Want to know all about weight loss pills? Did you know that more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese? Worse, even children are slowly joining the trend. Because of this, many people are advocating for a healthier lifestyle.
The truth is there are tons of ways to lose weight. You can start with eating healthy and adding physical exercise in your daily routine. You also start to watch what you eat and make sure it is within your required caloric intake.
If you prefer something quick, then try weight loss pills. It turns out that 15.2 percent of adults use weight loss tablets, men included.
This leads you to this question: are weight loss pills worth trying?
In this guide, you will:
- Learn about the different types of weight loss tablets
- Find out the best ingredients for weight loss supplements
- Tips and tricks on how to properly take this kind of product
- Determine whether or not it is safe to include weight loss pills in your diet
Before you rush to the nearest drugstore, make sure you read this post until the end. You’ll be packed with tons of information that will help you decide what and how to take this kind of product properly and safely.
But First, Let’s Explain What Weight Loss Pills Are
Weight loss tablets have been in the market for quite some time. Whether it’s a prescription drugs, non-prescription, herbal product, or any other dietary supplements, weight loss pills are tools to help one lose weight.
It contains tons of ingredients that are known or proven to lose weight. In fact, pills are packed with dietary fiber, herbs and other plant components, minerals, and caffeine among others to aid in burning fat and boosting your metabolism.
Weight loss supplements could be in a variety of forms as well:
Regardless of the form, companies market this type of product as an effective tool to help you shed unwanted pounds. Some are marketed to block fat absorption, slow down fat production, suppress appetite, or to boost metabolism.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulate and approve weight loss pills sold in the market. In fact, some drugs can be bought by prescription to address significant weight problems as a result of poor lifestyle choices or those with existing health conditions that enabled them to gain weight.
To get FDA approval, the drug company must provide the agency with human clinical trials that shows the safety and effectiveness of the weight loss pills.
- Weight loss pills are tools to help you lose weight
- It comes in various forms and purposes
- Requires FDA approval before it can be sold in the market
The Concepts Of Overweight And Obesity, Explained
Weight loss pills are designed for those who are overweight or obese. But what exactly are these two?
Before that, keep in mind that healthcare providers base their classification according to the person’s BMI or body mass index. BMI is the measure or ratio of one’s weight in relation to height.
If you have a BMI between 25 and 30, then you are considered as overweight. Anything beyond 30 is classified as obese – and it’s not recommended.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide are considered overweight. Out of this number, 650 million are obese. In the United States alone, one in three adults is obese.
This is a serious matter. Being overweight or obese could increase one’s risk of developing one or many health conditions. Thankfully, there are many ways that could help you lose weight and put your health back on track, including taking weight loss pills.
Facts About Natural Weight Loss Tablets
There are tons of weight loss solutions available in the market. One of the most popular ones sold is natural weight loss pills or weight loss dietary supplement. You can also easily buy this type of product over-the-counter sans doctor’s prescription.
What exactly is this type of product? Is it worth trying? Is it safe to use? What can it do to ensure that you will lose weight in no time?
Here’s what you need to know about natural weight loss tablets:
1. What It Can Do
Natural weight loss pills work by doing any of the following:
- Reduce your appetite; hence keeping you feel so you’ll eat fewer calories
- Boost fat burning abilities to help you burn more calories
- Reduce the body’s absorption of nutrients so the body will take lesser calories
Simply put, this type of product is not created equally and serves a specific purpose.
2. It Does Help You Lose Weight – And More
Given these purposes, natural weight loss pills do help you in weight loss. When combined with a healthy lifestyle program, you can potentially lose up to nine percent of your body weight.
Some even lose up to 10 percent or more, depending on the effects of the pills and commitment to stick to the program.
Apart from weight, taking weight loss pills could also help improve your overall health. As you lose weight, blood sugar and blood pressure go down as well. Other health problems related to being overweight or obesity such as sleep apnea and joint pains might improve, too.
3. It’s Not For Everyone
Natural weight loss tablets are generally safe, especially those with ingredients backed up by studies. In fact, it could be a good addition to your weight loss strategy to help you shed off unwanted fats faster.
Unfortunately, not everyone can use weight loss pills.
This product is off limits to pregnant or women trying to get pregnant. There is a possibility that the ingredients could harm the fetus and cause complications during pregnancy.
Those below 18 years of age are also strongly advised not to take natural weight loss tablets. Except for orlistat, which is approved by the FDA for individuals above 12 years of age and older, these weight loss products are not for children’s consumption.
The safety and effectiveness of this type of products are still unclear and have not yet been studied, so it is best to avoid giving one to kids.
Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions are also cautioned in taking weight loss products. There is a possibility that the ingredients may adversely interact with current medications and may cause unwanted effects.
4. It Needs Backup
Despite the assistance, natural weight loss pills cannot work alone. In fact, they are merely considered as supplements and not a substitute for weight loss. Surprisingly, it will only help you lose approximately 10 percent of your excess weight.
