The Many Dangers Of Weight Loss Pills

For ages, women have internalized the thin ideal, which derives from an age-old and still very much prevalent perception that the ideal female body is one with a slim, feminine physique and minimal body fat. Pressured to live up to this socially reinforced ideal, many women go the extra mile — including under-eating and over-exercising — to shed extra pounds. While there's nothing wrong with pursuing weight-loss goals, it's important to approach them the right way. Per the American Heart Association, healthy ways to lose weight include ditching aimless snacking for a more structured mealtime routine, exercising regularly, and finding ways to resist cravings for less nutritious foods. A healthy diet and fitness routine adhered to consistently can yield positive results in the long run.

For those who are hoping to lose weight fast, however, lifestyle changes may seem to take forever to show results. Meanwhile, a shortcut like weight loss pills can deliver results more quickly, and have long been the go-to method for paring away extra pounds without having to follow a military diet or exercise rigorously. According to Lloyds Pharmacy, it has been proven that certain weight reduction medicines can help people lose weight. But these medications can have adverse effects on your health if used wrongly. Here are some caveats to keep in mind before you reach for weight loss pills.

Weight loss pills have numerous health hazards

There are many types of weight loss medications in the market, some are FDA-approved and many are not. Average weight loss pills work by lessening your appetite and making your stomach feel full faster through interaction with certain hormones, dietician Brittany Lubeck tells Byrdie. Since weight loss pills hamper nutrient absorption, they carry substantial side effects and health hazards. The recommendation of weight loss medications by a dietitian or doctor is uncommon, according to dietician Kristin Gillespie, unless the patient's weight is negatively affecting their health and there are no other options.

Dangerous side effects of appetite suppressants and metabolism boosters include high blood pressure, nausea, anxiety, bloating, diarrhea, and an increased risk of heart attacks. In more serious complications, usage of weight loss pills gone wrong can lead to strokes, paralysis, and death. These pills are not for everyone, and they shouldn't be bought or used indiscriminately. In 2015, a 21-year-old student in the U.K died from an accidental overdose of diet pills that she had purchased online (via The Guardian). If you consider taking weight loss pills as part of your diet, consult your healthcare professional for expert recommendations on medications or supplements that best suit your needs and health conditions. If you're looking to drop some fat fast, there are some science-backed methods that are safe to try. 

How to lose weight fast in a safe way

Intermittent fasting — a form of diet that involves regular short-term fasts or food-restricted periods — is a method that many celebrities swear by. During the fast, you cannot consume calorie-containing foods, but only water and other calorie-free beverages. Per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a review of 40 studies involving up to 334 subjects found that intermittent fasting worked for weight loss, with a typical loss of 7-11 pounds over 10 weeks. 

If you've been struggling with obesity and trying many conventional methods for at least six months to no avail, a surgical procedure may be worth considering. The duodenal switch procedure, adjustable gastric bands, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass are all common bariatric surgical options (via Penn Medicine). Bariatric surgery aids in weight loss by altering your digestive system. As a result, you will feel fuller sooner, or your body won't be able to absorb all of the calories from the food you eat (per the Mayo Clinic). Weight loss surgeries are only recommended for those with a body mass index of 40 or higher. However, not everyone who is obese is a candidate for a weight loss surgery. To minimize health risks, it's best to consult a physician before adopting any extreme weight loss method.