Do you really NEED a diet pill?by Henry Hound on May 25, 2010
I’ve been busy putting together some ingredient lists of popular diet pills so you can avoid being the victim of a scam.
FLASH UPDATE: The ingredients list is now complete (but I should mention that I’m adding to it all the time) and you can access it by clicking here.
Man, I have to tell you that these companies don’t make it easy to figure out exactly what’s in their product and more importantly, how much of each ingredient is actually in the product. They also don’t make it very easy to figure out whether their “clinical” studies are the real deal or if they’ve just taken a few bits out of a study to make their product sound amazing.
Of course, that’s part of the shell game. Confuse the heck out of the consumer so they just buy the product anyway!
The thing is, do any diet pills work without also following a healthy diet and exercise plan? And even if they do, is it safe or healthy to use diet pills to lose weight?
That’s what I wanted to blog about today. Do you really need a diet pill, or are you just wasting your hard-earned bucks? I’m going to break it down into the three potential situations and you can choose for yourself.
Diet & Exercise Alone
There are some excellent programs out there to help people lose weight. However, there are also some silly plans and plans that ask you to do more than what you can actually accomplish. To boot, what works for one person won’t work for another.
Eating healthfully and exercising is the only true way to lose weight, healthfully and at a rate that will help you keep it off. Diets that ask you to eat in a way that you can’t commit to for life will certainly fail in the long run. If you have to exercise for an hour or more a day to lose weight, you might not be able to keep up with this schedule. Sooner or later, the weight will come back.
If, on the other hand, you find a plan that advocates a healthy lifestyle with a variety of affordable, easy to prepare foods you enjoy or at least can enjoy, then you can accomplish weight loss… as long as you are also willing to get to the gym or hit the pavement now and again. Hey, exercise is important, so even if it’s taking the dog for a brisk walk or run everyday (always a good plan), you need to have an active life to either lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Diet, Exercise and a Weight Loss Supplement
If you can find a weight loss supplement that will boost your weight loss efforts, then great. Just make sure you sniff it out first and make sure the supplement doesn’t make wild claims that you can lose weight just by taking the product.
You see, many weight loss supplements or “diet” pills aren’t really capable of helping you lose weight while you eat whatever you want and never get off the couch. However, for these milder type supplements, you might be able to boost your efforts a bit. Green tea extract, for one, is a great weight loss booster, but it doesn’t work all by itself.
Diet Pills (with no “diet” or exercise)
There are diet pills that can help you lose weight without doing a thing. Unfortunately, they fall into three categories and all of them have dangerous or uncomfortable side effects. Check it out:
Fat blockers: Alli and other fat blockers do help you lose weight. However, they work by blocking fat absorption. The fat has to go somewhere if it’s not being fully digested, so you end up having increased… erm… well, if you were me, you’d be at the door a lot to go outside if you catch my drift (or getting in big, big trouble with your owners). Many users of Alli report unpleasant side effects such as bloating, cramping and even “anal leakage” where bowel movements begin before you get where you need to go! Not pleasant.
So, what’s a person to do? Stop eating too much fat so you don’t wind up with the side effects. Now, what’s the pill doing for you to help you lose weight? You cut excess fat out of your diet. The pill no longer has a purpose. You’ll likely lose weight simply by lowering your fat intake, provided you don’t replace one bad eating habit with another (too many processed, sugary carbs??).
Stimulants: Stimulants that help you lose weight speed everything up in your body and control your appetite. Unfortunately, you’ll eventually need to up the dosage because your body builds a tolerance to the stimulant. This can lead to dependence or taking the stimulants at a dangerous dosage.
Stimulants are also a little tough on your heart, and they are definitely ill-advised for anyone with heart issues or high blood pressure. Not a good plan.
Diuretics and laxatives: You probably know that using Ex-Lax to control your weight isn’t a good plan. There’s a sneakier form of laxatives, though, called the “cleansing” product. Whether it’s a tea, powder or pill, if you are regularly using cleansing products to quickly drop weight, this isn’t much different than using other laxatives. In a way, this is just another form of “purging.” Natural laxatives may be helpful on occasion, if you use them to cleanse or detox once a month or every few months. But, if you are depending on them to keep your weight at a certain level, you’ll not only gain the weight back, but you put your digestive system in the position of becoming dependent on those laxatives to do what it needs to do.
Diuretics are also sneaky ingredients in many diet pills. All they really do is help you rid your body of excess fluids. So, you might lose weight, but it’s only water weight and it’ll be back… yup…it’ll be back.
Okay, that’s all for now guys! Stay tuned for some product reviews on popular diet pills and supplements… Gotta go!