Everyone wants to see overnight weight loss results, which is why it’s so tempting to use some over-the-counter weight loss product. But how effective are these products? Are they safe for weight loss or do they just make your wallet lighter? Let’s take a closer look to see what weight loss pills can and can’t do for you.
Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure
Weight loss products are not magic beans that will help you shed 15 pounds in a single week. Weight loss is a slow and tedious process and having high expectations will only leave you disappointed. A drastic change towards a healthier lifestyle is important to start seeing positive results.
Prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies or any other dietary supplements are merely tools to help with weight loss. Weight loss depends primarily on a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Regulation of Over-The-Counter Diet Pills
There are two types of diet pills, one category is non-prescription drugs and the other is dietary supplements. For the former, the drug company is required to provide the FDA with clinical studies based on actually overweight people that show the safety and effectiveness of the product.
Makers of dietary supplements, however, aren’t required to report to the FDA for approval. They are considered responsible for ensuring safety and effectiveness of the product but the quality of research applied to these products, is at best, rudimentary. If a weight loss product has severe side effects, the FDA asks the manufacturer to withdraw the product and make improvements. Only in rare cases is the company actually charged for making false claims.
These differences in regulation can easily cloud your judgment and thus, you should do sufficient research on your own before using any weight loss product.
Understanding the Claims Made On Weight Loss Supplements
Almost all products make extravagant claims, such as “lose 50 pounds in 4 weeks.” But you should follow up on these claims and see if there is any clinical evidence that supports it. If you are able to locate the clinical study, make sure you look at how long the trial was, the number of participants and the method used for the study. All these factors should provide sufficient evidence for you to draw sound conclusions about the benefits of any weight loss supplement.
Understanding If the Product Is Safe
If the research on the product is limited, it can be difficult to understand the long-term implications of the diet pill. Also, never assume that if a product is natural or herbal, it’s safe for consumption. Take advantage of other people’s experiences with the product. If there is a common vote on some side effects, it is best to avoid that particular product. On the other hand, if you find a suitable weight loss product, don’t forget to combine it with a healthy meal plan and a regular exercise routine.