Weight loss pills can make it easier for you to lose weight when you combine them with other weight loss strategies.
They tend to help you lose weight by reducing your appetite, increasing your feeling of fullness, and helping to prevent you absorbing fat. Some weight loss pills can also help you actually burn fat and even increase your energy.
Reported Effects of Weight Loss Pills
They Can Reduce Your Appetite
Many weight loss pills contain appetite suppressants which help you lose weight by diminishing hunger and making you feel full. They influence the part of the brain that urges you to eat. Consequently, you’ll consume fewer calories which you need to do to lose weight.
They Can Reduce Your Fat Absorption
Some ingredients in weight loss pills, such as Alli, block your body’s absorption of fats from food, which reduces your calorie consumption. People taking the drug should avoid fatty foods and stick to a reduced-calorie diet.
Alli can stop up to 30% of the fat you eat being absorbed. Because it prevents some of the fat in your digestive system from being absorbed, it often leaves the body unaltered in the faeces.
They Can Help You Burn Fat
Some ingredients in weight loss pills facilitate weight loss by increasing your metabolism and helping your body use fat, rather than carbohydrate, for fuel. They can accelerate the breakdown of fatty acids in your adipose tissue (belly fat). These broken-down fatty acids then enter your bloodstream, and they can be used for energy.
They Can Increase Your Energy
Some weight loss ingredients help to boost your metabolism. Many are said to do this by thermogenesis, which is a process of increased heat production. Thermogenesis stimulates energy production and can help to boost your metabolic rate.
Common Ingredients Found in Weight Loss Pills
Alli works by inhibiting the breakdown of fat in your intestine, meaning that you consume fewer calories from fat.
Clinical studies have shown that alli may improve weight loss by 2.7 kg when compared to a placebo. (1)
It’s also been shown to marginally reduce blood pressure and also to cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 37%.
When you’re taking alli it’s recommended that you follow a low-fat diet which should reduce side effects.
Research has demonstrated that caffeine can accelerate your metabolism by 3-11% and can also help you burn 29% more fat. (2)
Various clinical trials have also shown that caffeine can also help you lose a moderate amount of weight.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a healthy trans-fat which occurs in dairy products such as butter and cheese.
It can inhibit your appetite, speed up your metabolism and also help you to break down fat.
Several studies have shown that CLA helped participants lose approximately 0.1 kg per week, over a period of 6 months.
CLA also helped participants shed about 1.3 kg of weight, when tested against a placebo, another study demonstrated. (3)
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia is a small, green, pumpkin-shaped fruit. It contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in its skin, which is the active ingredient.
HCA inhibits a fat-producing enzyme in your body and also helps to increase levels of serotonin, which helps to curb food cravings.
Various clinical studies showed that garcinia cambogia helped participants lose an average of about 0.88 kg over a period of several weeks. (4)
Glucomannan occurs in the roots of the elephant yam, also known as the konjac fruit.
It’s a type of fibre that absorbs water. It then forms a gel that sits in your gut and makes you feel full, which helps you eat less.
Several clinical trials determined that glucomannan can potentially help you lose 3.6-4.5 kg over a period of five weeks if you stick to a healthy diet. (5)
Glucomannan can also feed your gut’s friendly bacteria, decrease both blood sugar and blood cholesterol, and can also relieve constipation.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee beans are simply unroasted coffee beans. They contain caffeine and chlorogenic acid, both of which can help you lose weight.
Caffeine helps you burn more fat whilst chlorogenic acid helps to decrease the breakdown of carbohydrates in your intestine.
Several clinical studies showed that participants taking green coffee bean extract lost 2.5 kg more than those taking a placebo. (6)
It may also help you decrease both your blood sugar and blood pressure, and it contains a lot of antioxidants.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract contains EGCG, an antioxidant that helps you to burn fat. Experts believe that it does this by stimulating the activity of the fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine.
Researchers have also demonstrated that green tea extract can help you lose fat, particularly around your belly. (7)
Hydroxycut contains caffeine and various plant extracts which can help you lose weight.
One particular clinical trial demonstrated that hydroxycut prompted weight loss of 9.5 kg over a period of three months. (8)
Meratrim contains plant extracts that can alter the metabolism of your fat cells. It does this by making it more difficult for your fat cells to multiply and also by reducing the amount of fat that they take in from your bloodstream. It also helps your cells to burn stored fat.
In one study, one hundred overweight people consumed exactly 2000 calories per day, with one group taking Meratrim and the other group taking a placebo.
After eight weeks, the Meratrim group had lost 5.2 kg of weight and had also lost 11.9 cm from their waistlines. They also recorded lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. (9)
Side-Effects of Using Weight Loss Pills
Weight loss pills may cause side-effects, some of which may be serious.
Stimulants which are derived from amphetamines can cause symptoms such as constipation, dry mouth, restlessness, and insomnia.
Caffeine can also cause side-effects such as anxiety, jitters, insomnia and even diarhorrhea.
Alli, a lipase inhibitor, may cause liver problems which can manifest as yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, appetite loss and also pale or brown urine.
It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before you embark on a course of weight loss pills.
Weight Loss Pills Dosage
You should generally take weight loss supplements each day according to the directions, for a time period ranging from two to six weeks.
- Long-term pharmacotherapy for obesity and overweight. R Padwal, S K Li, D C W Lau. Affiliations expand PMID: 15266516 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004094.pub
- Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. A G Dulloo 1, C A Geissler, T Horton, A Collins, D S Miller. Affiliations expand PMID: 2912010 DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/49.1.44
- The efficacy of long-term conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation on body composition in overweight and obese individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Igho J Onakpoya 1, Paul P Posadzki, Leala K Watson, Lucy A Davies, Edzard Ernst. Affiliations expand. PMID: 21990002 DOI: 10.1007/s00394-011-0253-9
- The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. Igho Onakpoya , Shao Kang Hung, Rachel Perry, Barbara Wider, and Edzard Ernst
- Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction. Grethe Støa Birketvedt, Mona Shimshi, Thom Erling, Jon Florholmen. Affiliations expand PMID: 15614200
- The Use of Green Coffee Extract as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. Igho Onakpoya, Rohini Terry, and Edzard Ernst
- Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults. Kevin C. Maki, Matthew S. Reeves, Mildred Farmer, Koichi Yasunaga, Noboru Matsuo, Yoshihisa Katsuragi, Masanori Komikado, Ichiro Tokimitsu, Donna Wilder, Franz Jones
- A Double Blinded- Randomized Clinical Study with “Weighlevel”, a Combination of Four Medicinal Plants Used in Traditional Greco-Arab and Islamic Medicine. Omar Said, Khaled Khalil, Stephen Fulder, Yousaf Marie, Eli Kassis and Bashar Saad
- Efficacy and tolerability of a novel herbal formulation for weight management. J.S. Stern J. Peerson A.T. Mishra M.V. Sadasiva Rao K.P. Rajeswari