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No Hocus-Pocus

Por Eleazar Lara-Pantin, MD, MSc.* -

Many people who are unhappy with their weight and/or physical shape, wish there were a quick fix, or that they could just take a "magic pill" to lose weight. Though taking a magic pill does sound great, there will likely never be a magic remedy for weight loss.

Why not?

Our lifestyle and behaviors are what determine our health status, which includes our weight. It is impossible to invent a pill that could manage something as complex as a person's weight. There are various factors that contribute to a person's lifestyle and behaviors. When it comes to weight management, it is a person's motivation, will, and dedication to choosing healthy eating and physical activity habits that allow them to achieve a healthy weight.

Selecting the right foods, and eating the appropriate portion sizes based on height and age, as well as incorporating daily physical activity, are essential to a lifelong plan to lose and maintain a healthy weight.

Appetite suppressants

Numerous pills on the market claim to suppress your appetite. There are various types of appetite suppressing pills. Most of them contain a stimulant, such as caffeine or a type of amphetamine.  

Many of these drugs have various side effects which can affect people in both the short- and long term, such as sleeplessness, addiction, high blood pressure and other cardiac problems. At the same time, since some of the pills that are marketed as appetite suppressants are "herbal supplements," they are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and thus the contents and their safety and side effects have not always been researched and published for public knowledge.

Fat burners

Nothing on the market can reduce fat deposits without also affecting the normal metabolic processes essential to our health. The only healthy way to burn fat is to eat a balanced diet and be physically active on a daily basis.

*Dr. Lara-Pantin, a nutrition specialist, is Vice President of Product Development for DrTango, Inc.


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