Are Weight Loss Pills Safe And Do They Actually Work?

Losing weight is a common goal among many people from all walks of life. There could be multiple reasons for this desire. Maybe you want to lose weight to feel better about your overall health or because you don’t enjoy the way your clothes are fitting. Or maybe it’s because you’ve learned that life insurance for overweight individuals could be more expensive and harder to get.

No matter the reason, the end goal remains the same the desire to shed those unwanted pounds.

Most people know the basic foundation that diet and exercise are the way to get the body you want. But with busy lives and plenty of distractions, it’s easy to understand why some might want to opt for a quicker and easier route to achieve the body they want.

Weight loss pills are a common solution that many may turn to when they don’t see the fast results they want or if they simply don’t have the time to achieve their goals without a little extra help.

But do weight-loss pills actually work? Can they be considered a safe and effective long-term solution for someone to keep off the extra pounds and be a healthier person overall? Let’s dive into it, and find out.

What are weight loss pills?

There are some variations on the simple weight loss pill. Some market themselves directly as a fat burner, and others go by names such as a dietary supplement.  

There is an underlying difference between the two to be aware of. Typically, dietary supplements are not meant for weight loss alone, though they may aid in it. You likely have seen vitamins with the label “dietary supplement” on the bottle.

These products typically contain ingredients that may help in weight loss along with diet and exercise; however, their main promise is not to burn fat. Their goal is to help provide your body with vitamins and nutrients it may be lacking.

Fat burners or weight loss pills are not the same as dietary supplements. These products are specifically aimed to entice their audience through the promise of weight loss with minimal effort.

With eye-catching statements about ingredients that can stop your body from absorbing fat, curb your appetite, block fat cells from forming, or even allow you to burn fat while you sleep, it’s no wonder these pills are so popular to anyone hoping or struggling to lose weight.

Trying to lose weight can be a long journey that impacts all across your life, even your finances since even health insurance can be expensive if you are overweight. The thought of getting amazing results with minimal effort is an idea that can appeal to almost anyone.  

All those promises are only as good as their results, however. With advertisements that seem too good to be true, are these pills really all they claim to be?


The Promise of Fast, Easy Weight Loss

The dilemma with these supplements is that they do not follow the same FDA requirements as prescription drugs. Though they are regulated, they do not require the same reviews before hitting the market.

This means that the testing and research done on these products are typically minimal and done by the company themselves. With such flexibility, it isn’t difficult for a company to make claims about their products that contain no real evidence.

With that being said, do any of these so-called weight loss products actually do what they promise?


Weight Loss Without the Prescription

When searching for something to aid in weight loss, your first choice will likely be something you can purchase at your local grocery or drug store. Keeping in mind these products don’t need FDA approval, some contain ingredients that could help your weight loss journey, and some that actually might be harmful to your body.

Some ingredients to look out for:


  • Conjugated linoleic acid — This ingredient was marketed as a great stimulant-free supplement for fat burning. However, multiple studies linked the ingredient to increased inflammation, fat build-up in the liver, and some unpleasant side effects such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, and more.
  • Bitter orange — There is minimal evidence to suggest this ingredient actually burns fat. There is, however, evidence to support side effects from extended ingestion, such as chest pain, anxiety, headaches, increased heart rate, and more.
  • Garcinia cambogia — This ingredient promises to suppress appetite and decrease fat cells in the body; however, there is minimal evidence it actually aids in weight loss. Though it is safer than most other ingredients, studies have shown that extended use can lead to liver damage.
  • Chitosan — Derived from shrimp, lobster, and crab shells, chitosan is not extremely harmful to anyone who doesn’t have a shellfish allergy. This ingredient claims to bind fat in your digestive tract, stopping your body from absorbing it. Studies have shown the amount of bound fat from chitosan is minimal at best, meaning it won’t make a difference in weight loss. It might, however, cause you constipation, bloating, heartburn, and other unpleasant symptoms.


There are many other ingredients fat loss supplements claim will help you with all your weight loss needs. It’s important to keep in mind these claims are likely minimal at best and can also come with some very dangerous side effects.


A Safer Weight Loss Solution

Losing weight is a difficult task. Even with the right dedication and effort, some may still struggle to shed their unwanted pounds.

If this is the case, there are reputable options available through prescriptions. These options must be obtained through a doctor, and they are approved by the FDA. Some are short-term solutions, while others are meant to be taken for extended periods of time.

Keep in mind these options are typically not available to just anyone who waltzes into their doctor’s office wanting to lose a small amount of weight. They are usually reserved for those with a high BMI or those who have medical-related weight loss needs.

That’s not to say these medications may not have some adverse side effects, but since they have been approved by the FDA, they are safer than the over-the-counter supplements available to anyone.


Weight Loss Pills: Not All They Claim

It’s a dreamy feeling to imagine that you could just pop a single pill each day and soon wake up with the body you’ve always wanted. While fat burners may make you this promise, there is a slim chance they can actually deliver.

Though you may see slight results from certain ingredients, there is no magic pill to help shed your unwanted weight without dedication and effort.

Many times, these so-called fat-burning ingredients may do more harm than good. While it’s easy to hope for the best, the potential side effects from some common fat burner ingredients are concerning and possibly detrimental.  

Sticking to healthy eating and exercising for weight loss is the safest option with minimal side effects other than progressing to the body you’ve always wanted. Although it may take longer, losing weight this way is healthier and more sustainable in the long run.


Author Bio:   Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site,, and is passionate about safe and effective weight-loss solutions.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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