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How Do Diet Pills Work?

by William Gist

According to most health experts, the best method for losing weight is eating a well-balanced diet of healthy foods in moderate portions, as well as exercising regularly. Changing your attitude about food and eating are also important for weight loss. However, for some people that might not be enough no matter how hard they try. If all else fails, dieting pills and supplements might be what you need to help you lose weight or at least ease the process when combining them with other methods.

According to top10better.com, most diet pills tend to work by using certain methods, such as reducing one’s appetite, making you feel full so that you eat less, reducing the absorption of nutrients like fat which decreases the intake of calories, or increasing fat burning, which enables your body to burn more calories. In short, depending on the ingredients they contain, different pills work in different ways, so let’s take a look at what they do.

Over-the-Counter Weight Loss Pills


These dieting pills are available without a prescription and many of them affect the hypothalamus which is the appetite-regulating area of the brain. They block the reuptake of the chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin which create the feeling of being full after having a meal. Since more of these chemicals will be circulating in your brain, you will feel sated even after eating smaller meal portions.

According to experts from DietWiki, some weight loss pills help you burn more calories through thermogenesis which is a process that boosts your metabolism and increases fat burning. Thermogenic means heat-producing and the more heat your body generates, the more calories it burns, and these types of pills help you do exactly that. They can contain just one ingredient or use a blend of compounds that boost metabolism.

Prescription Dieting Pills


These types are only available with a prescription and their use is carefully monitored by the prescribing doctor. Prescription fat blockers prevent the action of an enzyme called lipase which breaks down fat when it gets to the intestinal tract. With an inhibitor in effect, a great amount of ingested fat is removed from the body instead of being broken down and absorbed.

According to MedicalNewsToday, Certain prescribed dieting medication affects appetite-related hormones, for example, some block ghrelin – a hormone that is produced and released by the stomach. It is also called the hunger hormone because it stimulates appetite and promotes fat storage. Others mimic a hormone called PPY which decreases food intake by causing a sense of satiety.

Herbal Weight Loss Supplements


There are many such supplements on the market and they utilize different compounds to help with weight loss. Some of the most common ingredients include:

  • Green tea, conjugated linoleic acid, and hydro-citric acid that slow fat production.
  • Chitin or chitosan which blocks fat from being absorbed.
  • Glucomannan, guar gum, and psyllium which create a feeling of satiety.
  • Caffeine, country mallow, and herbal ephedra which increase metabolism.

For caffeine, supplements you can check out Vivarin Gum.


Dieting pills offer great help with losing weight, especially if everything else you have tried has failed. They are useful for controlling cravings and suppressing one’s appetite, boosting one’s metabolism and energy, and giving that extra motivation for continuing the weight loss process. However, keep in mind that eating healthy and in smaller portions and exercising as much as possible is also important and all of this should be combined in order to get the best possible effect.