Are Diet Pills Really Effective?

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Diet pills have made great advances since the addictive amphetamines that became hugely popular during the 1950’s, and while many of the pills since then have made claims of being the last diet pill an overweight person could ever need, many of them were more dangerous than effective. But still scientific researchers seek a diet pill that will help the overweight population of America to lose weight not only easily but safely.

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While many of these pills claim to magically get rid of your ‘spare tire’ and that unsightly belly fat, health and fitness experts are cautioning the overweight people searching desperately for a quick fix to their fat problems that there really is no miracle cure that will shrink your waistline without any effort. Diet drugs alone do not work, but when combined with lifestyle changes and exercise they can help. Unfortunately many diet pills also come with a myriad of nasty and dangerous side effects, ranging from diarrhea to depression.

One of the newest diet pills to hit the huge weight loss market is Alli (orlistat). While Alli is something new to a great number of people many others will recognize it as the previously prescribed drug Xenical. Now available over the counter, Xenical’s new lower dose version is called Alli. When taken up to three times a day (with meals), Alli prevents the digestion of 25 percent of the fat you eat. It achieves this by attaching to the enzymes that cause the fat in food to break down. Of course how effective Alli is depends entirely upon how much fat you consume daily, but on average users were able to block anywhere between 100 and 200 calories per day.

In a six month study conducted by the drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, when compared to patients who only dieted, those taking Alli lost up to 50 percent more weight. In addition, dieters on Alli tended to be inspired to make lifestyle changes, exercise more and stick to a lower fat diet. An Alli starter pack includes a supply of pills to last one month, a fat and calorie counter, food journal and a dietary guide. Cost of the starter pack is about $54.

Alli does not come without its share of risks. Eating too much fat (30% or more of your daily calories) is likely to result in oily, loose stools as the extra fat that is blocked by Alli is quickly voided from the body. Diarrhea often occurs within hours of eating a high fat meal, and some people have experienced lack of bowel control. This can also rob the body of vital nutrients such as vitamin D and A.

Alli was designed to help those people who have a BMI (body mass index) of at least 25. If you struggle to eat sensibly, eat out often and tend to choose fat laden foods over healthier options, then Alli may be for you. Alli is not for people wanting to get rid of 5 pounds in a very short time to fit into a bikini, as normal weight people are at higher risk of the side effects of lack of bowel control and loss of vitamins. In cases of obesity, provided the user is not suffering with diabetes and / or heart disease, Alli can be very effective, and while there are side effects being seriously overweight is a more serious health risk.

The better option is to reduce the amount of fat in your diet. There are a huge number of cook books that focus on lower fat meals that still retain the flavor one would expect from fried food. Small changes can make a big difference in your weight, without the nasty side effects. When you combine sensible nutrition with exercise, you are not only doing something to help you lose weight but also to improve your overall health and fitness.

Whether you decide to try Alli to lose weight, or make lifestyle adjustments to eat more sensibly and incorporate exercise into your daily routine, please consult your health care professional first. He / she will be able to advise you about the right course of action to take and help you to reach your weight loss goals.

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Are Diet Pills Really Effective?, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.