That being said, never rely on this type of product alone and believe that it will get rid of fat overnight because that’s not how it works.
What one needs to do is to accompany weight loss tablets with proper diet and regular exercise. Make sure you eat healthy, particularly protein, and include workout in your routine.
Together with pills, proper diet and physical activity are beneficial for weight management. This way, you will be able to meet your weight loss goals and ensure that you can sustain it long-term.
5. Side Effects May Occur
Don’t be easily fooled by the label. Using natural weight loss pills does not automatically mean that you are free from adverse effects. There are natural ingredients that cannot be taken in high dosages while there are many others that cannot be combined with certain drug medications.
Despite being “herbal” or “all natural,” you may still experience side effects like nausea, digestive issues, or increase in blood pressure.
This is why it is important to discuss with your doctor about your intention to take weight loss tablets. Disclose any conditions you have as well the medications you are taking. This way, your doctor could recommend the right pill for you without compromising your health.
6. It May Lack FDA Approval
Natural weight loss pills may be freely available in the market. Did you know that they are sold without approval or reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration?
FDA warned that many of the “natural” supplements sold in the market may not be effective and could cause potential health concerns. When there are complaints regarding a particular product, FDA will start investigating on it.
Thankfully, FDA removes dietary supplements that they find to cause adverse effects to users. For instance, FDA issued a warning against Lucy’s Weight Loss System’s Pink Bikini and Shorts on the Beach capsules in 2016.
According to the agency’s letter, this weight loss aid has sibutramine and phenolphthalein, two ingredients that are considered harmful.
This is why it is important to know the warning signs to spare yourself from side effects. Warning signs include:
- Products written in foreign language without English translation
- Promises of quick fix like “lose five pounds overnight”
- Using words like “scientific breakthrough” or “guaranteed”
- Products that are marketed through mass e-mails
- Pills that are marketed as “herbal” or “natural alternative” to an FDA-approved drug
In other words, be diligent before you make a purchase.
- Natural weight loss pills serve various purposes that are aimed to helping you lose weight
- It could possible come with side effects since it doesn’t have FDA approval
- It is not a replacement for physical exercise and healthy diet
Different Types Of Weight Loss Tablets
Weight loss pills are not created the same. In fact, tablets are manufactured for a specific purpose.
Your chosen supplement may fall into any of the following categories:
1. Fat Trappers
From the name itself, you can tell what this type of pill can do.
Upon intake, fat trappers bind with the fat from the food you eat. As a result, food digestion slows down, which then curbs your appetite. This prevents your body from absorbing dietary fat as well.
Most fat trapping products contain chitosan, a source of dietary fiber that reduces absorption of fat. One study showed that this component helped participants lose 3.28 kilograms after 28 days of intake.
A more recent study published in Nutrition Journal also showed that chitosan helped reduce mean body weight up to three kilograms.
Nonetheless, there is danger involved, especially when you take too much. Chitosan may prevent your body from absorbing fat-soluble and essential nutrients and phytochemicals, so take it easy.
- Fat trappers bind with fat to slow down digestion
- It helps reduce your appetite
- It usually contains chitosan, an excellent source of dietary fiber
2. Fat Burner
This type of weight loss pill encourages fat burning. It is often a combination of various ingredients like herbs, essential fatty acids, and hydroxycitric acid. Unlike fat trappers, fat burners work best when combined with regular exercise.
Stimulant pills are an example of fat burners. It usually contains caffeine and other stimulants to boost metabolism.
Still, take it easy on this one. This could lead to excessive caffeine consumption that may cause rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.
Also, many fat burners sold in the market may potentially contain harmful ingredients that could compromise your health. Read the label carefully and do research to ensure that what you’re taking is safe.
- Boosts fat burning abilities
- Speed up metabolism
- May cause adverse effects, especially when taken in excess
3. Dietary Supplements
Did you know that Americans spend billions on dietary supplements? There are a variety of reasons why they do so, but the most common of which is to lose weight.
Dietary supplements for weight loss contain ingredients like herbs and other plant components, polyphenols, caffeine, minerals, and dietary fiber. These are marketed to help:
- Increase metabolism
- Boosts thermogenesis
- Reduce appetite, body fat, weight, and macronutrient absorption among others
Despite the natural ring to it, the safety and effectiveness of these products are not guaranteed. It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider regarding your intention to use this type of product.
- Dietary supplements are commonly bought to help individuals lose weight
- Contains various weight loss ingredients
- Safety and effectiveness are not guaranteed
4. Approved Weight Loss Drugs
There are weight loss tablets approved by the FDA. These medications are recommended for those who need to address significant weight issues such as those with:
- Body mass index (BMI) of more than 30
- Conditions like Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol, thereby making it harder to lose weight
FDA approval also means it went through clinical studies and experimentation to test its safety and effectiveness. Some of the approved drugs are:
- Orlistat – This pharmaceutical drug under prescription name, Xenical, is known to inhibit fat breakdown in the gut area. As a result, you take lesser calories from fat. Studies also showed that taking orlistat effectively contributes to weight loss by as much as six pounds. However, one has to take note of the side effects like loose or oily stools, frequent bowel movements, and flatulence.
