Fighting the battle of the bulge is never going to be easy, and that is the reason why people do not mind trying anything from following a good diet to making ill-guided efforts that can cause health consequences. It is quite common to see people getting fixated on the idea of losing weight loss to an extent that they do try unproven and sometimes potentially dangerous things.
It is quite the same with weight loss pills. Most of them are sound too good to be true, and that is when you should decide to turn the other way. The question is, “Should you never try weight loss pills or there are some with potential benefits?” Here is what you need to know.
Weight Loss Pills
There are a variety of weight loss pills available in the market today. Some of these pills work by boosting metabolism, while others claim to suppress appetite and increase fat loss. The problem is that supplement manufacturers are not like prescription drugs and they do not have to prove that their supplements and pills are effect or even safe. Even when they say their products contain natural ingredients, it does not mean you will not experience any side effects. That is why it is better to talk to your doctor before taking any diet pill or weight loss supplement.
Weight loss pills are popular because they are advertised as if they can burn layers of fat in a matter of days. Many of those TV ads that come after midnight claim that you can eat all you want and have a sedentary lifestyle, and still lose weight with weight loss pills. Unfortunately, the quality and number of randomised, double-blind studies that confirm the efficacy of these pills are very limited. Therefore, it is a better idea to pay attention to your diet and follow a good exercise program to lose weight in a healthy way.
However, it is also worth mentioning that not all weight loss pills are complete garbage. While they are not going to turn your body into a fat-burning furnace, they may give your metabolism a nudge to help you get better results from your weight loss efforts.
Pills That May Work
When you want to use weight loss pills, you need to buy them from authentic suppliers and ensure they include some specific ingredients. For instance, pills that contain caffeine may help boost metabolism. Similarly, green tea catechins may increase fat burning by 4.7%. Yerba mate is yet another great ingredient found in these pills, and so is synephrine, which is quite similar to caffeine and works by supporting thermogenesis and lipolysis.
Some new studies have shown that some ingredients may hold potential when it comes to burning fat. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a good example. It is sometimes used in combination with flaxseed oil and garlic.
- Experts at the University of Wisconsin in Madison has studied CLA and said that the clinical evidence is certainly emerging that it can be helpful, particularly in controlling fat and weight gain. They also have pretty good evidence that it relieves a lot of the adverse effects [such as dizziness and stomach problems] that people have when they are dieting.”
It means that you can combine diet pills that contain CLA while controlling your diet to get better results. Some studies have also found that CLA may help boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and stimulate the breakdown of fat.
Similarly, some pills that contain 7-KETO DHEA may also help burn additional calories. There is clinical evidence suggesting that this ingredient in weight loss pills may help overweight adult get better results from their weight loss efforts. Some studies show that taking 200mg of 7-keto DHEA may help reduce body fat to some extent.
New studies have also confirmed that glucomannan is another ingredient that makes weight loss pills effective to a certain extent. It is a type of fibre and works by turning into a gel-like substance after absorbing water in your gut. It promotes a feeling of fullness and prevents overeating (Source). Studies have also confirmed that when combined with a healthy diet, glucomannan may help you lose 8-10 pounds in 5 weeks (Source). However, glucomannan is one of those ingredients that may also lead to certain side effects, such as soft stools, flatulence, and bloating.
Chitosan is also an ingredient that may be effective but can cause side effects. Obtained from powdered shells of crabs, shrimp, and other shellfish, chitosan binds to fat and lowers its absorption in the body. Studies show that you may be able to lose more weight when you take chitosan while being on a calorie-restricted diet. The problem is that taking these diet pills may affect your body’s ability to process fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin D, vitamin A, etc. Therefore, you should never take pills containing chitosan for longer than 3 months.
Pills That May Not Work
You may want to avoid pills with ingredients that have shown beneficial effects in animal studies only. They are less likely to work in humans. Since manufacturers of these pills do not need to offer any scientific evidence to sell their products, they do not mind using animal studies to suggest that these pills are effective. For instance, carnitine and forkolin may help improve fat oxidation, but there is inconclusive evidence suggesting that these ingredients are effective.
Similarly, there was a time when ketones were considered important for fat loss, but you can safely ignore pills that rely on ketones because they do not possess any fat burning properties. Raspberry ketones have shown some positive effects in animal studies, but you would have to take very high doses (up to 300mg/kg of body weight) to see any results. Therefore, most pills and supplements that rely on raspberry ketones are quite ineffective.
The same thing can be said about chromium picolinate and pyruvate, which were actually quite popular a few years ago. They have failed to offer any benefits in clinical trials and studies. In fact, researchers have concluded that chromium has no effect on body weight.
Hydroxycitric acid comes from a fruit called the Malabar tamarind, and is supposed to stimulate the breakdown of fat, but you can avoid any pills with this ingredient because studies on HCA have shown conflicting and inconclusive results.
