Diet pills

“Diet pills: how are they different?”

What diet pills are there? What’s the difference between them? Which diet pills work? Are there any diet pills that may work for me?

Diet pills can be divided into six groups, helping you lose weight in six different ways:

1. Increase the metabolism and the burning of fat

These types of diet pills increase the metabolism, ensuring that your body burns more calories than normal. This is often achieved by ingesting substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system, which means that the body enters “fight or fligh” mode. Body temperature is increased, appetite is reduced and the metabolism in general increases. Assuming that you eat as you are used to, the body will need to take the extra energy needed from somewhere – ideally from the body’s fat reserves, and you will lose weight. This is the reason why these pills are often said to be “fat burners”, or “metabolism boosters”.

These fat burning diet pills can in turn be divided into three categories: those that are Gentle (without synephrine), those that are Super strong (containing synephrine) and finally Long-term diet pills, which permanently increase the metabolic rate of your body.

Gentle diet pills increase the body’s fat burning processes moderately, using herbs such as black pepper, chilli, green tea and ginseng. They have few side effects. Examples of these pills are Lepigen X-strong and H.O.P.E.

The Super strong fat burners are more potent but also have more side effects. They contain substances such as ephedrine (ephedra) or synephrine, a substance that affects the body in a way similar to adrenaline. Pills with Ephedrine are illegal in most countries. Synephrine is not as potent as Ephedrine, has fewer side effects and is legal in most countries. Synephrine can be found in for example Lepigen Superstrong.

Long-term fat burners contain Wakame, a Japanese sea-weed that has proven to induce permanent long-term changes in the metabolism. Wakame can increase the metabolism by up to 20%. Diet pills with Wakame are for example Termoloss and Zenjaki (not sold in the UK at the moment).

2. Blocking carbohydrates

To eat food that is low in carbohydrates or to choose carbs with a low Glycemic Index are two effective ways to lose weight. Several diet pills work on the same principles, usually by reducing the GI level of the food you ate. These pills are sometimes called “Carb blockers”; check out for example DEcarb.

3. A jelly in the stomach absorbing fat

To reduce the amount of calories you eat is a proven way to lose weight. Fat contains a lot of calories, so ensuring your body gets less fat is a good way of achieving this. There are diet pills that can help you by creating a jelly in the stomach which absorbs the fat and then passes through your body untouched. If you want to cut down on fat then these pills are very effective, as almost a third of the fat you eat gets “blocked”. Example of these pills are Proactol, Lipobind and H.O.P.E.

4. Suppress Appetite

When trying to lose weight, Hunger can be your worst enemy. Hunger is a very strong motivator and survival mechanism, which means that it can easily win over your attempts to lose weight by eating less. However, by tricking your body into thinking that you’ve just eaten you can reduce your appetite, eating smaller portions and less often, and in the long run lose weight. There are few substances that can fool the brain in this fashion, but one that has a clinically proven effect is the African cactus Hoodia Gordonii. Hoodia can be found in for example Hoodia Patch (Evolution).

5. Detox: to cleanse the body from waste products

The last few years there has been a hype promoting “detox pills” and “colon cleansers”, claiming incredible results using this or that product. The truth is that losing weight through Detox is more a welcome side-effect than the main goal. It works like this: At the same time that your body is cleansed from waste products and toxins it also gets rid of fat, especially around the belly. A few weeks of detoxing will most likely help you lose a few pounds, not much more than that. There are many detox products on the market, for example 30 days.

6. Build muscles

Some substances send signals to the body to reduce body fat and instead build muscles. In recent years some of these are used in diet pills, but the truth is that although it will trim an already slim body it won’t make much difference for people that are truly overweight. The most well known substance is CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), a natural fatty acid often eaten by body builders. CLA can be found in diet pills such as Evolution CLA.

To keep in mind

Non prescription diet pills are not held up to as strict standards as prescription drugs, and most of them are in fact harmless to your health. However, you should avoid diet pills if you have or have had mental problems, eating disorders, are under the age of 18, suspect that you are pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you have or have had kidney problems, cardiovascular problems or if you are currently taking prescription drugs you should make sure that a specific diet pill is in fact not harmful for you, preferably by asking your doctor.

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