Diet pills have evolved far beyond the caffeine jolt they were once associated with. Today, these supplements are designed to target a person’s individual weight loss goals, whether it is blocking fat or carbs, adding exotic herbal supplements to your diet or increasing your metabolism. The key to diet pill success, however, is using them in moderation, along with a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Prescription Diet Pills
Prescription diet pills can only be used while you are under the supervision of a doctor. Because they can have more complicated side effects than over-the-counter (OTC) pills and also because some can be addictive, they are usually reserved for patients with significant amounts of weight to lose. Popular prescription diet pills include Meridia, Xenical, Bontril, phentermine and Didrex.
Nonprescription fat blocker pills are taken with meals and prevent fats from being absorbed. When using fat blockers, dieters must pay close attention to their fat intake so they do not upset their digestive systems. They are often used by bodybuilders to stay as lean as possible. The only fat blocker approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) is Alli, which is a less-potent form of the prescription fat blocker Xenical. Other popular fat blockers are TrimSpa, Fat Blocker, CarboZyne and chitosan.
Also known as thermogenic diet pills or “fat burners,” these OTC diet pills contain ingredients like caffeine and ephedrine. Claims have been made that these stimulants increase metabolism to help you burn calories faster, but tests on their claims are debatable. Ephedrine has been banned in the United States as a diet supplement because it can lead to heart irregularities. Popular fat burners include Relacore, Zantrex 3, Hydroxycut, OxyElite and QuickTrim.
Many nonprescription appetite suppressants contain chromium picolinate. It is thought that chromium increases insulin efficiency and aids the body in metabolizing fat and glucose. Suppressants may also contain herbal ingredients like green tea, yerba mate and bitter orange. OTC appetite suppressants include Dexatrim, MegaT, SlimQuick, Slim Shots and Metabolife Ultra.
When sorting through the multitude of diet pills on the market, do not fall victim to hyped-up marketing and attractive labels. Many products labeled as “herbal supplements” are not subject to FDA approval. Just because a product is “natural” does not mean it is safe. It is always a good idea to consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any diet supplement.