What lengths would you go to in order to shed a few or many unwanted pounds? Crash diet? Juice detox? Sew your mouth shut?
How's about diet pills. Have you? Would you?
I sometimes wonder if Facebook isn't hacking into the web camera on my laptop and checking out me and my could-be significantly-slimmer-body since the vast majority of sponsored ads that show up in my newsfeed are concerned with weight loss. Like this one for example:
Or this one:
A pill that burns fat, stops hunger AND cuts the kilos??
Well knock me down with a massive bar of toblerone - it sounds just too good to be true! And it probably is. Or maybe it isn't.
Millions are spent on slimming pills and diet aids each year which begs the question: do they actually work? Scrub that. The inordinate amount of money shelled out on these products and the high and hopeful expectations of desperate dieters demands that we ask several questions:
1) Do they work?
2) How do they work?
3) And most important of all: are they safe?
1) Do they work?
The manufacturers of the pills would have us believe that they are the best thing since sliced bread (step away from the bread!) and will erase weight with very little effort on our part. With my investigative head firmly screwed on I took a closer look at one product which has garnered a great deal of international attention: Raspberry Ketone, a supposed fat burner in a bottle:
(I think I'd rather eat the plump, juicy raspberries myself!) Now, now, Ginger Warrior, keep an open mind because according to many of the people who have thrown caution to the wind and tried it out for themselves it really does work:
Others were less than convinced by its alleged pound-zapping powers:
It would appear to work for some and fall flat on its not so fat-melting face for others. Hardly surprising given that physiology and psychology vary wildly from one individual to the next. I remain skeptical and wondering if the only thing these pills would lighten is my wallet.
2) How do they work?
It very much depends on the product but some pills contains chemicals that act as stimulants and appetite suppressants and increase the amount of calories you burn by accelerating your metabolism.
On the flip side (ah yes, there's always a flip side) these very same chemicals can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and an irregular heart beat which, in turn, could cause a heart attack, stroke and worse case scenario, your untimely departure off this mortal coil. (Maybe I should have saved this bit for the safety section below? Meh...)
My advice, being the drug and diet expert that I am, is to thoroughly research any product you're intent on ingesting and having a quick word with your GP wouldn't do any harm. As for me, my skeptometer remains on high alert.
3) Are they safe?
They scary thing about slimming pills and weight loss supplements that you can buy over the counter is that they are not subject to the same rigorous testing, checks and regulations as prescription medications. More often than not they haven't even undergone human trials. Our raspberry flavoured miracle pills, for example, proved highly effective indeed...
Yup, the pudgy little rodents lost some body fat which obviously means that the pills will have the same effect on us humans since our physiology is so similar. Practically identical so it is.
I know desperate dieting times call for desperate dieting measure but is it really worth risking your health? It's better to be bustin' out over your jeans and breathing than six feet under with the body of your dreams. No-one to admire you down there. Apart from a bunch of slim and highly p***ed off rats.
A wary and weighty Ginger Warrior, over and out.