- Lorcaserin – This is under the brand name Belviq. It influences serotonin, also known as happy chemical, receptors in the brain. As a result, you feel happier and fuller after every meal.
- Contrave – This is a combination of bupropion, an antidepressant medicine that reduces appetite, and naltrexone, which blocks the effects of narcotics and help curb hunger and cravings. This is a type of anorexiant and usually given to overweight or obese adults with weight-related medical issues.
- Qysmia – This drug contains phentermine, an appetite suppressant, and topiramate, an anticonvulsant. It is often prescribed to individuals suffering from obesity as a result of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Pay attention to the recommended intake since immediately stopping your intake of this drug could lead to seizure,
- Liraglutide – This is sold under drug name, Saxenda. It is often used to address Type 2 diabetes. When taken, it could reduce your hungry feeling and make you feel fuller longer.
- Phentermine – Your doctor may prescribe it under drug name Suprenza or Adipex. It curbs your appetite and among the popular appetite suppressants in the market. Nonetheless, this drug is only recommended for short-term use to reduce the risk of drug dependency. Those with existing medical conditions are strongly advised not to take this as well.
Still, don’t be too complacent. Despite the agency’s approval, unwanted reactions may still happen especially when you don’t strictly follow the recommended intake. In fact, it could lead to serious side effects, so make sure you talk to your healthcare provider regarding this.
Further, pay attention to your weight when under any of these medications. If you noticed that you are not losing weight after 12 weeks, then inform your doctor right away. You might be asked to change your pill since the current one is not working for you.
Consequently, it is imperative that you disclose any existing medical conditions or intention to get pregnant before you take any of these supplements. Some of the drugs may not be safely combined with other medications and could result to fatal effects; hence disclosing this crucial information is a must.
- Weight loss tablets are approved and reviewed by the FDA
- Can be used by individuals with existing weight conditions
- Side effects are common, especially when not used properly
Are Weight Loss Tablets and weight loss pills Dangerous?
Generally, no. There are many weight loss pills sold in the market that are safe for human consumption and may not pose a threat to your health.
In fact, some have FDA approval and may be prescribed by doctors to help you in your weight loss goals or address weight issues. Some are even made an integral part of eating disorders rehabilitation program.
Unfortunately, there are many that were banned by FDA and were considered harmful to humans. Worse, these products are readily available and accessible to the people, and may cause potential harm to the user.
Side effects include but are not limited to:
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Kidney problems
- Liver issues
- Rectal bleeding
What makes weight loss pills dangerous? There are several scenarios.
First, it’s about the ingredients used in the pill. Some ingredients, which you will learn more about below, did not undergo rigorous testing to determine the safety and effectiveness. As a result, you are potentially putting yourself at risk.
Also, how you use the pills could put yourself and your health at risk. Diet pills are often abused because one is more preoccupied with losing weight – fast.
Abuse may be done in the following ways:
- Combining multiple weight loss stimulants
- Taking more than the recommended daily dosage, which could result to overdose
- Drinking diet pills with laxatives or diuretics
- Taking medications without doctor’s supervision or approval
- Using diet products not recommended for those who have normal weight or underweight
- Drinking weight loss products with illegal substances such as cocaine
Weight loss medications are also not recommended for pregnant and women trying to get pregnant, despite having FDA approval. There are ingredients that are not suitable for the fetus and may cause more harm than good.
- Weight loss drugs may cause unwanted side effects
- There are several ways to abuse intake of diet pills; hence making it dangerous
- Pregnant or women trying to be pregnant are not advised to take this type of product
What Weight Loss Tablets Are The Best Ones?
Among the type of weight loss medications discussed above, which among them is the best one?
The truth is it depends on your weight loss goals.
Fat trappers or fat blockers slow down food digestion by binding with the food you eat. As a result, appetite is curbed and you eat less.
On the other hand, fat burners contain stimulants to boost your metabolism. It also works best when combined with regular exercise.
Then, you have dietary supplements. This type of product contains natural ingredients to help you lose weight. Unfortunately, FDA has not studied this type of product thoroughly, which means there could be an issue on safety, especially when taken in higher doses.
If you have an existing condition that causes you to gain weight, then weight loss medications may be used. Despite prescription and FDA approval, it doesn’t automatically mean that you are safe and free from side effects.
These medications contain ingredients that could potentially affect your health, so take note of the effects in your body.
