Weight Loss Wednesday: What’s the Deal with Diet Pills?

image via health.howstuffworks.com

By Callie McBride

Happy Wednesday, grass-eaters! I woke up yesterday morning with an extremely random thought on my mind: diet pills. I had indulged in a ridiculously delicious and large meal of veggie stir-fry the night before. While I didn’t regret my food decisions–YOLO!–it did get me thinking about the average consumer, and how they go about weight loss. While many are strict with a healthful diet and exercise, many more fall into trendy diets with hopes of losing weight “the easy way.”

With my tasty dinner still on the brain, I began to mull over the idea of diet pills, a popular technique used mostly among people suffering from obesity, but also by people of all sizes, hoping to lose weight. These tiny little tablets are supposedly so powerful that you can undo a diet full of highly processed, sugary, fatty, and caloric foods by simply popping one a day…what?!

Okay, hold on. Let me refrain from freaking out or offending anyone popping the pills. I think it is safe to say that many people use diet pills as a “last resort”; weight loss books, restrictive meal plans, intimidating exercise schedules, nutritionists and personal trainers all have been used and reused to assist someone in creating a healthy lifestyle, but that person’s struggles with food and exercise go far beyond any of these cures. So, all of the sudden, these magic pills seem to hold all of the answers. Finally! A method of control, of ease. A method that takes the pressure off of the person, and places it entirely into a tightly sealed bottle of brightly colored capsules.

Not to get all scientific, but just consider the human body for a moment. Anyone who has taken a least a semester of high school biology can recognize how incredibly functional, involved, and intricate our bodies are. There are literally thousands of things happening inside of us, and most of the time we don’t even realize it. What’s even more incredible, is that we have the power to create such strength and health out of the bodies we were given. Literally, we are able to eat and exercise our way to beautifully strong and able bodies! As if you haven’t heard it enough, proper nutrition and exercise will get you there, along with sleep, mental and spiritual exercise, and a strong support system. Notice that the term “diet pills” was NOT included. What’s pictured below, however, is definitely included.

Raw Zucchini Rolatini: basil cashew cheese filling, chive oil sesame sunflower sprouts, avocado

roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, escarole & cannellini beans, sautéed kale, sweet potato purée, bulghur pilaf

pumpkin pie, red velvet, oatmeal raisin, and mango vegan ice cream

FOOD! A full-fledged, three-course meal! That is included in the total package for a healthy and strong body! Most diet pills claim to offer appetite suppressant. Yup, those pills want you to become turned off by this food porn I’ve just surprised you with. Blossom‘s vegetable mezze plate? Nah, I’m gonna suppress my appetite instead. Most diet pill brands also offer “fat absorption inhibitors.” Stogo‘s hemp-based vegan ice cream? No thanks. My fat absorption is being inhibited right now. Let’s not forget all of the side effects of these “magic” pills: consumers have reported increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia, lightheadedness, and anxiety. I’ll venture to say that nothing that I ate at Blossom or Stogo gave me any of those symptoms…in fact, my only side effects were pure culinary bliss and a sudden urge to Instagram all of my food pictures.

People who are attracted to diet pills as appetite suppressants have more natural options to utilize: drink more water! Keep small, protein-packed snacks on hand like fruit or nuts! Eat slowly and enjoy your meal, don’t scarf down your food in a rush of hunger. And those of you concerned about the fat content in foods, remember this: our bodies need healthy fats to function properly. Load up on olive oil, walnuts, avocado, and coconut milk and be mindful that you are flooding yourself with energy and beautifying vitamins and minerals. Your taste buds won’t mind too much, I promise.

Let me point out that I am not an expert. I do not claim to know the perfect method for losing weight, nor do I claim to have any grounds to criticize specific diet pills. I am only speaking from the point of view of a consumer and a concerned citizen for the health and well-being of anyone who feels that diet pills are necessary to lose weight.

Mainly, I want to express to all of you the fact that, within a clean {vegan!} diet and proper exercise, weight loss can be less of a struggle and more of an achievable goal. You don’t need to feel guilty about eating your favorite foods and turn to potentially dangerous methods of weight loss to counter all that you have consumed.  You can fill your body with wholesome, natural, fat-filled foods and not spend the remainder of your night holding your belly and complaining of a “food baby.” Above all, you can reach and maintain a happy and healthy weight without taking one pill at all. In fact, for those of you located in NYC, I highly recommend getting over to Blossom soon and squealing in delight as the waiter places a giant saucer of a plate of food in front of you…just as I did.

What are your thoughts on diet pills, or other potentially harmful methods of weight loss?

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13 Responses to Weight Loss Wednesday: What’s the Deal with Diet Pills?

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  8. Christy says:

    Great post! That food looks amazing! You’re right that it a good healthy diet and exercise routine is exactly what we all need to look and feel our best. 🙂 I’ve struggled for a while to shed “those 10 lbs” like it seems that everybody does. I’ll exercise and eat better, but it’s hard to stick with it. I’ve been benefitting from the all-natural body wraps from “It Works!” and have noticed a big difference in my waistline and my thigh (yes 1… I wrapped just 1 for a side-by-side test 🙂 ). I wrapped over a month ago and the results are still visible (it’s not water loss, but actual fat loss). For anyone else out there that’s trying, but could use a little kick start like I did, let me know if you’d like to try a wrap too. My contact info is on my site: christyhall.myitworks.com

    – Christy

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  10. Foysal Ahmed says:

    hmm, quite interesting. Thanks for sharing. I think a balanced, healthy diet is important for losing weight. You may find some useful idea here –http://howtoloseweight-tips.com/.
    Some of their idea are quite handy.

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