Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

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Weight Watchers is the Best Diet Deal at $377 to Lose 5 Pounds

weight loss cost

Want to kickstart your weight loss journey but unsure where to begin? A new study suggests that Weight Watchers diet program and the weight loss drug Qsymia may give you the best bang for your buck.

ABC News aired a story about Duke University comparing the costs and effectiveness of three diet programs and three weight loss prescription medications. Weight Watchers came out on top with the price of $155 per kilogram lost (2.2 pounds).

“If you are about to embark on a major weight loss attempt, there is more than just the number on the scale to consider. You want to make your money matter,” says ABC News’ senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

The average annual cost of Weight Watchers was $377, and users lost an average of 5.3 pounds, according to the study. Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, comments that as diet plans go, “Weight Watchers is good for providing peer support, basic nutrition education, and flexibility to individualize food selections.” Though she warns that it is still a “diet” with the external focus of translating food into other quantifiable values.

This means people have two different mentalities of what they can eat when they are either “on the diet” or “off the diet,” and Hartley is “never impressed by weight loss that is only to be regained.”
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Belviq Hits the Market as an FDA Approved Diet Pill

Nearly a year after its FDA approval, Lorcaserin, more commonly known as Belviq, will be available to patients through prescription. Lorcaserin was the first diet pill to be approved by the FDA since Orlistat’s (Alli) approval in 1999, but it was beat to the market by Qsymia. Qsymia has been plagued by weak sales since it first appeared on the market 10 months ago. Arena, the company that sells Belviq, is hoping that their product does considerably better.

belviq pillsBelviq is approved for those who are obese, as well as those who are overweight with other serious health risks like diabetes. It works by targeting the serotonin receptors, specifically the 2C receptor, in the brain to help the patient feel full. This receptor is in the area of the brain associated with appetite control and metabolism.


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Skinny Fiber Pills are Not a Miracle Solution for Weight Loss

Losing weight may be as simple as taking a dietary supplement according to Skinny Body Care. Their product, Skinny Fiber Pills, are advertised as an all-natural weight loss solution. Dieters are told to take two of the pills 30 minutes before lunch and dinner with a glass of water. Once the pills are taken, the water-soluble fiber they contain expands, creating a feeling of fullness which causes less food to be consumed at those meals.

diet pills

Research has shown that the water-soluble fiber in Skinny Fiber Pills, glucomannan, does create a feeling of fullness when it expands. The expansion happens because the gelling agent absorbs water as it passes through the GI tract. Registered Dietitian Mary Hartley points out that this is not an exclusive trait. “Glucomannan is not the only water-soluble fiber. Other sources include oatmeal, apples, oranges, pears, berries, potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, celery, carrots, flax seeds, beans, and dried peas,” she said. “Psyllium seeds (Metamucil) are rich in water-soluble fiber and will produce the same results for a fraction of the cost.”
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The 6 Miracle Diets Dr. Oz Tried to Sell Us in 2012

Many of us will never live to see a true miracle. Dr. Oz apparently found six this year alone!

Dr. Oz had another banner year on his talk show as he brought the latest and greatest health news to our living rooms each afternoon. The only rub is that some of us are questioning the good doctor and what he’s calling healthy advice these days. It seems Dr. Oz may have become more of a talk show host than a well-intentioned physician. This year, especially, the show constantly doled out miracle diet advice. While weight loss is at the top of our health concerns, it seemed the doctor derailed from prescribing trustworthy weight loss guidance to endorsements for every fad that would ultimately yield no life change, just money spent and potential side-effects.

These are the miracle diet cures (his words, not ours) that Dr. Oz unleashed on us this year. It might be more accurate to call them scams.

Raspberry Ketones

These little supplements were touted as a revolutionary metabolism booster and the compounds, typically used as food flavorings, have been purposed for weight loss supplements in Japan. Dr. Oz endorsed raspberry ketones as an effective weight loss tool as well. The theory behind the ketones is that that they alter lipid metabolism, claims found from a study in mice. The mouse with the high fat diet and the supplement gained less body fat than expected. Raspberry ketones have not yet been tested on humans.
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Lorcaserin Side Effects Should Raise Flags for Potential Belviq Patients

There are mixed reviews about the recent approval of lorcaserin (Belviq) and its new availability as a prescription weight loss drug. Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States and across the world and the maker of lorcaserin, Arena Pharmaceuticals, will market this drug as a supplement to drug and exercise to help patients reach their weight loss goals faster. Every drug has side effects and I felt it was important to look closer at some of the possible reactions.

Lorcaserin activates the serotonin 2C receptor which helps you eat less and feel full sooner. Previous weight loss drugs activated the 2B receptor and caused damage to heart valves. Cardiovascular health will be monitored once this hits the market to ensure no damage to the heart valves occur, as there were concerns about this in trials. In October 2010, lorcaserin was rejected by the FDA due to a cancer signal being detected. It caused mammary tumors in rats, which the makers believe is related to the animal themselves and should not have the same effect in human subjects (although prolactin levels can become increased in humans leading to breast development in men and lactation in women).

Multiple studies had patients with and without diabetes treated long term for one to two years with nearly 8,000 patients participating. Those who were randomized with lorcaserin along with diet and exercise counseling lost 3 to to 3.7 percent more weight. The drug should be discontinued if the patient does not lose at least five percent of their body weight in the first twelve weeks.
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