Certain ingredients work in diet pills, but they should still be avoided because of serious side effects. Ephedra is quite effective, especially when combined with aspirin and some other ingredients. The problem is that you may want to avoid it because it can raise your blood pressure and lead to heart attacks. You may be able to lose weight while taking ephedra, but your blood pressure may remain high even after you stop taking it. Therefore, it is better to avoid it.
How Much is Enough?
Depending on what ingredient is there in the pill, you will have to determine the right dose. In case the pill you are going to take contain caffeine, you may get results by taking anywhere between 200mg and 400mg. Similarly, you should take 600mg of EGCG, 50-75mg of guarana, or 600-1500mg of green tea extract to notice results. Some experts say that you should be getting at least 8,600mg of green tea a day to see its effects.
In case of synephrine, you may have to take anywhere between 25mg and 50mg a day to achieve weight loss benefits. However, it is better to cycle your use of synephrine because it helps ensure that your body does not become desensitised to it, which in turn will keep your fat burning constant.
Keep in mind that even though weight loss pills contain natural ingredients like green tea extract, caffeine, and synephrine, they can still cause side effects in large doses. When used properly, caffeine may offer benefits, but excessive use may lead to side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, muscle tremors, and digestive problems.
Should You Really be Taking Weight Loss Pills?
Now, it is true that some weight loss pills may support your weight loss efforts, but the question is, “are they really worth taking?” As mentioned already, some weight loss pills contain ingredients that may help convert fat to energy, promote fat oxidation, and increase thermogenesis. These effects can make your weight loss program a lot more effective.
However, you should keep in mind that there is no point in taking these weight loss pills – even the ones that work – when you do not stay consistent with your training and diet. Furthermore, you need to consider if you really want to use those diet pills when you are already following a balanced diet and a right training program. Most of these pills contain synephrine, green tea extract, caffeine, and other stimulants. You can easily find these ingredients in regular weight loss supplements, so there is nothing special about pills.
It is also important to bear in mind that even weight loss pills work, the effects are not going to be that significant. However, you increase your risk of experiencing side effects when you try these pills. Stimulants may help to a certain extent, but they can cause side effects too. It means that if you really want to use weight loss pills, be very careful about the dosage of different ingredients.
The fact of the matter is that not all diet pills are effective, but you really do not always need to take ones that work, especially if you are already following a good exercise and diet plan. It is better to lose weight gradually because you will be able to keep it off longer. Using pills and other fat burners may supplement your efforts, but they also expose you to side effects. Always remember that there is no shortcut to sustained body-composition improvements. In most cases, you will be better off spending your money on a gym membership, healthy food, a nutritionist, or a personal trainer.
Effective Fat Burning Alternatives
It is true that some weight loss pills and fat burners may promote fat loss, but you do not need to take the risk because there are many other alternatives to popping a pill. Here are some tips to help you lose weight more effectively:
- Increase your intake of protein. Getting more protein is important because your body uses more calories to digest and metabolise protein. Protein also promotes satiety and prevents overeating. Some studies suggest that you can burn up 100 additional calories simply by sticking to a high-protein diet.
- Stay away from processed foods. It is important avoid processed foods because they are packed with calories, fat, and sugars. Studies show that processed foods promote overeating that can make weight loss impossible.
- Cut back a little on added sugar. Added sugar offers empty calories and that is the reason why you should avoid processed foods. Limiting your intake of sugar also lowers your risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Say no to liquid calories. Many people think fruit juices, energy drinks, and chocolate milk are healthy options. They may offer essential nutrients but are very high in calories. Avoid these liquid calories to boost weight loss.
- Limit your portion sizes. Some studies have found that you may end up eating less when you use smaller plates. By limiting the amount of food you eat, you can control your caloric intake and lose weight more effectively.
- Never skip breakfast. It is important to tell your body that you are trying to lose weight but you are not in a starvation mode. For this, it is important to avoid skipping your breakfast.
- Tap your feet. It is possible to burn more than 350 calories simply by taping your feet while sitting on your work desk. Some people fidget naturally, but you can imitate them to reap some amazing benefits.
- Get enough sleep every night. Chaotic sleeping habits can affect your fat-storing hormones. You should get enough sleep every night to feel active during the day. Moreover, sleep deprivation can affect your metabolism in a negative way.
- Maintain a good posture. You have to engage your abdominal muscles to straighten up and maintain a good posture. This will help you burn some calories and keep your tummy tucked in.
- Increase your intake of water. Drinking more water improves metabolism and promotes satiety as well. Staying hydrated may help improve your metabolism by 30%.
- Watch comedy. The idea is to laugh your heart out while watching your favourite flick. This elevates your heart rate and helps you burn up to 40 calories every 10 minutes.
These simple lifestyle changes can help you lose weight more efficiently without making you worry about any side effects that are usually associated with weight loss pills and other fat burners. So, whenever you can, choose natural ways to achieve your fitness goals!
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.