How will you know what weight loss product is the best for you? Here are things to consider:
- Identify your weight loss goals
- Know the side effects of your chosen weight loss product
- Your medical history, including that of your family
- The pill’s ingredients
- Costs since not all insurance plans cover weight loss medications
At the end of the day, there is no absolute answer on the best product to use. Look into the following factors, identify your goals, and talk to your doctor. Discuss all possibilities to help you weigh the best weight loss and management approach for you.
- Weight loss products come in a variety of forms and purpose
- Identify your needs to properly determine the right kind of product for you
- Take note of certain considerations such as your health and ingredients before buying any pills
When To Use Weight Loss Supplements
Given the circumstances and possible side effects, when is it acceptable to use weight loss pills?
There are several allowable situations wherein you can use weight loss tablets:
- Having a BMI of 30 or above
- A BMI of 27 or more with existing medical conditions like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure
Before you resort to weight loss products, you need to consider the following factors:
- Possible side effects
- Current health status, including medical issues and medications taken
- Family’s medical history
- Benefits of weight loss medications
These factors must be thoroughly discussed with your doctor to ensure your safety and health. It will also help you decide the proper strategies you can do to help you lose weight.
Still, the good thing about using weight loss pills is that it could help you in losing weight. Make sure you combine pills with an appropriate lifestyle program. This means you need to include physical activities and healthy eating habits to effectively lose and manage your weight.
- There are allowable scenarios where you can use weight loss tablets
- Discuss with your healthcare practitioner about your intention to use such product
- Weight loss medications help you lose weight, especially when combined with healthy lifestyle
List: The Best Ingredients Your Weight Loss Tablets Must Have
The list is endless when it comes to weight loss ingredients. Still, there are some that still stand out from the rest and must be included in your pills.
Below are the best weight loss ingredients that your weight loss tablets should have:
1. Garcinia Cambogia
When it comes to choosing favorite weight loss pills, garcinia cambogia is always part of the list. This small, green fruit with pumpkin-like shape has wonders hidden on its skin.
The fruit’s skin contains hydroxycitric acid or HCA. According to this 2002 study, HCA can inhibit fat-producing enzymes in the body. Consequently, it can boost serotonin levels, which helps reduce food cravings. However, this study involved animals.
Nonetheless, a study was published in Journal of Obesity showing garcinia cambogia’s effect on weight loss. Based on that study, taking this ingredient could generate weight loss, although the effect is short-term.
So far, there are no reported adverse effects, but some said they experienced mild digestive issues.
- Garcinia cambogia’s skin is rich in hydroxycitric acid or HCA
- HCA boosts serotonin level, which lessens cravings
- It is effective in helping you lose weight sans side effects
Did you know that caffeine is the most used psychoactive substance in the world? More than that, it is a well-known metabolism booster. This is why it is not surprising why many weight loss pills have this ingredient.
One study showed that caffeine intake helped increase metabolic rate. It also helps burn more fat as fuel. Another study also reported that caffeine is associated with weight loss through fat oxidation and thermogenesis. It can also reduce leptin levels, especially on women.
Nonetheless, take it easy since too much caffeine could result to insomnia, nausea, irritability, and anxiety among others. It can also be addictive and may negatively affect your sleep habits.
- Caffeine boosts metabolic rate
- Burns more fat
- Helps you achieve your weight loss goals
3. Green Tea Extract
When it comes to weight loss tablets, green tea extract is a favorite – and there are several reasons why.
First, it is rich in caffeine. Second, it contains epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, a type of polyphenol that is effective in burning fat. A 2009 study showed that EGCG has a positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance.
That’s not all. A study published in Physiology & Behavior showed that green tea extract increases norepinephrine activity. Apparently, this hormone is effective in burning fat.
- Green tea extract contains ingredients, caffeine and EGCG, which are effective in burning fat
- When combined with caffeine, EGCG encourages the process of thermogenesis
- It increase the hormone norepinephrine, which helps burn fat
4. Protein Powder
There are tons of crucial ingredients that will help you lose weight. One of them is protein. It reduces body fat, boosts metabolism, and curbs your appetite. Excess protein can also be converted to glucose or ketone bodies, which can balance your energy levels.
More than that, protein increases hormones like PYY, CCK, and GLP-1. These are satiety hormones that could be increased when you eat protein.
You can get protein from tons of sources, but it would be impossible to consume them all at the same time. This is where protein powder comes in.
Taking protein powder supplements is a convenient way to boost your protein intake. Just make sure that your protein powder is low in additives and sugar.
- A convenient way to increase protein intake
- An effective way to boost metabolism
- Increases satiety hormones
5. Soluble Fiber
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. When it comes to burning fat naturally, soluble fiber is the best choice. In fact, this is among the most important ingredients your weight loss supplement should have.
Why soluble fiber in your weight loss tablets?
Soluble fiber works by absorbing water in your digestive tract. Then, it will form into a viscous gel-like substance, thereby making you feel fuller.
