Eating less and moving more are the basics of weight loss that lasts. For some people, weight loss pills may help.
You’ll still need to focus on diet and exercise while taking these pills, and they’re not for everyone.
Who Can Benefit From Weight Loss Pills?
Weight loss pills aren’t for everyone. According to guidelines released by the Endocrine Society in January 2015, these pharmaceuticals are appropriate only for people who qualify as obese, meaning they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Pills might also be helpful for people who are merely overweight (with a BMI of 27 or higher) but who also have health conditions brought on by their extra pounds, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
The benefit of these medications is that they help move weight loss along more quickly than diet and exercise alone, thus encouraging patients to stick to their lifestyle changes, Jin said.
“It’s a good mental effect,” she said.
Patients who are prescribed these pills are monitored closely. If they don’t lose at least 5 percent of their body weight after three months of use, they should discontinue using the pills, according to the Endocrine Society. Weight loss benefits continue only as long as the pills are taken, so users also need to develop healthy habits.
“Because all medications inherently have more risks than diet and exercise do, pharmacologic therapy should be used only in patients in whom the benefit justifies the risk,” the society concluded.
Weight Loss Pills
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia cambogia became popular worldwide after being featured on the Dr. Oz show in 2012.
It is a small, green fruit, shaped like a pumpkin.
The skin of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This is the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract, which is marketed as a diet pill.
Hydroxycut has been around for more than a decade, and is currently one of the most popular weight loss supplements in the world.
There are several different types, but the most common one is simply called “Hydroxycut.”
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (6).
It is found naturally in coffee, green tea and dark chocolate, and added to many processed foods and beverages.
Caffeine is a well known metabolism booster, and is often added to commercial weight loss supplements.
Orlistat is a pharmaceutical drug, sold over-the-counter under the name Alli, and under prescription as Xenical.
Raspberry ketone is a substance found in raspberries, which is responsible for their distinct smell.
A synthetic version of raspberry ketones is sold as a weight loss supplement.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee beans are simply normal coffee beans that haven’t been roasted.
They contain two substances believed to help with weight loss, caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
Glucomannan is a type of fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam, also called konjac.
Meratrim is a relative newcomer on the diet pill market.
It is a combination of two plant extracts that may change the metabolism of fat cells.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a popular ingredient in many weight loss supplements.
This is because numerous studies have shown the main antioxidant in it, EGCG, to aid fat burning.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, has been a popular fat loss supplement for years.
It is one of the “healthier” trans fats, and is found naturally in some fatty animal foods like cheese and butter.
Forskolin is an extract from a plant in the mint family, claimed to be effective for losing weight.
Bitter Orange / Synephrine
A type of orange called bitter orange contains the compound synephrine.
Synephrine is related to ephedrine, which used to be a popular ingredient in various weight loss pill formulations.
However, ephedrine has since been banned as a weight loss ingredient by the FDA because of serious side effects.