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Facts about diet products that promise quick results


January 06, 2023

If you've tried every trick in the book for weight loss, you may wonder about the newest diet craze that promises quick results. But before you jump on the fad diet bandwagon, get the facts and weigh the risks and benefits. Diet trends that promise fast and unrealistic results are never a good idea.  But when it comes to losing weight, what's the best approach? Here's what you should know before you follow the next nutrition trend:

1. Dietary supplements are regulated by FDA like food, not drugs

Diet supplements fall under the umbrella of "food," so the FDA regulates them like food, not drugs. That means supplements don't have to prove their effectiveness before they go to market. And while their most common ingredients are vitamins, herbs, and other plants, in the past, the FDA has warned that some products contain unapproved ingredients and don't work as promised.

The bottom line. Diet supplements claim to help you lose weight by making you less hungry or feel fuller sooner. Yet, there needs to be more evidence that these products work. Avoid diet supplements if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart or liver disease. They could interfere with your medicine and put you at risk. Talk to your doctor about your weight-loss goals and what's right for you.

2. Not all diet pills are created equal

Diet pills that the FDA does not control can be dangerous, but FDA-approved medication can be an option for certain overweight patients. When combined with diet and exercise, these medications can be very effective. They can help you feel full sooner or make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat. 

The bottom line. Prescription diet pills are for people with health problems related to being overweight. While most potential side effects are mild, the FDA has linked some drugs to serious health problems. That's why experts recommend against taking pills only to improve your looks.

3. Safe and practical steps for weight loss begin with you

Diet and exercise remain the safest and most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. Whatever you do, remember that healthy behaviors are essential to well-being. Here are a few things you can do to get started:

  • Track how much you move. Most people own a smartwatch or step counter. Set a reasonable daily goal and increase your daily count as you get more comfortable. Moving is better than not moving at all.

  • Eat regular meals. Skipping meals or "saving calories" for later will only slow your metabolism. It can also make you prone to binge eating.

  • Significant changes are more accessible with the proper support. Weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, could be an option for you if you've tried all other options. Talk to your doctor to see if surgery is right for you. If you're a good candidate for surgery, our specialists will support you with a tailored nutrition and exercise plan.


Weight-loss surgery is a life-changing decision, but it can improve the quality of life for those who have tried all other options. Want to learn more? Visit St. Joseph Health bariatrics service specialty page or register for a free seminar at a location near you. 

Sources:

Prescription Medications to Treat Overweight & Obesity | NIDDK (nih.gov)

Prescription Medications to Treat Overweight & Obesity | NIDDK (nih.gov)

Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss - Consumer (nih.gov)

Getting your weight under control (apa.org)

Dietary Supplements | FDA

Questions and Answers on Dietary Supplements | FDA

Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov)

A Systematic Review of Dietary Supplements and Alternative Therapies for Weight Loss - PubMed (nih.gov)

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