With two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese, the diet industry in the US is a billion dollar business. One of the most popular dieting products that is purchased every day is the appetite suppressant. The theory behind these diet pills is that if a person doesn’t feel hungry, then they’ll be less inclined to eat something when they shouldn’t be eating. Although they can control cravings, there are also some key disadvantages that must be considered.
Before taking any appetite suppressant, it is a good idea to speak with a doctor about this choice and how it relates to a personal medial history.
What Are the Pros of Appetite Suppressants?
1. They work.
There have been numerous clinical trials that look at prescription strength appetite suppressants such as Xenical. Up to half of all study participants achieve at least a 5% decrease in their total body mass by using these dieting products. Up to 1 in 4 people experience a 10% decrease. What makes these products exciting is that there doesn’t have to be a complete elimination of craved foods to achieve weight loss. In practical terms, someone weighing 200 pounds can lose up to 20 pounds.
2. You still have energy even without food.
Appetite suppression is generally achieved through the use of stimulants. If amphetamines aren’t being used in some way, then caffeine is generally going to be used. Not only does this give someone energy without having food in their belly, but when they do eat, it helps them to feel better longer.
3. Metabolism rates can be raised.
Many appetite suppressants also help to raise a person’s metabolism and keep it raised throughout the day. This means more calories are being burned naturally, even if just sitting at an office cubicle, and that encourages more weight loss. Not everyone responds in the same way to the metabolism changes, however, so the right diet pill may be different for everyone. An individual that doesn’t respond well to caffeine, for example, will not want to take a high caffeine appetite suppressant.
4. Fast results encourage people to stick with the plan.
The problem with humans and dieting is that it requires the establishment of a new diet. This goes beyond sheer willpower. People need to be encouraged to start and then continue something new. Anything that creates discouragement will cause someone to abandon their goals. This is why so many New Year’s Resolutions are broken before the end of 30 days. Appetite suppressants help to achieve fast initial weight loss and in return, the numbers of the scale encourage someone to continue on with their diet plans.
5. They are affordable.
Unlike other dieting options, appetite suppressants are remarkably affordable for the average person. Most complete dieting plans cost less than $100 per month and since less food should be consumed, the changeover could be cost-neutral. Compare that to bariatric surgeries, fad diets that may or may not work, and other methods of dieting and the results of appetite suppression speak for themselves.
6. They are widely accessible.
Even if prescription level appetite suppressants aren’t recommended, there are stores full of this product that are available to those who want or need to lose weight. All someone needs to do is head to their local retailer’s health department to find something that may work. This availability means that anyone who wants to lose weight will be able to do so.
What Are the Cons of Appetite Suppressants?
1. All diet products have some sort of side effects.
Even the appetite suppressors that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration have certain side effects that must be considered before taking them. The primary issue is that the bound fat that is created by many of the diet pills is expelled through the digestive system, creating changes in bowel movements that can be uncomfortable and even painful at times. Drugs like Phentermine can also cause rapid heartbeats.
2. Short-term weight loss typically means long-term weight gains.
Many people can lose a lot of weight rather quickly with appetite suppression products, but keeping that weight off becomes a bit of a challenge. It is very common for people to gain back all of the weight they’ve lost within 12-24 months of achieving their weight goals. Sometimes even more weight is gained. Slow and steady weight loss tends to be a better option, but that also means slower results and that may create discouragement.
3. Some appetite suppressants are amphetamines.
There are two issues in appetitie suppression that must be considered because of the fact that many are amphetamines. The first is that amphetamines tend to be mildly addictive, which means a physical and psychological dependence on the diet pills can develop. People may feel like they can’t maintain their weight or lose extra pounds without the products. The second issue is that people develop a tolerance to amphetamines over time, which means the preferred diet pills lose their effectiveness after just a few weeks of taking them.
4. Fast weight loss can create potentially harmful health issues.
When more than 1-2 pounds are lost per week, it sets the stage for the body to actually harm itself without intending to do so. The biggest risk is the formation of gallstones. Because the body is consuming its own resources in losing weight, some of these materials are not properly converted by the digestive system and lodge in the gallbladder. Over time, this can create inflammation and even the need to remove the organ.
5. They can make it difficult to sleep at night.
Many appetite suppressants must be taken at the start of the day because of the stimulants that are contained within them. Since the life of caffeine and other stimulants in the body can be 10+ hours, taking diet pills at noon for lunch means that the stimulants may still be active at 10pm. If consumed in the afternoon, it may become difficult to get to sleep at night.
6. Diet pills don’t teach better habits.
Unfortunately many people treat diet pills as if they are a magic solution to months or years of unhealthy eating habits. Taking a month or two of pills to lose weight won’t change the eating habits that led to weight gain in the first place. Unless someone learns how to take care of themselves in a better way, in the end appetite suppression just becomes another fad diet that is followed when someone feels unsatisfied about their personal appearance.
The pros and cons of appetite suppression show that it can be a successful part of a well-rounded dieting plan. As long as the disadvantages are carefully considered and the right product is chosen, people can achieved their weight loss goals with this type of diet pill rather effectively.