Diet Pills: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Diet Pills

Diet PillsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, 37.9% of adults over the age of 20 are obese. The fact that obesity is at an all-time high has led to an increase in the number of people who are using diet pills to help them lose weight. There are some advantages and disadvantages to doing so, which is why you shouldn’t jump in without knowing a few things first.

Advantages of Diet Pills

Diet pills make losing weight easier because they suppress the appetite, while at the same time boosting metabolism so that you burn more calories. Some people report that they have greater energy after taking these pills, allowing them to work out longer and harder than before. There are also diet pills on the market that block a certain percentage of fat in the foods you eat, making it possible for you to consume more without gaining weight. Prescription diet pills are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and have therefore been deemed safe.

Disadvantages of Diet Pills

Many weight loss pills contain harmful stimulants, which may speed a person’s heartrate to the point of being dangerous. This is why most doctors recommend taking them only for short periods of time, as the risk of a stroke or heart attack increases the longer you are on them. Diet pills can also cause nervousness, high blood pressure, and insomnia, along with changes in mood that include extreme paranoia and hyperactivity. Over-the-counter diet pills are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that their safety cannot be verified. There is also a risk of addiction when taking these pills long term, which is why you should not plan on using them for an extended period.

Considerations when Taking

You should always consult with a physician before taking diet pills. Doctors normally prescribe them only for patients who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 or higher along with a condition such as Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. If your BMI is lower than that, taking prescription medication is likely not needed. Also remember to tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or supplements so that he or she can check for possible drug interactions before prescribing.

How to Take Diet Pills

It is important to use diet pills exactly as recommended to achieve good results. Most pills should be taken at mealtime along with a glass of water. Do not double up your doses or take pills at closer intervals than what is recommended. Be sure to use them only as long as recommended by your physician to avoid becoming dependent on them. Some diet pills can affect how well vitamins are absorbed by the body, so you should never consume a multi-vitamin and one of these pills at the same time – separate dosing.

Diet pills are not intended as a substitute for eating a low-calorie diet and performing regular exercise. Instead, they should only be used to help maximize your efforts so that you can lose more weight and become fit faster.