The Food and Drug Administration's approval can take a lot of stress out of deciding what weight loss pills to take. But even with an FDA approved weight loss pill, not every person can find their salvation in a diet pill.
There are only two types of diet pills available on the market that have been approved by the FDA. They are appetite suppressants, such as Adipex and Meridia, and fat blockers, like Alli and Xenical. Both options have proven effective for short term weight loss, and both come with their own sets of benefits and side effects. Any person taking them should be aware of both.
What Can the Pills Do?
Fat blockers work by binding to the fat in the food you consume. They prohibit your body's absorption of a portion of the fat, around 25%. The fat leaves your body through your digestive tract, a process that can result in excess gas, stomach pain, oily stools and anal incontinence. These symptoms worsen with the more fat consumed. Appetite suppressants work by releasing chemicals into your brain that tell you are full. Most do this by triggering a small fight-or-flight response, your body's cue that it need to stop eating. Side affects are reportedly low, and include nervousness and a rapid heart.
If You Need a Quick Start
Most weight loss pills, whether appetite suppressants or fat blockers, are only intended to be taken for a short duration. These pills are an option for people who need a boost to start their weight loss. Fat blockers, like Alli, see there strongest results within the first six months dosing. Phentermine-based appetite suppressants are intended for 6-12 weeks of use. These pills are not marketed as life-long maintenance drugs, but jump-starts for the long haul.
If You're Willing to Change
Even with diet pills, if you do not alter your lifestyle, you will not succeed at long term weight loss. You will also gain less initial benefits from the pills if you do not pair them with healthy eating and exercise. In the case of FDA approved fat blockers, the more fat you continue to eat with the pills, the worse the uncomfortable digestive side effects will become. Diet pills are not magic bullets and are no substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Taking them is only one step to weight loss, and you must be willing to make all the other steps by yourself.
If You Have No Pre-Existing Health Conditions
There are a myriad of conditions that prohibit you from taking even FDA approved diet pills. If you are taking any other medications at all, make sure your inform your doctor before taking diet pills, as certain drugs can cause fatal interactions with popular diet pills. The same applies to any known drug allergies. People with heart conditions, diabetes, digestion issues, organ transplants and pregnancy might be a serious risk if they take FDA approved diet pills. Make sure your doctor knows your entire history before prescribing you weight loss pills.
Healthy weight loss is a difficult process that sometimes can be briefly jump started with FDA-approved weight loss drugs. No matter what, dieting and exercise will still be involved in reaching weight loss goals. Talk to your doctor to see if FDA approved weight loss pill are right for you.