Diet Pill Reviews

diet pill review

While pills for weight loss for been around in one form or another for many years, the fact is that weight loss drugs can work very well for some people.

And, yes, some pills for weight loss purposes are questionable, mainly because of claims that cannot be verified. But there’s no denying the fact that there’s a major market for weight loss pills.

It is, after all, a $20 billion a year industry.

Still, when used responsibility, weight loss pills can be effective and safe, especially when adjustments to diet and exercise habits are made.

So, what’s the truth about weight loss pills? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Weight Loss Pills?

With weight loss pills over the counter and prescription forms are available. Weight loss pills are generally defined as drugs or supplements marketed or used for the purpose of losing weight.

Regardless of the type of weight loss pills you may be considering, they are not a replacement for a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The specific strength of the pills will vary, as will possible effects on your body.

As for weight loss pills results, roughly 10 percent of a person’s body weight may be lost with most weight loss drugs, according to one estimate. [1]

Are Weight Loss Pills Bad for You?

Just over half of the respondents to a 2008 survey said they believed the weight loss pills they were taking were approved by the FDA. [2]

The fact is that weight loss or dietary supplements are not inspected or evaluated by any government agency. So, are weight loss pills bad for you? The answer depends on:

  • The source of your pills
  • Medications you may be taking for other conditions
  • Reactions you may have to certain ingredients in weight loss pills
  • How well you follow dosage and use instructions
  • Whether or not you have underlying health issues

So, Weight Loss Pills How Do They Work?

There are many different weight loss pills available, including ones that are available over-the-counter and ones that are available by prescription.

With weight loss pills how do they work and are they safe are commonly asked questions. Pills of this nature primarily work in three ways:

  • They suppress your appetite to keep you from feeling a need to eat when you’re not hungry
  • They increase your metabolism so you’ll burn calories faster from the foods you consume so your body won’t have as much time to convert extra calories into fat
  • They keep your body from absorbing fat from the foods you eat

With herbal supplements for weight loss, most pills contain either bitter orange or hoodia.

Bitter orange works by increasing your energy level and reducing your appetite.

Available in liquid, pill, and lollipop forms, hoodia works by increasing energy activity within your brain in a way that tells your body you’ve had enough food so you won’t overeat.

If you get a weight loss pills prescription, be aware that these pills work in a more complex way that herbal supplements or over-the-counter diet pills.

They work on the complex systems within your body that drive you to eat. The weight loss pills FDA approved are usually the prescription ones.

However, prescription weight loss drugs are only meant to be used by individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.

Or, a BMI of 27 or above if there is an underlying health issues like diabetes that may improve with weight loss.

There aren’t many over-the-counter weight loss pills FDA approved.

In fact, Orlistat is the only OTC product FDA approved for weight loss purposes. It works by coating the intestinal system to prevent enzymes from digesting fat, which means calories aren’t absorbed. [3]

How Do HCG Weight Loss Pills Work?

With weight loss pills HCG based, you will be expected to follow a certain diet.

HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) is pregnancy hormone excreted through urine.

You may obtain the hormone in prescription form or over-the-counter. HCG in pill form is OTC.

It’s a homeopathic treatment with a diluted form of the hormone HCG.

Developed in the 1950s by a British endocrinologist, the hCG diet that goes along with the use of hCG pills or the prescription version of the hormone is designed to get rid of stubborn belly fat.

The hCG diet includes several weeks of calorie loading followed by several weeks of calorie restriction.

According to the FDA, exposure to the HCG hormone does present potential risks, including side effects that may include [4]:

  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Possible heart-related issues

What’s the Deal with Weight Loss Pills for Belly Fat?

Some weight loss pills are marketed exclusively to help users lose stubborn belly fat.

This brings us to a weight loss pills vs fat burners debate. Weight loss pills may have fat burning capabilities.

These pills often help with weight loss in other ways than just burning fat, such as naturally reducing appetite and calorie absorption.

With weight loss pills vs fat burners, the main difference is with ingredients.

For instance, weight loss pills not specifically intended for belly fat removal only typically do not contain stimulants like caffeine and synephrine.

