Diet Pills? Fat Chance!
It seems almost everybody is on a diet today. There’s South Beach, Atkins, The Zone, and numerous others. And each diet has something special that sets it apart and makes it noticeable. But it’s these distinguishable characteristics that make them so hard to follow over the long term. They require a tremendous amount of dedication to stick with long enough to see any results.
Wouldn’t it be nice if only we could take a pill that would make us skinny without any more effort on our part? That’s where the diet pill comes in. But what exactly are these pills anyway? How do they work? There are two general types of diet pills: appetite suppressors and lipase inhibitors.
Appetite suppressors work by interacting with chemicals in the brain that signal hunger. By blocking these chemicals from sending any signal, you don’t feel hungry and therefore don’t eat. But often, we eat when we’re not hungry. Sometimes we eat when we’re feeling other emotions, like sadness, or anxiety. Eating is a big part of socialization too. We go out with friends to grab a bite to eat, not because we’re hungry, but because it’s a social activity. Or we’ll grab something to eat at the movie theater just because it’s there. And often during these times that we eat, we eat more than we need, regardless of what our brain chemicals tell us.
OK, so if appetite suppressers aren’t the miracle pill we want, what about the lipase inhibitors? Lipase inhibitors work by blocking the action of specific enzymes in your digestive tract that break down fat. If fat is not broken down to sufficiently small molecules, it can’t be absorbed into the blood and it stays in the intestine. Sounds like you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight; perfect, right? Well, not quite. For one thing, there are certain vitamins that you need, specifically vitamins A, D, E, and K, which can only be absorbed into your body alongside fats. So if you don’t have adequate fat absorption over the long run, you can develop malnutrition from a lack of these vitamins, even if you have a healthy, well-rounded appetite. Additional side effects are still in the process of discovery.
Another down side of all types of diet pills is their “quick-fix” implication. No one can or should take off the pounds too quickly. They were built up over years through typically unhealthy lifestyle habits, and taking them off is a long process too, though not as long. A diet should not be thought of as a quick fix to drop the pounds in time for a special even in the near future, only to resume the eating habits sedentary lifestyle that allowed those pounds to be put on in the first place. In order to drop the weight and keep it off, you must make up your mind to hold onto this change that you’re making. You can make it easier on yourself by finding a diet that you can live with. The diets that don’t allow certain foods, or have too strict of rules are not diets you are likely to stick with. You need to find a diet that works with your lifestyle, and that includes foods you like to eat. By eating a healthy balance of foods from all foods groups, limiting sugary snacks and, drinking plenty of water, you should be able to start losing weight. Combine that regime with exercise, and you’ll feel good while doing it too.