Want to know the truth about diet pills? We look at the 5 most common myths here
As if losing weight wasn’t hard enough, there are quite a few common beliefs surrounding diet pills which are pure fiction, often a product of a clever marketing slant intended to get us to buy a product.
Myth No.1 - Natural diet pills are safe
The word ‘natural,’ has a lovely warm and fuzzy feel to it, reminiscent of everything good and pure that the earth has to offer which will work in harmony with our bodies.
Unfortunately, when it comes to diet pills just because the ingredients are natural it doesn’t mean the product is safe, or without side effects.
The word ‘natural’ just means there are no artificial ingredients, but our interpretation of natural often leads us to assume a level of safety.
There are many natural plants which are harmful or even poisonous like poison ivy, which should clearly be avoided, but other ‘natural’ substances such as green tea, come with side effects such as headaches, anxiety and insomnia due to its caffeine content, but can significantly aid weight loss by increasing your metabolic rate.
In these cases, like with many things you have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages in deciding whether the possible complications are worth experiencing.
Myth No.2 - Free Trials are a good way of trying a pill
Unfortunately, certain free trials surrounding diet supplements are often nothing but a scam, and should be avoided at all costs.
People are hoodwinked into thinking they are getting something for nothing, and part with their credit card details without reading the small print.
This often says they will be charged if the product is not returned within a certain time, and then will go on an ‘auto-ship’ program to be charged and sent products at regular intervals.
The diet pill industry is not the only culprit; there are many unscrupulous marketers out there who mislead consumers into thinking they are getting something for nothing.
A big problem in the US, the deceptive use of free trials has been investigated by the Federal Trade Commission who is encouraging manufacturers to be more upfront about their offers.
Myth No.3 - There is no need to exercise with a good diet pill
Now come on, as much as this sounds very appealing, common sense tells us that it is not possible and any product which claims to shed the pounds without exercise is either misleading or potentially dangerous.
Exercise as well as a healthy diet is essential for the body to work efficiently and to aid safe and maintainable weight loss.
Any weight loss achieved without exercise will almost always return when the diet or diet pill is stopped, exercise will help you lose weight, improve muscle tone and enhance cardiovascular health.
Myth No.4 - Bitter orange is safer than ephedra
Ephedra, or ma huang, a Chinese herb, was commonly used in weight loss supplements in the 1980s for its ability to increase metabolism and body heat. It was banned in 2004 by the FDA after it was linked to a number of deaths resulting from heart attacks and strokes.
Bitter orange has been thought of as a safe alternative to epehdra, with the same weight loss properties arising from increased metabolism. However, some experts believe that it carries the same risks as its old rival.
Bitter orange contains synephrine, similar to ephedrine, the main active ingredient in ephedra, and experts also believe that its effectiveness as a weight loss supplement has not been established, with research being inconclusive at best.
Myth No.5 - If a product label mentions an ingredient, it must be in there
This myth relates to the use of the ‘proprietary blend,’ where a manufacturer lists the ingredients in its formula on the label, but without exact amounts.
They are allowed to do this, as it is a way they can legitimately hide their formula from the competition.
More often though, the procedure is used to hide the negligible amounts of active ingredients, which in the ratios they are in would have very little positive effects.
The practice is known as ‘label decoration’ by industry insiders, and can mean the consumer buys a product based on the clinical proof that a certain ingredient is present, to find that it isn’t there in amounts significant enough to be effective.