirements:

  • 4 servings of fruits and vegetables
  • 4 servings of breads and cereals
  • 2 servings of meats or fish 
  • 2 to 4 servings (depending upon age) of milk and milk products

Experts also recommend that weekly weight loss should not exceed two pounds and that daily caloric intake does not fall below 1200 calories.


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