Diet pills can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal to fight the fat, but with a market saturated by diet supplements all promising incredible results, choosing the right diet pill can be quite overwhelming.
We have outlined below the main types of diet pills and how they work to make the decision a little easier for you.
Appetite suppressants fall into two groups, prescription and over the counter.
Prescription appetite suppressants are intended for use in specific circumstances, where obesity is accompanied by weight related health issues for example, and are only prescribed by your doctor after serious consideration of the advantages and potential risks involved.
Ingredients in prescription appetite suppressants include powerful drugs such as Phentermine, affecting the central nervous system by triggering neurotransmitters controlling appetite, so the user feels fuller for longer and consumes significantly less calories.
Ingredients include natural substances which delay the speed the stomach empties; regulate blood sugar to eliminate sugar spikes which lead to over eating, and also forms a soluble fibre which swells in the stomach to create a feeling of satiety.
Common appetite suppressing ingredients include yerba mate, guarana, damiana, glucomman or konjak and prickly pear.
Also known as starch blockers, these diet pills contain phaselous vulgaris, an extract from white kidney beans, which blocks a starch-digesting enzyme called alpha-amylase, so the body absorbs less carbs, reducing their calorific value.
There is limited clinical proof to suggest these types of diet pills are effective, and it is thought that as the complex carbohydrates pass through the small intestine largely undigested, they can lead to bloating and diarrhoea when they arrive in the large intestine and start to ferment.
Louis Aronne MD, of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital says ‘When patients come in taking a carb blocker, they end up stopping either because of the side effects or because of lack of effectiveness, or both.’
Clearly more research needs to be done to assess the effectiveness and long term side effects of this type of diet pill.
Fat binders work by attaching to fats in the digestive tract and prevent them from being digested and absorbed by the body. They contain forms of soluble and insoluble fibres, generally extracted from plants like the cactus.
Fat binders work immediately so are normally taken with a meal, but it has been suggested that they are most effective only in those who have a high percentage of fat in their diet.
Once the fats have been bound they are excreted from the body, but this can lead to side effects such as oily stools, diarrhoea, constipation and headaches.
Metabolism Boosters or Fat Burners
These seem to be the most prolific diet supplements currently available and effectiveness can vary greatly in this category. Fat burners contain ingredients which speed up the metabolic rate so the body can burn more fat through thermogenesis.
They also contain stimulants which increase energy levels and endurance so the user can burn fat for longer to achieve drastic weight loss results when accompanied by exercise and a healthy diet.
Some fat burners do have an associated energy crash when the initial effects have worn off, but some products contain slow release formulas allowing the body to stay burning fat for longer to avoid the energy crash.
Common fat burning ingredients include bitter orange extract, guarana, caffeine, green coffee extract, L-Carnitine and green tea. However, the high caffeine content found in these ingredients can often caused jitters and increased heart rate.
The new age of diet pills – fruit power!
There has been a flurry of newly discovered fat burning ingredients in recent years, all of which have been found in exotic fruits such as Acai berry and African Mango.
Clinical studies have shown that Acai berries, Raspberry Ketones and African Mango all positively impact metabolism, whilst containing powerful antioxidants which improve general health and wellbeing and protect the body from free radicals.
We will be adding an article soon in our resources section which looks at these new powerful fat burners in detail.