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Weight Loss Pills Don’t Work

If you were to study why weight loss pills don’t work, you’d have to start by splitting them into ayurvedic and conventional. That’s crucial because ayurvedic pills don’t actively damage the body so no one really cares whether they help lose weight or not. Weight loss pills do everything from damage your heart to giving you an amphetamine trip (not kidding here!). Everything except what they claim to be able to do – help you lose weight; which in book means that they don’t work.

Everyone’s seen ads that say “eat all you want and lose weight.” What these weight loss pills claim is that they prevent fat absorption. Essentially, and rather graphically, the pills clamp onto the fat before it’s digested and absorbed, clump it all into a big ball and then well – blast it out. Weight loss pills are always in the news but in the last few months, these are the ones making news…

  • Orlistat: A happy over the counter drug that apparently showed that as you long as you eat this while ALSO working out and eating right, you’re good to go. Minor (apparently) drawback was oily loose stools. Then last month, FDA trials showed that while they haven’t found a direct causal connection, they made them add a liver warning to the bottle.
  • Chitosan: Derived from chitin – the protein in exoskeletons of prawns, crabs and shrimp, these aren’t good news for vegetarians. Further claims of preventing fat absorption, etc etc – something that the FDA strictly disagrees with.
  • BZP: It’s a recreational drug that gives you the same effects as standard amphetamines. Your pupils dilate, your heart rate increases, you’re alert and high in energy and apparently losing weight at the same time. It’s illegal across Europe but not everywhere. The Canadian authorities found that it causes heart problems. (!!)

Moral of the story – what we all know – there’s no substitute to eating right and working out. Certainly no magic weight loss pill in any case. But here’s the good news – all those weight loss online ads. Next time, check if it’s got BZP because you know what, you won’t lose weight but the trip might make you feel better about it!

About Prashant Rajkhowa

The first health story that Prashant produced was a TV feature called "How To Deal with Bleeding Gums." That was in 2003 and it took him some time to recover from the rather traumatic visuals. He returned to health and fitness reporting in 2009 and hasn't looked back since. Prashant started CrossFitting in March 2013, follows the Zone Diet, enjoys cooking and always seems to be planning his next dive but never getting around to get it done...
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