Weight Loss Supplements: Can They Boost Your Weight Loss?

| Well Being

We are all well aware that there are no shortcuts when it comes to losing weight. However, many women have relied on weight loss supplements to help them meet their goals... with mixed results. Like most things that are probably too good to be true, weight loss supplements come with a catch (or ten!). Does a balance exist between the benefits and the harmful side effects that these pills produce? Are you willing to take the risk when it comes to shedding those last few pounds?

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Bring them on... Overall, diet pills (and let's just assume you are using the FDA-approved ones) can be a great way to help you kickstart your weight loss, boost your energy levels and moderate your health. These supplements help block the absorption of fats that we consume and can regulate our cravings throughout the day. No more mid-afternoon munchies! Diet pills can also help you lose up to 10 percent of your body weight, which can lead to decreased blood pressure and blood sugar levels, decreased cholesterol, and increased sensitivity to insulin, which can actually decrease your risk of diabetes.

...At your own risk. Sure, the pros make for a pretty convincing argument, but diet pills come with their fair share of danger. Some of the side effects are fairly mild, such as excessive gas, constipation, and oily spotting. However, popping these pills can take quite a toll on your physical and mental health. Weight loss supplements are known to speed up the central nervous system (the spinal chord and the brain), which can result in hyperactivity and feelings of euphoria or paranoia. Some pills contain stimulants and diuretics, which can trigger conditions like an irregular heart rate, nervousness, insomnia, seizures, high blood pressure, and possibly even death. Yikes!

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Diet the right way. Under the right circumstances, with routine observation from your prescribing physician, diet pills can be a huge help for jumpstarting weight loss. If you possess a body mass index greater than 30 percent, and you have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise, then it may be time for you to consult with your doctor about adding weight loss supplements to your daily regimen.

Also, be sure to use those pills in conjunction with diet and exercise. Diet pills are supplements, meaning that they are to be taken in addition to a nutritious diet and regular exercise. They are not a crutch. They are not the fallback option if you abandon your diet and splurge on junk food. Those pills should be treated like any other medications: a serious drug that, if used improperly, can have very serious side effects.

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Keep in mind that over-the-counter diet pills can be hazardous to your health. If you're absolutely determined to give weight loss supplements a shot, check with your doctor to figure out which one is best for you! For more information, check out these sources: Mayo ClinicAll Women's Talk, Livestrong.com, and Health Guidance.