It doesn’t stop there. Soluble fiber boosts fullness hormones like GLP-1 and PYY while it reduces hunger hormone, ghrelin. As a result, appetite is curbed and you get to eat less.
Aside from this, this ingredient slows down the delivery of nutrients to the gut. This means instead of feeling hungry, your body will take its time to digest the food and absorb the nutrients it needs. This makes you feel fuller longer as well.
- Soluble fiber boosts fullness hormones such as PYY and GLP-1 while ghrelin is reduced
- An effective way to curb appetite
- Make you feel fuller longer since the body takes its time to digest food
In relation to soluble fiber, glucomannan is one of the best sources of fiber around. It is often found in the roots of konjac or elephant yam.
Being a soluble fiber, glucomannan works by absorbing water and turning into a gel-like substance. This will stay in your gut, which will keep you feeling full and encouraging you to eat lesser calories.
Believe it or not, it can make you lose up to 10 pounds in five weeks, especially when combined with a healthy diet.
Apart from being a preferred ingredient in many weight loss tablets, glucomannan could do wonders to your health as well. It can feed the friendly bacteria in your intestine; thus helpful against constipation.
Still, there are side effects. Glucomannan may cause soft stools, bloating, and flatulence. It may also cause negative reactions when combined with some oral medications.
- A great source of soluble fiber
- Keeps you feel full so you can eat lesser calories
- Comes with other health benefits, including management against constipation
7. Green Coffee Bean Extract
This is different from your normal coffee. Green coffee beans are normal coffee beans that have not been roasted and more effective when it comes to your weight loss pills.
True to its nature, it has high caffeine content that boosts the burning of fat. Consequently, it has chlorogenic acid that slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
According to a study, green coffee extract promotes weight loss. In fact, participants lost up to 2.5 kilograms compared to placebo.
Another study also showed that this ingredient could reduce body weight, body mass index, and percentage of fat in the body.
- Green coffee beans are coffee beans that are not yet roasted.
- It is effective in promoting weight loss
- Boosts your overall health
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the most popular health tonics in the world is apple cider vinegar or ACV. In fact, if you could find weight loss tablets with this ingredient, then better.
It turns out that it contains acetic acid, ACV’s main active component. This short-chain fatty acid promotes weight loss by doing the following:
- Boosts Metabolism – It increases the AMPK enzyme, which reduces fat and sugar production in the liver. It is also an effective enzyme to burn fat.
- Burns Fat – A 2009 study revealed that acetic acid suppresses body fat accumulation by boosting fatty acid oxidation-related protein.
- Suppress Appetite – Acetic acid also affects certain areas in the brain that controls your appetite. As a result, you eat lesser than usual.
- Reduce Fat Storage – A recent study showed that acetic acid protects the body from accumulation of abdominal fat and lipid in the liver.
Aside from these mechanisms contributed by acetic acid, apple cider vinegar is also known to promote a feeling of fullness. As a result, calorie intake is reduced.
To prove its appetite-suppressing effects, a study showed that participants who took ACV consumed up to 275 lesser calories compared to placebo.
A 12-week study involving 144 obese Japanese adults revealed that taking 30ml of ACV everyday made them loose up to 3.7 pounds. It also reduced body fat percentage by almost one percent.
Aside from this, it also slows down the emptying of your stomach, thereby keeping you fuller longer.
- Apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid
- Acetic acid is known to suppress appetite, burn fat, and reduce fat storage among others
- ACV keeps you fuller longer
9. Chili Pepper
Sometime in 2010, a weight loss pill was introduced in America. It was called Capsiplex and was headlined as “diet pill of choice for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez.”
The question now is what makes this pill special?
It’s all because of capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers and responsible for making it spicy. Several studies suggest that this compound is essential in helping one lose weight and burn unwanted pounds.
Based on a 2012 study published in Appetite, capsaicinoids or capsaicin compounds increased energy expenditure and lipid oxidation. At the same time, participants experienced reduced appetite.
A recent study also revealed that taking capsaicin, specifically two milligrams per day, lowered hip-to-waist ratio after six weeks. Anything beyond this dosage may not be beneficial to the human body.
In fact, taking too much capsaicin may cause adverse effects like stomach pain, stomach irritation, bloating, and heartburn.
- Chili pepper contains capsaicin, a compound responsible for weight loss
- Two milligrams per day could reduce hip-to-waist ratio
- It helps reduce appetite
10. Spinach Extract
One of the most popular weight loss supplements in the market today is the one made from spinach leaves.
What makes this special, especially when included in weight loss tablets?
Spinach extract is a green powder that contains concentrated spinach leaf thykaloids. Thykaloids are mostly proteins, chlorophyll, and antioxidants. The remaining percentage consists of fat.
When taken, thylakoids suppresses lipase activity, an enzyme that digests fat. As a result, fat digestion is delayed and ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is reduced. Appetite-reducing hormones such as GLP-1 are also increased with the help of thylakoid.
