Eat all you want, never exercise, and still lose weight with this little pill! Seems too good to be true? Then IT IS probably too good to be true.
I will talk briefly about some of the most popular types of pills in the market, but first, here are a few things you need to know about these pills:
Most are categorized as dietary supplements, not as drugs, so they are not regulated by drug regulatory authorities (that means nobody has to prove that they work!)
They have harmful side effects like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, agitation, diarrhea, sleeplessness, kidney problems, liver damage, rectal bleeding…
Here are 7 of the most used ingredients in slimming pills, how they work and their side effects:
- Garcinia Cambogia Extract: Garcinia cambogia is a fruit that contains hydroxycitric acid, which is thought to inhibit a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase levels of serotonin, potentially helping to reduce cravings. Some studies showed no effect in weight loss. Others showed modest weight loss (around 0.8 kg), effects that are so small that they probably won’t even be noticeable.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is a metabolism booster, and is often added to commercial weight loss supplements.
Short-term studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism and increase fat burning.
Side effects: In some people, high amounts of caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness, irritability, nausea, diarrhea and other symptoms. Caffeine is also addictive and can reduce the quality of your sleep.
There really is no need to take a supplement or a pill with caffeine in it. The best sources are quality coffee and green tea, which also have antioxidants and other health benefits.
- Orlistat: Orlistat (commercial name Xenical or Alli) works by inhibiting the breakdown and absorption of fat in the gut, making you take in fewer calories from fat.
Side effects: This drug has many digestive side effects, including loose, oily stools, flatulence, frequent bowel movements that are hard to control… It may also contribute to deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Studies show that orlistat does help with weight loss, but only in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet.
- Green Coffee Bean extract: Green coffee beans are simply normal coffee beans that haven’t been roasted.They contain two substances believed to help with weight loss, caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
Caffeine can increase fat burning, and chlorogenic acid can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
Side effects: It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. The chlorogenic acid in it may also cause diarrhea.
- Glucomannan: Glucomannan is a type of fiber supplement. It works by absorbing water in the gut, leading to a feeling of fullness that may prompt people to eat less.
Studies appear to be conflicting on whether glucomannan can aid in weight loss or not.
Side effects: It can cause bloating, flatulence and soft stools, and can interfere with some oral medications if taken at the same time.
- Green Tea Extract: Green tea extract is believed to increase the activity of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps you burn fat. Side effects: Although green tea extract is usually well tolerated, it can cause stomach pain, constipation, and nausea.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Conjugated linoleic acid is a type of fatty acid that may reduce appetite, boost metabolism and stimulate the breakdown of body fat. In a major review of 18 different studies, CLA caused weight loss of about 0.1 kg per week, for up to 6 months. Side effects: CLA can cause various digestive side effects, and may have harmful effects over the long term, potentially contributing to fatty liver, insulin resistance and increased inflammation
Take home message
When it comes to the best weight loss pills, it appears there is no magic bullet.
Although some of the diet pills and supplements mentioned above may contribute to weight loss, the amounts are usually very modest with lots of undesirable side effects. So, do you still think it’s really worth it?
Eating healthy and exercising are still the best ways to lose weight and work better than all diet pills.
Sara El Baba