Do Weight Loss Pills Work For Everyone:Are They Effective?

We all know that a combination of physical exercise and a healthy diet should work just fine in helping you lose weight. While some people have had little success with this traditional route to losing weight, it has worked well for some.

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It doesn’t go without saying that losing those extra pounds is crucial for a healthy body and mind. So, Do weight loss pills Work For Everyone? Moreover, are fat burner pills the best alternative solution for shedding those extra pounds? Read on to find out.

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Since weight loss pills came into the picture, they’ve sparked numerous debates about whether they actually work. According to popular research, scientists reviewed 315 weight loss-related clinical trials.

They discovered most of these studies to be biased[1]. Out of the studies, only 16 demonstrated weight loss in participants ranging from 1 to 11 pounds.

Also, there was inconsistency in the weight loss among the participants. Important ingredients of the Weight Loss pills the researchers reviewed are;

  • Chromium
  • Gear gum
  • Green tea
  • conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • Chocolate
  • phenylpropanolamine

Aside from the studies, the researchers also reviewed weight loss-related therapies[2]. Some of these non-supplement therapies involved body intervention, meditation, and mindfulness. Essentially this study review was to determine the reliability of evidence to guide The Obesity Society membership.

According to Dr. John Batsi (A professor at the University of North California), before making any recommendations, the result suggests there’s a need for high-quality evidence as per the results.

Dr. Sharon Zarabi (health program director in New York City) suggests that obesity is a complex health issue incurable by any magic pill. She added that suppose there was even a supplement, herb, etc., that worked. Supplements aren’t FDA-regulated.

That means efficacy, manufacturing practices, fillers and active ingredients, quality, dose, etc., would make it nearly impossible to formulate an effective supplement[3].

Generally, the only way you can lose weight is by changing your lifestyle. She also adds that taking weight loss pills or supplements without changing your lifestyle, e.g., physical exercise, won’t be fruitful.

That’s because your body will be defending itself against weight loss, which is why you need to keep it off by actively participating in healthy living.

How Effective are the Weight Loss Pills?

Long-term weight loss pills (prescribed for more than 12 weeks) have been proven to produce excellent results than placebo[3]. According to most research studies, lifestyle change alongside weight loss pills can yield more significant results than the change in lifestyle alone.

Changes in your lifestyle can translate to a total of 3-7% loss of body weight over the course of one year. While this may seem rather a modest amount, a sustained 5–10% weight loss can positively impact your health, e.g., lowering triglycerides and blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure, etc.

Are Weight Loss Pills the Ultimate Solution?

As previously mentioned, a healthy lifestyle is the key to a successful weight loss journey. It’s also what most health professionals would recommend, i.e., eating a balanced diet in controlled proportions and engaging in physical exercises.

If you really want to lose as much weight as possible, it’s imperative you modify your eating habits. Keep in mind one of the famous quotes by Edward Stanley ” if you think you don’t have time to eat healthy, then you’ll find time for illnesses sooner or later.”

Guidelines by the American Heart Association suggest that a combination of increased physical exercise, a healthy diet, and behavioral therapy can help you lose 5–10% of your body weight for the first 180 days of treatment.

However, this may not work for some people. Suppose this doesn’t work for you; your doctor may prescribe weight loss medication. But only after determining if you’re a suitable candidate for the prescription. Factors to decide whether or not you’re the right candidate are;

  • Your body mass index (BMI) must be more than 30
  • If you haven’t lost one pound per week for the first 180 days of treatment
  • If you have a BMI exceeding 27 in conjunction with an underlying medical issue such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

For those who don’t know how to calculate their BMI, CDC provides a calculator [4] you can use. Essentially this index is based on your body fat against your height and weight. The calculator might not provide accurate BMI status if you’re muscular. In such cases, it’s best to inquire from your doctor about the best way to calculate your BMI.

Your history of health challenges also plays a crucial role in determining the proper weight medication for you. Your doctor will also walk you through the pros and cons of using the weight loss pills. Notably, weight loss medication isn’t for everyone. Those who should use these pills are;

  • breastfeeding mothers
  • if you’re trying to get pregnant
  • teenagers
  • Children

FDA Approved Drugs for Weight Loss

Suppose your next weight loss alternative is the weight loss drugs. Some of FDA approved pills you can give a try include;

  • Phentermine-topiramate

The phentermine-topiramate is a drug that combines two drugs, ie.., the anticonvulsant topiramate and the weight loss drug, phentermine. Phentermine is most likely to be abused by some people due to its amphetamine properties.

When abused, it causes the following side effect; constipation, insomnia, blood pressure, nervousness, and increased heart rate. Side effects of topiramate are mainly associated with birth-related issues.

A good alternative to Phentermine is Phengold, you can read the latest PhenGold Consumer reports here.

  • Bupropion-naltrexone

The drug’s name indicates it’s a combination of two drugs, i.e., naltrexone and Bupropion. Bupropion is a quit-smoking aid and a depressant, while Naltrexone is used on people who want to quit alcohol and opioid dependency.

The supplement has the potential to raise blood pressure. That’s why monitoring is necessary right from the beginning of the treatment—side effects to watch out for include; constipation, nausea, and headache.

  • Orlistat and Liraglutide

Unlike the first two drugs, orlistat and liraglutide are two different drugs that function as standalone weight loss drugs. Liraglutide is administered through injection, and aside from weight loss, it’s used to manage diabetes.

Common side effects include; nausea and vomiting. However, the moment your start vomiting after using it, it’s advisable to stop usage.

Orlistat is a good weight loss supplement, but only under reduced strength which is what it’s commonly available in. Note that this supplement has severe side effects, mainly when used in its high strength. These side effects are; Liver injury, Loose stools, among other serious gastrointestinal side effects.

Bottom Line

Before resorting to using any weight loss drug or supplement, it’s crucial you seek a pharmacist’s or your doctor’s expert opinion concerning the use. Also, if you have any underlying medical issues, inform your doctor so that they can prescribe you the proper medication.

Note that some of these drugs, when used without following the prescription, can cause severe health damage. So, for better results, follow your doctor’s prescription accordingly. And remember, as Drew Carey once said, ” eating crappy food is a punishment and not a reward.” 

Jennifer Singleton is a registered nutritionist and fitness writer who is passionate about fitness nutrition and accomplishing better health by spending time between the gym and the kitchen. Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree at the Ohio State University. You can learn more on her by By Visiting here. Her LinkedIn Page  Or Follow her on Twitter.
Jennifer Singleton
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