However, most weight loss pills for belly fat removal purposes only, also referred to as “fat burners,” usually contain such ingredients.

Weight loss pills effects on the body are also different. Weight loss pills usually contain more vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients, which affects what goes on within your body.

You’ll likely see more of an increased energy level and metabolic rate with weight loss pills rather than pills marketed as fat burners.

Based on weight loss pills reviews and fat burner reviews, there are users who have seen positive results with both options.

As for which one is better, it depends on your weight loss goals.

If your main problem losing weight has to do with stubborn belly fat that won’t go away even with changes to your diet and exercise habits, you may benefit from fat burners. [5]

But if you have other issues contributing to your weight loss difficulties, weight loss pills results may be more noticeable for you than what you would see with fat burners.

What Are Possible Weight Loss Pills Side Effects?

Preferably, you want to choose weight loss pills effective safe and with minimal side effects.

An FDA investigation found that nearly 70 different types of diet pills contained dangerous drugs.

Therefore, it’s important to be cautious and pay attention to any signs of side effects when you are taking weight loss pills or supplements.

Especially with weight loss pills over the counter purchased or ones available online or from distributors outside of the United States. [6]

Even with prescription weight loss pills, there are potential side effects. The most common ones include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleeplessness

Weight Loss Pills vs Exercise

According to a UCLA study, at lest one- to two-thirds of dieters who lose weight gain it back within five years.

If you are using diet pills alone for weight loss purposes, it’s more likely you’ll be among those who gain back the weight.

The reason for this because weight loss pills only make changes within your body when you are taking them.

But when you stop taking weight loss pills, your body goes back to its natural way of processing food.

Ideally, it shouldn’t come down to weight loss pills vs exercise.

You’re more likely to see positive, lasting results if you combine the use of weight loss pills with an exercise plan that makes sense for you.

It’s recommended that adults get exercise that includes at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. [7] [8]

Keep in mind that exercise includes many activities, not just what’s done in a gym, including:

  • Casual walking
  • Strength training
  • Water-based exercises
  • Gentle forms of exercise such as yoga

Do Weight Loss Pills Give You Energy?

With weight loss pills energy increases sometimes occur because of the ingredients contained in some pills.

In the past, weight loss pills with amphetamines were recommended to give you an energy boost.

However, because of the risk of addiction, amphetamines are no longer recommended for this purpose.

If you want to naturally increase your energy with weight loss pills, talk to your doctor about pills with amphetamine-like properties that are safer.

A weight loss pills energy boost can be beneficial if you plan to use your added energy as an incentive to be more active to help with your weight loss efforts. [9]

Weight loss drugs that may be effective energy-boosters include:

  • Phentermine
  • Diethylpropion
  • Phendimetrazine

Have There Been Weight Loss Pills Lawsuits?

Occasionally, there will be a weight loss pills lawsuit that generates widespread coverage.

With one notable weight loss pills lawsuit, the feds ordered a manufacturer to pay $10 million because of ads that included fake celebrity endorsements and fake news sites. [10]

The Federal Trade Commission also regularly investigates products marketed for weight loss purposes that make claims that are misleading or those generating several complaints from consumers.

Where Can I Find a Weight Loss Pills List?

You can find a detailed list online, but generally, a weight loss pills list includes a mix of common prescription, over-the-counter, and off-label pills or medications that may be used for weight loss purposes.

Your doctor should also be able to provide a list more specific to your needs.

Here are some of the common pills you’ll find on a weight loss pills list [11]:

  • Phentermine
  • Adipex-P
  • Fastin
  • Qsymia
  • Ionamin
  • Megestrol
  • T-Diet
  • Suprenza
  • Phentercot
  • Zantryl
  • Belviq
  • Contrave
  • Saxenda

How About a Weight Loss Pills Comparison?

For simplicity, let’s focus this weight loss pills comparison on some of the most popular weight loss pills and supplements.

All of these substances work by reducing appetite, reducing absorption, and increasing fat burning.

Garcinia cambogia extract is a small, green fruit. It works by inhibiting a fat-producing enzyme.

A review of 12 studies showed that the average weight loss experienced with weight loss pills garcinia cambogia based was about 2 pounds over several weeks. There are no serious side effects reported.


