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Do weight loss pills actually work?

8/26 14:09:14

Q: Hi my name is Rohan and I am obese. I want to lose weight quickly. Tell me do weight loss pills work? Are they safe?

Rohan we are sorry to disappoint you but there’s no shortcut to losing weight. The only way to do it is a proper diet and exercise. While weight loss pills do work to a certain extent by either suppressing your appetite or loading your system with caffeine so that you work out for a longer period of time. The bad thing about them is that once you stop taking them, there’s a tendency for the lost weight to come back.

In the true sense they’re catalysts rather than miracle pills, and unless you watch what you eat and workout, they won’t work. In the long run, people who use them, develop tolerance and the drug stops being of any effect. (Also read: Quick-fix weight loss products, treatments and services: Do they work?)

You also need to watch out for the side-effects of weight loss pills. Expert nutritionist Shilpa Mittal has seen many clients scammed into using these products, ‘Most pills are either suppressants or stimulants that hinder the absorption of fat into your body. Subsequently, they can also hinder the absorption of other essential nutrients and vitamins. They’ve also been known to increase the heart rate, blood pressure and cause other gastrointestinal side-effects like constipation,’ she said. They can also cause heavy sweating, insomnia, mood swings, headaches and anxiety.

Recently, one sort of weight loss pills called DNP 2,4 was in the news after it caused two deaths in the UK. One of them was an 18-year-old Indian student who was an avid bodybuilder and another one was a 23-year-old medical student who suffered from bulimia – an eating disorder. These pills though banned in 1938 continue to be available underground in the bodybuilding community or otherwise despite wide-ranging side-effects like nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, palpitations and could even lead to coma and death.

The matter of the fact is that there is no shortcut to losing weight and having lost 37 kg I can assure you that it is something that’s extremely doable with a little effort. 

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