Can over the counter weight-loss pills be deemed a safe weight loss option?

July 23, 2014
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Introduction

Needless to say, the appeal of weight loss pills can be hard to resist. But are these products effective and safe or are they just meant to lighten the consumer’s wallet? More importantly, can over-the-counter weight-loss pills be deemed a safe weight loss option? Below, we take a look at 4 guidelines that should inform your decision prior to purchase on what they will and will not do for you as follows:

1. Ascertain the facts

Before purchasing any weight-loss pills over-the-counter, it is important to not only carefully read labels, but also liaise with your pharmacist or doctor well in advance of your visit to the local drug store if you decide to use them. Additionally, ensure you regularly visit the FDA website for any alerts regarding product recalls and safety concerns.

2. Beware of risks

Granted, there are weight-loss pills available at your local health food store, drugstore, or supermarket that work. However, most have not proven effective and in some cases, they may be downright injurious to your health. This is due to the fact that weight-loss aids and dietary supplements are not subjected to the same rigorous testing standards as is the norm with prescription drugs. They can, therefore, be sold with limited proof of safety or effectiveness.

But once a product is out on the market, it is closely monitored for safety by the FDA who can take action to recall or ban any dangerous products. Currently, the FDA has in place a ban on supplements that contain ephedra.

3. Consult your doctor

For those considering weight-loss pills, it is vital to involve your doctor before making any decisions, especially for those who take prescription drugs or have health problems. This is essential in determining how prescription drugs are likely to interact with the weight-loss pills as the latter contain multiple ingredients. Your doctor may also provide advice and support on weight-loss and may even help in monitoring your progress. Equally important, he/she may discuss what to watch out for and any possible side effects.

4. No quick fixes

While the manufacturers of weight-loss pills would have you believe that their products miraculously solve weight problems, the truth is that even if you use them, you still have to consume fewer calories than the body uses if you ant to lose weight. And even if they work at the outset, you would probably have to keep using them to keep the excess weight off which may not be safe or practical.

Conclusion

There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight-loss. The most effective weight way of shedding the extra pounds and keeping them at bay is through lifestyle change. Be physically active, watch portion sizes, and eat low-calorie healthy foods. It may not be instant, but it works.

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