It contains a combination of ingredients with reported weight loss properties. One study found that the average weight loss experienced with about 20 pounds over three months. It contains caffeine.

Orlistat (Alli)

Some products include both weight loss pills RX and over-the-counter versions. One of this is Orlistat.

OTC it is sold as Alli. In prescription form, it’s available as Xenical. Both versions work by inhibiting the breakdown of fat in the digestive system. Side effects include possible vitamin deficiency and possible issues with loose, oily stools.

There’s evidence suggesting Orlistat may be a safe weight loss pill for diabetics since it may help reduce blood pressure slightly.

One study suggests Orlistat may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for nearly 40 percent.

Raspberry Ketones

This weight loss ingredient supposedly helps breakdown fat and increase adiponectin levels. Side effects are minimal. However, there isn’t much available research on the effectiveness of raspberry ketones for weight loss purposes.

Green Coffee Bean

In extract form, green coffeee bean may help increase fat burning capabilities and slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive system.

Several studies suggest green coffee beans may help with weight loss. It may also help lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Side effects are minimal. [12]

If you aren’t able to take pills with caffeine, weight loss pills without caffeine include:

  • Orlistat
  • Phentermine
  • Diethylpropion and phendimetrazine (caffeine-free prescription appetite suppressants)

Note: If you need to be cautious with caffeine, check ingredient labels for synonyms for caffeine such as guarana, kola nut, tea extract, and paullinia cupana.


It’s made from two plant extract that may affect the metabolism of fat cells. In one study of a hundred obese people who took this weight loss pill, 11 pounds was the average weight loss over an eight week period. [13]

Participants also reported an improved quality of life and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.


It’s also know as citrus aurantium, is related to ephedrine but less potent. It primarily works by increasing fat burning capabilities. It has been linked to significant short-term weight loss in several studies. However, it may be addictive and there are potential heart-related issues. [14]

Common weight loss pills doctor prescribed include Contrave, Belviq, Phentermine, and Qsymia.

According to a 2014 study, even weight loss pills doctor recommended or prescribed may not be as effective you would think. On average, RX pills help patients lose about 3-9 percent of their body weight.

What About Safety?

Generally, weight loss pills are effective and safe; free from serious side effects.

For instance, weight loss pills like phentermine are meant to be used with a doctor-approved exercise plan and a reduced-calorie diet program.

Weight loss pills like phentermine are considered less risky by some medical professionals because potential side effects aren’t as severe. [15]

With phentermine, possible side effects include:

  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dry mouth

Be cautious about manufacturers offering weight loss pills guaranteed to work.

This doesn’t mean weight loss pills guaranteed to work are automatically ones you should stay away from.

In some cases, such claims come with stipulations, such as the need to stick to the recommended diet plan.

Before and After Results of Weight Loss Pills

In reality, weight loss pills before and after results will vary for each person. Generally, the amount of weight lost is often modest. According to the FDA, people taking Qsymia, for instance, lose an average of 7 pounds. Clinical trails suggest that people taking Saxenda lose about 4-5 percent of their excess body weight.

While results are modest with most weight loss pills, potential health benefits can be significant for some people.

Even shedding 5-10 percent of your excess body weight can lead to the following results [16]:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Increased “good cholesterol” (HDL) levels

Are Weight Loss Pills Healthy?

With weight loss pills healthy habits can sometimes be formed, such as improvements with eating and exercise habits.

But are weight loss pills healthy? The answer depends on the type of pills you choose. There are understandable safety concerns associated with some ingredients.

Being mindful with the ingredients in your preferred pills can help minimize this risk.

Weight loss pills garcinia cambogia based, for instance, have fewer risks associated with them as compared to pills that have ingredients with effects similar to ephedra.

Whether or not weight loss are healthy also depends on your intended use.

With weight loss pills extreme weight loss isn’t likely to occur, so turning to pills to shed a lot of pounds quickly isn’t healthy.

Taking weight loss pills for belly fat reduction when combined with changes to your diet, however, is a healthier way to use diet pills to achieve your goals. [17]

Sorting Through Weight Loss Pills Ads and Reviews

Weight loss pills ads often make a lot of claims. This doesn’t mean they are entirely false.

