The diet pill aisle can be a pretty intimidating place especially for someone who has never taken them before. When diet and exercise have failed or you’ve plateaued for weeks, people look for other options to keep results moving. Here are some helpful tips for those venturing into the world of diet pills for the first time.
Diet pills are loaded with caffeine and laxative-like ingredients, so between the two, you’ll be running to the bathroom all day. Diet pill packaging usually will tell you if their products contain caffeine and approximately how many cups of coffee you would need to drink to get the same effect. If you are a caffeine novice like myself jumping from none to the equivalent of 3 cups per day may make you feel jittery, agitated and possibly give you palpitations or increase your blood pressure.
Diet pills may interact with your medications or cause birth defects, which is especially important for women who are within childbearing age. Diet pills like Qnexa, which is looking for approval from the FDA sometime in 2012, will not be recommended for women within child bearing age for this exact reason. It may only help you for a limited amount of time. Diet pills like phentermine are only recommended to be used for up to 12 weeks. Studies have shown that results is not significant enough for someone to continue taking it after 12 weeks. In 2009, Hydroxycut received much criticism because of its effect on liver enzymes and one death was reported due to liver failure. It was recalled and has since been reformulated. Hydroxcut previously contained ephedra but the FDA asked that it be removed from their product when they discovered it caused heart problems and some deaths.
Don’t believe the hype
On most diet pill packaging you will see pictures of toned celebrities and models promoting the success of the product. Let’s be real here: diet pills alone are not going to produce amazing results, which is why they are technically called diet aids. Some products even throw some clinical trial information on the box to make it seem more enticing. Keep in mind that these trials usually only have a small amount of participants and this can skew the results to make their product look better than the placebo. Good luck trying to get a hold of the companies if you have questions. Most are not available by phone or even Internet.
Look into alternatives first
Because of the potential risks f I think it’s important to exhaust every other viable option before resorting to diet pills.
To boost your metabolism, try weight training as increase muscle mass burns more calories at rest.
Rule out any metabolism issues like having an under performing thyroid by getting a physical and some blood work done. Physicals are considered preventative medicine so it’s often free. You can even ask for a referral to a nutritionist to better assist in developing a plan of attack. I can tell you from personal experience that the nutritionist’s help was exactly what I needed and helped me to lose 80 pounds in 2011. It might be time to visit a gym and discuss a regimen with a personal trainer. Talk to your doctor about your goals and what you want to achieve with weight loss. He or she may be able to provide you with resources and support.
If you do choose to take diet pills and start to experience side effects or are not feeling like yourself, stop taking the pills immediately. Your overall health is more important than losing a few pounds.
January 14th, 2012