DietDiet pills are certainly tempting to try. We want to believe the miracle promised on the label will finally be the answer to shedding unwanted pounds. As tempting as it is to reach for the magic bullet, it is better to take the long road. Here’s the skinny on why you should pass on diet pills.

Diet pills are unsafe and unregulated

You have only to do a brief search of the news to turn up stories of harm, and in some cases death, caused by diet pills. As it turns out the old saying, if it’s too good to be true it is, well, true. The danger with diet pills is that it is difficult to know what is actually in the supplements or even who is manufacturing them.

Of particular concern is the tendency of diet pill manufacturers to mislabel ingredients. Diet pills often include substances that have been banned under one name for safety issues but added to the ingredients under different names. Even if you do lose weight you may experience side effects that are harmful to your health.

tape measure and tabletsUnsubstantiated claims

Diet pills promise flat bellies and rapid weight loss. Again, although you may lose a few pounds initially, you are likely to gain them back after you stop taking the product.

If you have taken diet pills and experienced unpleasant side effects, report concerns to the FDA. The more information available about the dangers of a particular diet pill the more quickly an investigation can be initiated to remove harmful products from the shelves.

Also, tell your doctor about any supplements you are taking and bring the bottle with you to any appointments

What to do instead

Better to adopt new health habits because you are likely to regain the weight as soon as you stop taking the supplement. Starting your weight loss journey may feel daunting so it is important to take small steps that lead to sustainable changes. Easy suggestions to get started include:

·         Wearing a pedometer to track your steps each day. Aim to increase the number of steps each week.

·         Eating from a smaller plate. Dinner plates have grown larger over the last 50 years. The evidence is in our waist lines, which have also grown. The larger the plate the more food we pile on. Instead, use a small plate and fill at least half with vegetables and whole grains. Fill at least one quarter with lean protein.

·         Breaking exercise into small bursts throughout the day. Take a walk after dinner, take the stairs at work. Do 25 jumping jacks before you get in the shower each morning.

·         Keeping a food and exercise journal. Track your activity and eating habits to learn where you can make changes.

Diet pills are not the answer for weight loss because they are dangerous and the weight loss is not sustainable. Instead, make small changes and be patient with the process. You can lose weight and be healthier without taking the risks involved with supplements.