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Weight-Loss Pills’ Claims Debunked: What You Really Need To Do To Shed Excess Fat

Update Date: Mar 28, 2017 09:56 AM EDT

Weight-loss products dazzle consumers by claiming to eliminate excess body fat by simply taking pills or special drinks. Some pills really work and curb a person's appetite, but not all of them can do this. Experts found that losing weight is not possible by simply downing pills; there should be proper diet and regular exercise.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only approved four prescription medications that can remove excess weight. Those are Belviq, Contrave, Qsymia and Saxenda, Men's Health listed.

These drugs, however, are only for overweight or obese people. They are not recommended for individuals who have normal weights but wish to get a little slimmer for beach trips. The drugs also require eating healthy, balanced meals and exercising.

Exercise is one misleading claim of weight-loss pills. Supplement manufacturers convince consumers that they do not need to work out to achieve a slimmer body.

In actuality, though, the body needs regular exercise to slim down. People also need to watch out what they eat because the food is the main influence of weight loss or gain, a separate report from Men's Health advised.

Supplement manufacturers claim that people who wish to lose weight have to accelerate their metabolism by consuming ephedra. The FDA banned ephedra in 2004 for causing health issues such as seizures, stroke and cardiovascular complications. Manufacturers have since shifted to caffeine, green tea and synephrine as replacements for ephedra, but none of them are capable of maintaining users' weight loss.

The ability to make consumers feel fuller is another misleading claim of weight-loss pills. Only protein and fiber (e.g. eggs, fruits, salmon) can make people feel full and a tiny pill cannot certainly do that.

Those pills also claim that they can change the human body's composition by suppressing certain hormones and altering how the body absorbs and uses nutrients. However, there is not much research done in the matter and effectiveness is not seen all the time.

Another misleading claim of weight-loss pills is its ability to stop the body from absorbing fattening carbohydrates. They argued that bean extract can block carbohydrates but research found that is only partially true because the food item just blocks carb-digesting enzymes.

Despite the FDA's approval of Contrave, health risks associated with the drug are still seen. The drug is highly effective in weight loss when combined with diet and exercise, but it can cause anxiety, headaches, insomnia, seizures, high blood pressure, liver damage and heart problems, ABC's KSAT listed.

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