Obesity has become something of a global epidemic, and there is something of a turning point underway as regards the low-fat, calorie counting way of eating. It is becoming widely accepted that the best way to lose weight will differ for everyone, making it hard to find the right way forward, in some cases. Sometimes the thought of taking a pill that magically makes us thin occurs even to the most determined dieter: here is the low-down on the various diet pills out there.
In the 70s and 80s, the first diet pills were introduced, and these were very effective at suppressing appetite and boosting energy: ideal for the theory that weight loss needed nothing more than the dieter to ‘move more and eat less.’ However, the active ingredient in these pills was nothing more than speed. Highly addictive and coming with a host of awful side effects, including paranoia, lack of clarity of thought, insomnia and sleep disturbance, as well as kidney and liver disease, among many more. In 2006, Ephedra, one of this type of diet pill was banned in the USA. As the name implies, the active ingredient was ephedrine, a type of artificial adrenaline used in medical procedures but not suitable for over-the-counter or frequent unrestricted use.
Newer types of diet pill work differently, swelling in the digestive system to create feelings of fullness and prevent overeating. One issue with any tablet that stops a person from eating is the danger that they can become deficient in nutrients ending up with the seeming paradox of being both malnourished and obese. This scenario, which is surprisingly common, can cause serious health issues, both immediate and long-term, for the sufferer.
Some of the above types of diet pill use insoluble fiber to create the feelings of fullness. This can be a problem, especially with people who suffer from constipation or who do not drink enough water. The insoluble fibre can cause constipation, or worsen existing digestive issues, and can also cause inflammation and irritation to those with sensitivities, such as sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
A different type of diet pill works by speeding up the transit of macronutrients, especially fat. The theory behind them is that if the dieter eats food with some fat in it, the ‘good’ nutrients will be retained and used by the body, while the ‘bad,’ the fat, is swept through the system, never having the chance to cling to the hips or thighs.
Examples of the above, Adios and Lipobind among them, work as promised. However, the downside of this efficacy can be experienced should the user unwarily eat a high-fat meal. Extreme flatulence and the urgent need to race to the loo are just two of the more embarrassing effects.
As long as these side effects are borne in mind, diet pills can be a useful tool to a dieter, especially in the early days, to ‘jump start’ weight loss. They all, however, must be used in conjunction with eating right and gentle exercise. Some people struggle to start losing weight, and diet pills can give them enough of a loss to boost their confidence and determination to continue with their new, healthy regimen.
A warning must be offered: do speak to your doctor and get a physical before dramatically changing your diet and fitness regimen or taking any new supplement or dietary product. Sometimes weight gain can be the result of health issues, and a check-up will help to highlight these.