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Are Diet Pills A Good Choice For Weight Loss?

Updated on August 15, 2012

Weight Loss: Diet Pills Good or Bad?

Diet pills can be a method for weight loss for many people but is this method worth the risks?

Studies show that there are many, some extreme, health risks associated with diet pills to include the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Heart arrhythmia or palpitations
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Headache
  • Intestinal disturbances
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Chest pain, tightness
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Dizziness, blurred vision
  • Hyperactivity
  • Urinary problems
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive perspiration

While there are reasons to take diet pills as they do act as an appetite suppressant, is it worth the health risks associated - or in extreme cases, the risk of death? For someone who is morbidly obese and trying desperately to lose weight, the possibility of weight loss through this method seems the only way to go, but is it the safest? Combined with other health factors as a result of any level of obesity, adding a diet pill to the mix may not only result in health problems, but it usually only results in a temporary 'fix' for the problem.

Deciding For Ourselves

While weight is a personal thing for everyone, taking a realistic look at our own bodies is the only way that we can come to terms with where we truly need to be in terms of weight.  Believing that a pill can hold all the answers to maintaining a comfortable number in terms of pounds seems a sure way to fail.

Suppressing an appetite means that it is just 'dampened' for the duration of the time that you take the pills.  Once you stop taking the pills, your appetite will resume where it left off.  As well, the basic underlying premise has not been addressed - why do we eat?

Some of us eat because it is a comfort.  Some of us eat because it is 'there'.  Some of us just eat because we have gotten into the habit of consuming larger portions than are appropriate for our body type/size.

There are many different methods for determining what a realistic weight is for our body type and lifestyle.  An ideal method that is recommended is to lose 2 pounds per week and though it might sound like simply 'not enough' if you are trying to fit into a smaller dress size to attend a high school reunion, it is the safest method for weight loss and probably the most sensible.  It is unrealistic to think it took months and years to put on unwanted pounds but it will only take DAYS to take it off!

The other salient point of weight loss is this - it is all about the calories!  If you eat TOO many calories in a day and do not exercise/burn off more than you just ate, you will NEVER lose weight!  That is the simple harsh truth of the matter.  In order to maintain a comfortable weight and/or lose weight, you have to be of a mindset that you KNOW what you are putting into your body in terms of calories PER DAY and what you are burning OFF in terms of calories per day.  In so doing, you have control over how much it is possible for you to lose!

Weight loss bottom line is about discipline.  Learning to eat a new way, learning to eat smaller portions.  Learning how to eat when you are dining out.  Learning to eat when you are on vacation.  If you find it hard to discipline yourself at home, you will likely find it twice as hard to do away from home!

Weight Loss Tips

  • Whatever method you choose, consult your physician before embarking on it!
  • Be sensible.  If you need to lose 50 pounds, don't try to do it in 2 weeks!  Again, it took longer than 2 weeks to put it there.
  • Keep a diary of your weight, how many calories you consume per day and how much exercise you did (calculate calories burned if you can).
  • Don't weigh yourself every day - that can be totally discouraging and once per week should be enough.
  • Consider Weight Watchers or another weight loss program for support as it does help to have other people around you who are going through the same thing!
  • Do exercise - but don't go overboard because sometimes that will backfire.  If it is too rigorous and outside your 'true' lifestyle, you will ultimately give it up and you will be back where you started.
  • Excellent forms of exercise that most everyone can do include walking, swimming or water aerobics, stationary bicycles. 
  • Join a gym and get advice if you want to take it to the next level.
  • Be kind to yourself.  Weight loss can be an ebb and flow kind of thing and some weeks you will be tickled pink with your advances and other weeks, you will be disappointed but keep the goal in mind!
  • Don't eat are sad, you are lonely, you are mad, you are.....Eat because you are hungry and even then, THINK about what you are eating and pay attention to portions, what you are eating, etc.
  • There are many tricks for weight loss - including using smaller plates, substituting certain foods for others that are loaded with calories, reducing or eliminating certain foods, beverages, etc.  Find the ones that work FOR YOU!
  • Invest in cookbooks that help  you in your endeavor - or get them from the library and pay attention to what foods are best for weight loss/lower in calories, etc.  Learn about them and then develop a new and improved pattern of eating.  You will have given yourself a gift you can enjoy for life!


Another Alternative - Lap Band


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