When it comes to losing weight, thylakoids from spinach extract could help, too. Based on this 2015 study, overweight women experienced an increase in satiety and reduced their cravings for palatable food.
Another study also showed that women who included five grams of spinach extract daily in their weight loss program had 43 percent higher chances of losing weight.
Take it easy since taking spinach extract may cause gastrointestinal distress. It could possibly increase serum insulin and HDL cholesterol levels as well.
- Spinach extract contains thylakoids
- Suppress lipase activity, an enzyme that digests fat
- Increases satiety and reduces cravings
11. Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Also known as CLA, conjugated linoleic acid has been a popular fat loss supplement for many years. It is naturally found in fatty animal foods and one of the few “healthier” trans fat.
What can CLA do?
Based on a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, conjugated linoleic acid contains anti-obesity properties. It helps decrease body fat mass and modulates body composition.
It also increases energy expenditure, which is a crucial function of basal metabolic rate, physical activity, and adaptive thermogenesis.
One study also revealed that CLA could help you lose about 0.1 kilogram per week when taken consistently for six months. A more recent study supported this claim, saying that participants helped them lose 1.3 kilograms.
- CLA is an effective ingredient in weight loss pills
- It contains anti-obesity properties
- Helps you lose excess pounds when taken consistently for six months
12. Guar Gum
Soluble fiber is an important component in weight loss tablets. One of the best sources of soluble fiber is guar gum, an ingredient derived from Indian cluster bean known as guvar bean.
True to its nature, guar gum acts as a bulking agent in the gut. This delays the emptying of the stomach, boosts feelings of satiety, and reduces your food intake and appetite.
Based on a 2016 study, two to five grams of guar gum boosts satiety and reduces the frequency of snacking in between meals.
Nonetheless, notable side effects include more frequent bowel movements, cramps, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence.
- A good source of soluble fiber
- Increases satiety; hence reduces your snacking habits
- Helps reduce waist circumference
The microbiota found in the gut plays an important role. In fact, it is crucial in extracting nutrients and energy from the food you eat, which are crucial in energy expenditure.
Why should probiotics be included in weight loss tablets?
According to this 2013 animal study, probiotics helped reduced body weight gain and accumulation of fat in obese mice.
A 2013 study published in The British Journal of Nutrition showed that participants who received probiotics experience a reduction in visceral fat areas, waist and hip circumference, body fat mass, and BMI.
A more recent study also showed that probiotic supplementation reduced body weight, fat percentage, and body mass index.
Here comes the best part: most probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are safe for human consumption and unlikely to cause harm. Some might experience minor gastrointestinal symptoms like frequent gas but this is not a cause of concern.
- Probiotics feed microbiota in the gut, which plays a crucial role in the digestive system
- Helps reduce visceral fat and BMI among others
- Most probiotic strains are safe to consume
Dangerous Ingredients You Need To Avoid In Your Weight Loss Pills
Despite the good intentions, there are weight loss tablets available in the market that could cause more harm than good to your body. This is because some pills did not go through FDA testing and contain ingredients that could negatively affect your health.
Don’t get easily fooled with “made from natural ingredients” or “herbal” claims since natural does not automatically mean it is safe.
That being said, below are some of the ingredients you need to watch out for and avoid:
1. Ma Huang, Ephedra, Ephedrine, Or Pseudoephedrine
Ma huang is a Chinese herb that is naturally occurring in ephedra and contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. It is a type of stimulant that could result to constricted blood vessels and may potentially raise blood pressure if given in high doses.
Ephedra, when combined with caffeine or aspirin, may work as an appetite suppressant. It could also boost one’s energy and alertness levels.
Unfortunately, the FDA banned all weight loss pills and corresponding products with ephedra since December 2003. The use of ephedra led to:
- Cardiovascular problems including heart attack, palpitations, and increased blood pressure
- Increased blood sugar level
- Seizure, which may be intensified in people with seizure conditions
- Sudden death
It was also discovered that ephedra is a major source in producing methamphetamine or crystal meth.
- It is a type of stimulant that is banned in the US since 2004
- May cause cardiovascular issues among many side effects
- A major source in producing crystal meth
2. Bitter Orange
Back in the day, bitter orange was part of traditional Chinese medicine and used to cure nausea, indigestion, and constipation. Fast forward today, it is among the favorite weight loss ingredients in many weight loss tablets yet among those that were cautioned.
Scientifically known as Citrus aurantium, bitter orange contains a chemical known as synephrine. It has a similar effect with ephedra and may cause increased heart rate, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
Nonetheless, there are studies suggesting that bitter orange did not result to cardiovascular problems. Still, these studies were conducted on animals and the results may not automatically mean the same for humans due to difference in adrenergic receptor binding properties between the two.
