Do Over The Counter Diet Pills Really Help You Lose Weight?

Many dieters turn to over-the-counter diet pills for a quick fix. Some people have tried traditional weight loss methods like “diet and exercise” and feel it doesn’t give them results quickly enough, so they want a supplement to jump start their weight loss program. Other people use OTC pills want to add a secondary method of diet control to boost their current weight loss regimen.

But do non-prescription diet pills deliver everything the advertisements say they do, or is it just another scheme for companies to earn a buck?

What Are Over-the-Counter Diet Pills?

Over-the-counter, or OTC, diet pills are those available at a local mass retailer. There are also some diet pills available exclusively online. Not all of the pill manufacturers have performed studies to determine the safety or effectiveness of these pills. The lack of federal regulations on over-the-counter diet pills means that manufacturers don’t need to prove that the products work or that they result in any form of weight loss.

It’s important that you speak with your doctor before taking any diet pill, since there are some products that use ingredients that negatively interact with certain medications or conditions. Many OTC pills are advertised as natural but contain herbal ingredients that can affect a person’s health.

Are OTC Diet Pills Effective?

There are several different types of non-prescription diet pills. The most common are fat blockers and appetite suppressants. Many make claims of “easy weight loss.” But, what are the facts about these “medications?”

Over-the-Counter Fat Blockers

Fat blockers such as alli and chitosan are noted for the ability to block a percentage of dietary fat and help increase weight loss. These must be used with exercise and a reduced-fat diet in order to show an increase in weight loss. Fat blockers may also block necessary nutrients from entering the blood stream and cause certain vitamin deficiencies, so you should take a multivitamin when taking a fat blocker

Over-the-Counter Appetite Suppressants

Over-the-counter appetite suppressants such as Hoodia are touted as a natural way to decrease appetite and lose weight safely. While these products may seem effective initially, once they’re stopped, the weight will come back. And if you’re not eating nutrient dense foods while taking these pills, you can experience a nutrition deficit.

Truth About Over-the-Counter Diet Pills

Some OTC diet pills combine ingredients that help suppress appetite and help clean out the gastrointestinal track. This loss of water and bulk weight induces a slight weight loss, but the weight returns easily once you stop the pills. While most diet pills offer some form of weight loss, the only real fight against weight gain is a sensible diet and consistent exercise.

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