Attempting to shed a few extra pounds is not an easy thing to do, yet there are a lot of products out there that promise to make it easy. Fad diets are the prime example of exaggerated claims that make losing weight seem like a picnic. Weight loss medicine also claims to make the whole process a snap. After all, what could be easier than popping a few pills and then watching those excess pounds melt away, right? Let's take a moment to see what the answer to that question is.
The first thing we need to do is differentiate between over-the-counter and prescription remedies for losing weight. You have probably seen products on the store shelves and television or internet ads that allege to be "effective as prescription medication" or "prescription strength". Do not buy these products without doing some investigation of your own! The truth is that most of these claims are meaningless because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate these products. To put it another way, there's no way of knowing how they really compare to a prescription weight loss medicine. That's not to say all of the claims are false, but rather that it's difficult to take any claims at face value.
One of the big problems with questionable weight loss medicine is that it can do more harm than good. Even those products that promise to make you feel full have caused ill effects in some people. Appetite suppressants and metabolism boosters have also caused some people to react in a negative way. People can handle discomfort, and some will gladly do so if it means they can lose weight, but the bigger issue is that some people have died after taking these dubious concoctions. The risk of losing your life is more important than the potential of losing weight. Again, not all products are bad, but you need to be careful.
Your safest bet when it comes to weight loss medicine is to only take that which is prescribed by a trusted and qualified health professional. They will be up to date on what the best medicines are, as well as any new studies that show what the side effects may be. The other benefit of talking to your doctor is that they will know the specifics of your current state of health, and if you would be at a higher risk from taking certain medications.
Some people are opposed to the idea of taking a prescription drug, for any reason. If you happen to be among that group, that's okay; you can still talk to your doctor about any specific over-the-counter weight loss medication you're thinking of trying.
Hopefully I haven't scared you. There are medications that work; both prescribed and over-the-counter. However, it's important that you educate yourself on any weight loss medicine before you start taking it. That way you can be confident in knowing you're staying healthy and losing weight at the same time.