General Question

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Do diet pills actually work?

Asked by omfgTALIjustIMDu (8813points) September 28th, 2007

If yes, how exactly do they work?

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8 Answers

Evan's avatar

more like “no” – they tend not to.. but mostly because people get off of them, and for good reason.

most diet pills (though i am not presuming to be all-inclusive) work by suppressing the appetite. meaning that by taking the pills, you don’t feel like eating, and thus you eat less, and thus you lose weight. this, along with the often numerous horrible side effects, are just some of the reasons why diet pills are so unhealthy.

there are certainly plenty of diets out there that are much better for you. one interesting thing to note is that i recently had a friend who decided to be Vegan.. solely for the health benefits.. and has lost a TON of weight. she of course made sure that she was getting all the various vitamins and minerals and proteins that she needed.. but because she was eating no animal or dairy fat.. she lost a TON of weight.. and still is. and she feels WAY better in terms of health and energy levels.

just a thought… :)

good luck!

joli's avatar

It’s not good for the tissues of your body to lose weight too fast, which is the purpose of diet pills. They can work, but you’ll gain the weight right back since most of what you lose off the diet pills is water, and they don’t teach you to eat sensibly and in moderation. You can fast on your own, just drink lots of water to feel full. Again, it’s not good to use pills as a solution for any malady unless your Doctor says there’s no other solution. Think in terms of lifelong, not just this week. Evan is on the mark, fat is what makes you fat. Cut the excessive fats out of your diet and you’ll be slimmer.

hearkat's avatar

these days there are several varieties of “diet pills” so you need to be more specific. Traditional diet pills were the ones that they claimed to speed-up your metabolism, and which were quite literally speed. That is why they are no longer legally on the market, as they did more harm than good.

The newer drugs are designed to prevent your body from absorbing all the fat in what you eat. The downside of this is that if you don’t digest the fats, you need to eliminate them, so loose bowels are a main side-effect. Another concern is that they also prevent adequate absorption of nutrients, since everything moves through your system more rapidly.

With all the money and time that has been spent in the weight loss and fitness industries, one fact remains, you have to eat right and be active in order to maintain optimal health.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

I should have been more specific…I am not interested in taking diet pills, but more in how they work.

hearkat's avatar

which is what I told you in general terms in my response… older diet pills used ephedra and similar substances to give the person more “energy” but they also often developed heart palpitations and many people died from heart attacks. The newest drugs reduce the amount of dietary fat that is absorbed during digestion.

hearkat's avatar

I’m sure there are tremendous amounts of inofrmation on the web, and would suggest that you do some web-searching to get a more detailed description of the different medications and how they work.

snej's avatar

They all seem to be either

* Stimulants (speed up metabolism, decrease appetite, often addictive, nasty side effects like teeth-grinding and heart problems)
* Diuretics (make your body excrete more water, you lose some “weight” in a hurry but gain it all back as soon as you stop taking them; plus, lack of water isn’t good for you)
* Fat absorption blockers (will actually cause you to absorb fewer calories from your food, but unfortunately the unabsorbed fat causes trouble when it comes out the other end…)
* Placebos (stuff like “secret herbal mixtures” that doesn’t actually do anything, but if you think it’s doing something you’ll believe in it and might lose some weight in the short term.)

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