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Do Diet Pills Work?

For most people, the prescription for weight loss is pretty basic: Eat less, move more. In recent years, however, new drugs to combat obesity have moved onto the market.

A new breakdown of these options, released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), highlights the promise and perils of each of these medications, which range from appetite suppressors to stimulants.

None of these drugs are the magic bullet. They all must be accompanied by following a healthful diet and exercising, and their effects on the scale are moderate compared with the dramatic weight loss seen in people who undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Measuring tape and bottle with pills. supplements of diet

Even more, only a portion of those pills has met with the Federal Drug Administration’s approval. An examination of the pros and cons of FDA-approved diet aids is the first step to understanding if they are right for you.

What FDA Approval Means

Having FDA approval means the Federal Drug Administration believes a drug has been proven safe. A drug gains this approval through many tests and trials. By the time the approved drug becomes available to the public, it has already been taken by thousands of people over a time span of several years. They have all proven that they can trigger or support weight loss without serious apparent health risks.

Diet pills with FDA approval fit into one of two categories. They are either fat blockers or appetite suppressants. However, even with FDA approval, diet drugs are not miracle cures, nor are they without undesirable side effects.

Are Diet Pills The Answer?

Most health professionals agree that the healthiest method for losing weight is getting regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet of moderate portions of healthy food. Understanding and modifying your attitudes about eating also are critical to weight loss.

According to guidelines from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, a combination of a healthy diet increased exercise, and behavioral therapy can help people lose 5 to 10 percent of their weight in their first six months of treatment.

But for some people, this isn’t enough. Your doctor can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for prescription weight-loss medications, often called diet pills. According to the guidelines, they might be a good fit for you if you:

Have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.
Have both a BMI of 27 or greater and obesity-related health conditions.
Haven’t been able to lose one pound per week after six months of diet, exercise, and behavior changes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides an easy-to-use calculator to help you determine your BMI. The index provides a measure of your body fat based on your weight and height. If you’re very muscular, it may not provide an accurate indicator of your weight status. Ask your doctor about the best way to calculate your status.

Potential Appetite Suppressant Risks

All medications carry potential side effects, but by working with a gastroenterologist, you can help to mitigate these risks and keep your weight loss plan on track. Some potential side effects of an appetite suppressant regimen include:


Many of these symptoms are mild and can be controlled or reduced once you know how the medication affects you. However, not only can diet and exercise improvements help with weight loss, but these side effects are nonexistent with a natural diet.

Most diet pills contain chemicals that are not natural and are unsafe for our bodies. If a diet supplement does not make a specific health or diet claim, the FDA takes little notice. Until major episodes occur, authorities rarely step in to ban a diet pill or supplement. Any unnatural substance is one more obstacle for your body to overcome in order to be healthy and maintain an appropriate weight.

A Custom Approach To Weight Loss – The Natural Way

Losing weight and keeping it off can be a difficult and stressful undertaking without the right expertise and personal guidance on your side. Sure, you could order the next weight loss gimmick you see on TV, wait for a package to arrive in the mail, read the instructions, and follow the program in hopes that it might work.

Or you can clear away the clutter of ineffective weight-loss strategies, and get back to the basics of natural, doctor-supervised weight loss.

We’ve helped countless patients achieve their goals, and we’re absolutely confident we can help you too – no matter what your current size, and no matter what your particular weight loss goals might be.