Using Stimulants for dieting and weight loss

Fitness Female Version

The Hard Truth

    It’s hard pill to swallow, but the truth is that most fat-burning and diet pills simply do not work. The weight-loss these concoctions provide is at best illusory. Diet and weight loss drugs usually fall into one of a few categories:

Metabolic Enhancers- These drugs claim to increase the amount of weight you lose from diet and exercise by increasing the speed of your metabolism. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Metabolism is an inherent, genetic characteristic that can only modified by altering your body physically, such as by increasing muscle mass (and thereby increasing the amount of energy required to perform even basic tasks) and by adjusting your diet. These metabolic boosting drugs almost universally operate by increasing your energy level, usually with massive doses of caffeine or other stimulants. While these may give the sensation of having more energy, that energy is artificial, and more importantly, can be dangerous. Taking these drugs can cause heart attack or stroke, and increase blood pressure. They are not a safe choice.

Appetite Suppressants- While there are prescription appetite suppressants that have been shown to improve weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, these are only prescribed to patients who have serious, even life threatening weight problems, and who have been unable to lose weight due to other medical factors. Over the counter appetite suppressants claim to trick your body into thinking it is not hungry, either by filling your stomach with a gel like substance, or through the use of herbal or synthetic stimulants, or often a combination of the two. These may indeed make you feel less hungry, but do nothing to actually stimulate weight loss.

Lipase Inhibitors- These drugs claim to prevent the body from metabolizing fat. These can be uncomfortable and unhealthy to use. When your body is not metabolizing fats, it has to excrete them, which generally results in greasy, liquid stools and even diarrhea. Moreover, there are a number of essential vitamins and nutrients that are fat soluble, meaning they can only be dissolved in and transported via fat to the rest of the body. Long term use of lipase inhibitors can lead to severe vitamin deficiencies because those nutrients are being excreted rather than metabolized.

Nutrient Overloads- Although not necessarily a weight loss product, there are countless over the counter supplements that taut their ability to improve your athletic performance by giving you a boost of some nutrient or another. This may seem logical, but it is in fact a waste of money. Proteins, vitamins and minerals are not stored in the body for later use. If your body has more of a nutrient than it needs, it is excreted. Unless a doctor or nutritionist suggests a particular supplement, you are better off flushing your money down the toilet than buying these pills.

The best way to KEEP weight off is to NOT use any type of stimulant such as pills or potions. Connect yourself with a Certified Personal Trainer who has expertise in nutrition and have them design a program that includes strength training, cardio, and proper nutrition. It is NOT a diet, it is a LIFESTYLE.

Tamara Barbee Savoie