The FDA does actually have some standards about how weight loss pills can be marketed. [18]

For nonprescription drugs, the FDA requires manufacturers to produce results from human clinical trails that show the effectiveness and safety of the drug.

With reviews and ads for weight loss pills, supplements, or fat burners, you’ll want to look for:

  • Claims that are backed up with references to clinical studies or references to reliable resources
  • Whether or not reviews appear to be from actual users (be suspicious of reviews that are too vague)
  • Promises that you seem too good to be true (e.g., “eat all you want and still lose weight”)

Why Are Some Weight Loss Pills Banned?

Weight loss pills banned by the FDA are those that have been proven to be unsafe.

This is either due to a high number of reported health issues with certain pills or because of compelling research suggesting that a particular ingredient poses a serious risk.

It’s usually when there is compelling research suggesting certain ingredients make weight loss pills dangerous that a ban is issued.

Weight loss pills illegal for this reason generally have a proven health risk associated with them.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture banned weight loss pills with ephedra in 2004. [19]

The ban applies to dietary supplements that contain this substance, which comes from an evergreen plant found in parts of Central Asia and Mongolia. [20]

Weight loss pills with ephedra were banned, in part, because of nearly 20,000 reports suggesting ephedra can be dangerous.

Additional weight loss pills dangerous enough to be banned include:

  • Sibutramine (because of increased risk of heart attack and stroke)
  • Fen-Phen (due to heart-related issues)
  • DMAA (because of serious health risks with high blood pressure and heart issues)

Note: Some weight loss pills illegal in the United States may still be available in other countries. However, it’s advised that pills with ingredients banned in the U.S. be avoided, even if there are other ways to obtain them.

How Do You Choose Weight Loss Pills Effective for You?

Whether you’re looking for weight loss pills for teens, weight loss pills for women, weight loss pills for men, or just weight loss pills, in general, it can be overwhelming with all of the choices available.

A good starting point is a visit to your doctor. They will let you know if weight loss pills are appropriate for your desired goals.

Weight loss pills effective for you will likely be ones that are suitable for your body type, age, and general health.

Weight loss pills for men, for example, are formulated somewhat differently than weight loss pills for women.

Weight loss pills for teens tend to be loss potent for safety reasons.

With all weight loss pills effects on the body can be both positive and negative, so precautions should be taken.

Having realistic expectations is important. With weight loss pills extreme weight loss isn’t possible unless you make other adjustments to your lifestyle.

Also, if you have underlying health issues, you may need to limit your selections to weight loss pills for diabetics or weight loss pills without caffeine. When making your choice, also consider:

  • How much weight you wish to lose
  • If you are willing to commit to making other changes to your lifestyle, especially with your normal diet and exercise habits
  • The validity of claims made in weight loss pills ads
  • Weight loss pills reviews from actual users rather than carefully worded marketing pieces

Why Are Weight Loss Pills for Men and Women Different?

The short answer is because of social and biological differences in how men and women gain weight.

There are also differences in the how male and female hormones affect weight loss potential.

Estrogen, for example, creates higher levels of stress and often increases food cravings. Testosterone, on the other hand, makes men more susceptible to building muscle mass from certain foods.

Because of these differences, men tend to respond better to supplements for weight loss that include whey, protein, and creatine to help build muscle mass. [21] [22]

Most of the weight loss pills for women have ingredients that help with absorption while also helping to suppress appetite since women statistically have more issues with food cravings than men.

Final Thoughts on Diet Pills

When used responsibly, weight loss pills may produce positive results.

There are weight loss pills side effects to be mindful of when taking any over-the-counter or prescription drug for weight loss purposes.

Additionally, lifestyle changes will need to be a part of any weight loss efforts that include pills if you want to see long-term results.

Before turning to pills to achieve your weight loss goals, check with your doctor to see what precautions you may need to take.

Your doctor may also be able to offer a weight loss pills prescription that’s a safer alternative to what you might find over-the-counter.

Ultimately, your experience with weight loss pills will depend on your goals, your motivation to make positive lifestyle changes, and your overall health.