Diet Pills: Do They Work?
Let’s begin by defining the term “diet pills.” There are two very different forms of diet pills. One type of diet pill claims to be a fat inhibitor which causes fat molecules to be indigestible. Alli is a popular diet pill that falls into this category. The second type of diet pill is called a thermogenic. These types of diet pills contain stimulants that speed your bodily processes up. Hydroxycut is a popular version of these types of diet pills.
So are they safe and do they work?
They do work but each one brings its own collection of drawbacks and side effects.
Fat Inhibiting Diet Pills: If you do not mind nearly crapping your pants every day, then you may enjoy taking these diet pills. Here are a list of the side effects:
Gas with an oily anal discharge
Loose stools or diarrhea
More-frequent bowel movements
Hard-to-control bowel movements
These symptoms occur because a lot of the fat you consume becomes indigestible. This causes the body to rapidly push this indigestible fat through your digestive system. Talk about explosive results!
A second, and more serious draw back, is the inability to absorb micronutrients and fat. Fat is essential for many things in the body, including hormone regulation. Consuming a low fat diet in combination with these pills can really throw off your endocrine system. Not to mention the inability to absorb and store your fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K). This type of diet pill can flat out leave you malnourished, sickly and dehydrated from excessive diarrhea.
So let’s talk about drawbacks of thermogenics.
Thermogenics speed up the body’s natural processes. Your cardiovascular system, digestive system, and metabolism all increase in speed. This increase in speed is supported by burning excess calories, thus increasing your basal metabolic rate. This causes you to burn more calories through out the day. It sounds good, but let’s dig deeper.
These stimulants increase the demands placed on the body. This increased demand elevates stress on the body systems. Most notably, the heart can become overworked and literally just stop working if the person has some kind of heart condition. Also, these drugs are often taken in conjunction with high levels of exercise. This further increases the demand placed on the heart. This is not good!
Ephedra was a common ingredient in these types of thermogenic diet pills, but due to deaths associated with its consumption, ephedra was banned in the US.
Currently manufacturers use other stimulants to get a similar, but a bit less potent effect.
Besides your heart stopping, these are some other side effects associated with thermogenics:
Addiction to the stimulants
Shaking or a jittery feeling
Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea
Changes in heart rate
So who should take these products?
In my estimation it is better to never take either of these products. Losing weight through diet and exercise is a much better option.
There are two instances where I can see it being practical to use these product.
The first situation involves using a fat inhibiting diet pill. This would be good for someone who is morbidly obese. In this situation the diet pill may be prescribed by a doctor to avoid gastric bypass surgery or death associated with obesity.
The second situation involves consumption of thermogenics by an already healthy and fit individual. It may be practical for a bodybuilder to use thermogenics in the final few weeks before a show. In this case, the thermogenics would be used to assist in getting rid of the little bit of fat they have before a contest. These individuals are already healthy and have a much lower risk of complications with consumption of thermogenics.
The problem is that these pills are marketed to the other 99% of the world. Most people should steer clear of any and all diet pills. Do it through diet and exercise. Build your body, build your heart, and build your character.
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These workouts are a great start!