- Long used as part of traditional Chinese medicine
- Bitter orange contains synephrine, which has similar effects with ephedra
- No human studies conducted yet to determine the safety
This is also among the banned ingredients and not approved for use in America. In fact, it was never approved for clinical use due to lack of safety and efficacy data.
Fenproporex was developed in the 60s as an orally active stimulant drug. At present, it is among the commonly used appetite suppressant and anti-obesity agent in the world.
What makes this ingredient dangerous?
Fenproporex is amphetamine-based anorectic that is metabolized in amphetamine once ingested. It could increase brain metabolism and potentially boost the release of dopamine; thus making it addictive.
Based on a report, a woman who imported pills that contain this substance reported experiencing intermittent chest pain, headaches, insomnia, and palpitations. Surprisingly, these symptoms stopped as soon as she stopped using the pills.
- Originally designed as an active stimulant drug
- One of the most used appetite suppressant agents in the world
- May cause adverse effects when used regularly
In October 2010, the FDA requested Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Meridia, to voluntarily withdraw the product from the market.
Meridia, which was approved as weight loss and maintenance of weight loss pill in 1997, contains sibutramine, a substance that could potentially cause cardiovascular risks.
Based on the SCOUT trial, users had 16 percent more chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Worse, those who were taking Meridia did not experience significant weight loss.
As a result, the agency recommended that all healthcare professionals stop prescribing this weight loss pills. Consequently, it advised the public to avoid using the product to reduce the risk.
- Sibutramine could potentially cause cardiovascular disease
- Those who take drugs with sibutramine has higher risk of developing cardiovascular conditions.
- FDA advised the public to stop using products with sibutramine
This ingredient is commonly found in many laxative products. In 1999, FDA re-classified phenolphthalein as “not generally recognized as safe and effective.”
It turns out that this ingredient has a potential carcinogenic risk; hence increasing the risk of cancer. Although no human studies were conducted, a study involving rats showed that phenolphthalein caused tumors at various tissue sites.
Further, it was found to be genotoxic that could potentially damage or cause DNA mutation.
- A common ingredient found in many laxatives
- Has a potential carcinogenic risk
- May cause tumor at several tissue sites
This is another ingredient that is not approved in the US.
Rimonabant was first explored in the 80s and 90s because of its G-protein-coupled receptors and endogenous ligands properties. Since then, it is being used in Europe as an anti-obesity agent.
Unfortunately, it was not allowed in the US due to significant side effects, the most notable of which is severe mood disorders and anxiety. Two deaths were also reported where experts found out that they were taking Rimonabant; hence making it dangerous.
- Used in Europe as an anti-obesity agent
- Banned in the US
- May cause significant side effects
Did you know that Phenytoin is used as an anti-seizure medicine? Surprisingly, this ingredient is also included in some weight loss pills because it has weight reduction capabilities.
The question now is this: is it safe?
Generally, as long as weight loss tablets are taken accordingly and with a doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, it could cause severe allergic reactions like fever, serious skin rash, swollen lymph glands, and organ damage.
Suicidal thoughts or behaviors and multi-organ sensitivity are also another side effects one has to watch out for. There is also a possibility of lowered blood cell count, decrease in vitamin D levels, overgrowth of gums, and severe confusion or delirium.
Because of this, it is strongly advisable to watch out for this ingredient.
- Could potentially help in weight loss reduction
- It comes with severe side effects
- Must be taken with caution and with a doctor’s prescription
Weight Loss Pills For Women
According to the National Center for Health Statistics or NCHS, two in three adults were considered overweight or obese. Unfortunately, obesity and extreme obesity rates are higher in women than men.
These figures could also be the reason why weight loss supplements are more common on women.
It’s not just any other supplements. Here are some things to remember in choosing your weight loss tablets:
- Know your weight goals. It is important to identify what you plan to achieve to make it easier for you to choose the right kind of supplement.
- Take note of your health condition. Losing weight might be the goal but before you take some pills, make sure to check if it won’t compromise your health. Not all pills, natural supplements included, are safe. Some products may not be used under certain conditions or be combined with other medications. Otherwise, it could compromise your health and might cause adverse effects to your health.
- Identify the right kind of weight loss pills. This is important. Keep in mind that weight loss supplements are designed differently and for a specific purpose. Use your goals as a guide to determine the right kind of product for you.
- Check the ingredients. This is also crucial. Some weight loss tablets contain ingredients that are harmful to your health. Read and check the ingredients carefully to avoid compromising your health.
- Know your source. Your chosen weight loss pills must not only contain safe ingredients but it should also be manufactured by a reputable company. Check the label to find out who made it and where it came from. Check online if the said company exists. If you cannot find any information about the manufacturer, then move on to the next.
- Keep yourself informed. FDA regularly releases health and drug advisories to the public, including weight loss supplements. Make sure to check their website regularly and see if there are new banned substances or weight loss tablets recalled in the market.
