Taking medication has always been a matter of what works and what you prefer. It’s not as black and white as, say, choosing the right coffee. You only need to know if you like the taste, and you can patronize it for a long time. Weight loss drugs are different; aside from preferring a certain brand, you also have to consider if it is effective for you, or if your medical practitioner prescribes it.
Choosing can be taxing, especially to the first time user of weight loss pills. It is therefore helpful to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of weight loss pills to know which one is the right pill for you.
There are advantages weight-loss pills possess, and they are ones that are good for your health. Here are some of them:
- Weight loss
Believe it or not, all known weight loss drugs will always be effective in losing weight. Otherwise, they will never be sold in the market. The common mistake users do is that they forget that these drugs are supplemental only, which means that proper diet and exercise should still be done to get maximum results. The primary goal of any weight loss pill is to shed some of that excess weight, and so it is advantageous for an overweight or obese to use diet pills in order to encourage a healthy start to combating their condition.
- Appetite Suppression
A common effect most weight loss pills have is the ability to suppress hunger. They can work in a number of ways: helping you feel fuller, triggering chemical reactions that inhibit hunger pangs, restrict your caloric intake, among others. Appetite suppressants mainly work to curb your cravings and eventually lessen your food intake. However, it does not mean that you can skip meals when using weight loss pills, because your body still needs refueling with food to keep it going through the day.
- Diuretic Effect
Water accounts for about an average of 60% of our body composition, and as such adds to our weight. Some weight loss pills target the “water weight” by flushing it out of the body. Diuretics are compounds that promote such action, and weight loss pills can have this effect. Although this is causes an immediate drop to your weight, it is advisable to replenish what you lost. The more you urinate or sweat, the more water is lost and can potentially lead to dehydration, and you have to avoid that. Continually refilling and shedding the water in your body can help in flushing out toxins and that can help with the weight loss, too.
- Inhibiting Lipogenesis
Weight loss pills usually can burn fat, but some also stop substances from converting to fat, and this is called lipogenesis. Decreased lipogenesis means that the pill works to inhibit substances like carbohydrates from being stored and converted as fat deposits in cells. Betaine is one known ingredient that has this effect, as it restricts genes that promote lipogenesis.
- Resting Energy Expenditure
While most pills can increase your energy and thereby burning more calories, some also help in burning calories while you are idle. Resting energy expenditure means that your calories are burned more when you are resting rather than exercising. It’s a convenient advantage to people with sedentary lifestyle like the working middle class who have little time for intense physical activity.
While there are advantages, there is of course the opposite side of the spectrum. These are the disadvantages of some weight-loss products:
- Missing safety regulations
Here’s the biggest catch for weight loss pills: FDA does not closely regulate them because they are considered only as supplements. Unlike prescribed medication, weight loss pills do not have the same regulatory standard set before it is sold in the market. FDA can only make recalls after reports of inefficacy or danger to health are made. This lack of safety regulation should make any buyer think twice before choosing a weight loss supplement.
- Lack of effectiveness
Be careful about diet pills that claim a miracle effect for anyone who purchases it. Because of the lack of regulatory standards, drugs that do well in clinical standards might not be effective when used by purchasing individuals. There are only a few studies made that support evidence of weight loss in some ingredients like green tea and caffeine, but with the thousands more unverified substances claiming weight loss, you just cannot be too sure.
- Depression, Stroke, and Heart Problems
FDA has issued warnings on about 69 weight loss supplements sold in the market in 2008-2009. The problem is that most weight loss products hide some of its active ingredients, especially the ones that cause serious problems like stroke, heart problems and depression. For example, supplements found to have bitter orange were recalled because this ingredient is known to cause heart diseases and stroke. It is important to survey the ingredient of a product first before taking them.
- Liver Problems
Orlistat, a well-known prescription weight loss pills does not come with a no-side effect guarantee. Some reports point to liver damage as one of the side effects of this drug. Bottomline: there are health risks posed in every kind of medication.
Diet pills are actually costly, and you may be spending more than they are worth if you find out after purchasing that they do not work on you. Some claim to be cost-effective but are actually just ripping you off and are entirely ineffective. Stock up more on healthy food rather than shelling out the dollars if you are serious about weight loss. If your condition requires you to take the pills, make sure they come recommended by users and medical practitioners alike.
Remember, choosing the right weight loss pill entails evaluating the advantages and disadvantages before actually going through with the treatment. If you find that the pros outweigh the cons, you can do a safety check by trying a sample of the product. If you find that you are achieving some positive results, then consider using them regularly. If not, you can try other supplements, but only if they are recommended. Never forget that weight loss pills are only supplements, and as such are not meant to replace your diet and physical activity. Nor are they used to cure ailments. Always prioritize your wellbeing.