Are Weight Loss Pills Addictive?

We all dream of a magic pill to accelerate weight loss imagine going to bed fat and waking up svelte.  Sadly there is no miracle solution to the losing weight just an understanding of calories and monitoring our eating.  There are two types of pills available to accelerate weight loss. They are ones containing amphetamines and ones that bind fat together to expel it from the body.  

Obesity is an increasing problem in the UK and doctors encourage people to reduce their weight so it is within the healthy range.  Losing weight naturally is the safest choice as you are making healthy food options and engaging in exercise. Doctors rarely prescribe weight loss medication unless the benefits outweigh the dangers.

Healthy eating, portion control and calorie counting are the most effective ways to lose weight.  Weight loss treatments such as Orlistat are only available for people with a BMI higher than 30 and are hovering on a weight loss plateau.  Diet pills containing amphetamines are highly addictive and rarely prescribed.

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Why Is Weight Loss Important?

Obesity is becoming a serious issue in the UK due to the adverse effects it has on our health.  It seems ironic in an era of selfies and aspiring to the celebrity look we are getting so fat. As well as affecting our physical and emotional health being overweight may increase our chances of getting cancer.  

Carrying extra weight puts a strain on your heart and joints and makes you more susceptible to health conditions such as; type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and strokes.  Many overweight people also suffer from depression because they have a poor self-image. People become overweight due to conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid problems or simply overeating.

We use the body mass index (BMI) to determine which weight bracket we fit in.  A BMI between 18.4 and 24.9 is healthy, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, 30 to 39.9 obese and 40 or above severely obese.  Just looking at ourselves and clocking our clothes sizes is generally a good indication of whether we are overweight or not.

The most logical way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than we need and participate in exercise.  However, humans are not logical creatures when it comes to restricting our diet and we end up having either a feast or a famine.  Both approaches result in fluctuating weight and a wardrobe full of clothes of many different sizes.

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Diet Pills Containing Amphetamines

For many years diet pills containing amphetamines were a perfect way to promote weight loss. They suppress appetite, increase energy and melt away the extra pounds.  However, they are not particularly good for you and have a number of unhealthy side effects. Let's not forget that clubbers take amphetamines (which is a B class drug) to dance all night.  This means our great-grandparents may have lost weight taking the same type of drug as ravers. Obviously, this leads us to the reasons why doctors rarely prescribe diet pills containing amphetamines.

Side effects include; insomnia, restlessness, tremors and the need to keep increasing the dose as your body becomes resilient. Psychological effects include; behaviour changes, paranoia, hallucinations and aggressive behaviour.  Bearing these side effects in mind it is hardly surprising that your doctor won’t prescribe them for you. Please don’t order them online because you may end up taking a fatal dose or an addiction to them.

Orlistat The Safer Alternative

Orlistat is an EU licensed diet pill that works by working on the enzymes in the digestive system to bind fat together.  It prevents your body from digesting one-third of the fat you consume and expels it from the body. You have to have a BMI over 28 to be able to take them and eat a healthy low-fat diet.  They are not addictive and you won’t be able to dance all night if you take them.

This is not a magic pill either because the side effects range from embarrassing to downright disgusting.  If you insist on eating high-fat food while taking these you are also likely to suffer from the following; skid marks, flatulence, and the runs.  Other side effects include; stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, teeth ache, headaches and dark stools.

They are only effective and bearable if you follow a low-fat diet and take them for the short term. Ideally, a diet plan that you are able to stick to without depriving yourself of favourite food is the best plan to follow.

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By Parv Sagoo (December 2017)