- Go for health. Weight loss products are not just meant to help you shed unwanted pounds. Legitimate weight loss tablets not just make you lose pounds but also help promote your health.
- Read customer reviews. In fact, make it a habit. It’s easy to say good things about a certain product but the question is this: are these reviews real? Make sure you visit their social media accounts and check what other users are saying. This way, you can get an unbiased review about a certain product before committing to it.
- Work with a healthcare practitioner. It doesn’t matter if you are healthy or suffering from a medical condition. If you plan to take pills, regardless if its prescription medication or natural supplements, always consult your doctor. Your doctor can recommend proper tablets for your weight loss goals and at the same time, work with you in order to achieve them.
- Look for money back guarantee. Despite recommendations from your doctor, there is still a possibility that the pills will not work for you. In case it happens, look for products with a money back guarantee. This way, you don’t have to be forced to finish a product that does not work well with you.
There are many weight loss tablets in the market that are specifically designed for women. Pills with orlistat and hydroxycut are good options since FDA reviewed these ingredients. Supplements with chitosan, CLA, and glucomannan are also good options and will help you with weight loss.
- Obesity is more common in women than men
- Weight loss products could help women achieve weight loss goals
- There are factors to be considered before buying ay pills in the market
Weight Loss Supplements For Men
Obesity rate is higher in women, but that doesn’t mean men are spared from this. Apparently, about three in four men were considered overweight or obese.
If left untreated, this could lead to bigger health issues such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, or cardiovascular conditions. This also means if you fall in the category and you want to reduce your weight, you can also take weight loss supplements to help you.
Similar to women, weight loss pills are also available to men. In fact, there are tons of products available in the market that are specifically designed for men who need help in the weight department.
Before you buy, there are also factors to consider as enumerated above to ensure that you will use the right kind of product.
To make the most out of this type of product, men would benefit more from fat burners. Apart from its fat burning capabilities, it is best when combined with other mechanisms such as:
- Helps maintain muscles
- Expands muscle endurance
- Thermogenic capabilities
- Pre-workout supplement
- Energy booster
- Appetite suppressant
- Improves exercise performance
Make it a habit to read the label to see what the weight loss tablets could offer. If you could get a product that offers more than just burning fat and boosting your metabolism, then better. This will give more value to your money as well.
- Men are not exempt from obesity or being overweight
- Weight loss supplements for men are already available in the market
- Pills with fat burning capabilities are more recommended for men since it is easier to combine with other mechanisms
Tips On How To Safely Use Weight Loss Tablets
You already know the pros and cons of using weight loss pills. At this point, you also have an idea on the different types and how it could help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Before you go, here are some things and tips to remember when using weight loss supplements:
- Treat it as a supplement, not a substitute. Taking weight loss tablets is and will never be a substitute to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Don’t attempt to replace natural weight loss efforts with pills alone. To achieve best results, make sure you combine it with proper diet and exercise. You could see results in no time.
- Drink water. Many weight loss tablets sold in the market will require you to drink lots of water. Some have soluble fiber that turns into gel-like substance in your gut while others will cause you to lose water through urination. Regardless, increase your water intake to avoid dehydration.
- Read the label. In fact, this should be a habit. You need to know the ingredients and the label will tell you what’s in it. Check the wordings as well because if the claim is too good to be true, then it is most likely not true.
- Follow the instructions. This is also a must. Reading and following the instructions carefully could minimize your risk of developing adverse effects. Pay attention to the dosage, frequency of intake, and allergy information. If you experience any negative reactions, discontinue use immediately.
- Maximize online sources. Websites such as Office of Dietary Supplements and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health provide useful information about diet supplements sold in the market. Visit these sites regularly to keep you informed about certain products in the market.
- Keep yourself informed. Know what products or ingredients are banned in the market. Update yourself with the latest research about the weight loss tablets you are eyeing for. Knowledge is key.
- Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor, especially if you are seriously considering diet pills. Some weight loss pills could cause an adverse effect, especially if you are on medication or suffering from a certain condition. Seeking doctor’s approval is advisable to ensure safety and your health.
- Disclose your medical health. This is also important. Keep in mind that not all ingredients can be combined with other drugs and may cause adverse reactions. Make sure you inform your healthcare provider about any existing conditions so that proper weight loss pills will be prescribed.
- Always set realistic expectations. Keep in mind that losing weight won’t happen overnight – and diet pills are no exception. These products could help but don’t expect instant results. Combine this with other weight loss strategies to achieve noticeable results in no time.
At the end of the day, there is no magic pill that will help burn fat and stop you from gaining weight instantly. Losing weight is a combination of proper diet, regular exercise, and the right kind of weight loss tablets. At the same time, it will take a lot of discipline and commitment to ensure that you are on the right track.
Let this article guide you when it comes to choosing the best weight loss pills for you. Keep in mind the tips in choosing the right product. More than losing unwanted pounds, your health matters, too.