As someone who works in health and fitness, I am a huge advocate of the simple approach to weight loss and weight management: eat right and exercise. Notice I didn’t say diet. It’s not about a diet, it’s about eating the right foods to fuel your body. You really don’t have to deprive yourself when you want to lose weight, you just have to make changes to the amounts you eat.
And, of course, you have to move! A huge part of weight loss is diet, but exercise plays a role too. A good combination of cardio and strength training will maximize your fat burn and give you strong, lean, muscles.
All that being said, it sounds simple. But, we all know that’s not always the case. Because of that, a lot of people turn to diet pills. One such pill I’ve been hearing a lot about lately is phentermine.
When I hear that people are taking diet pills or are thinking of using diet pills, I honestly cringe. There are a few reasons why.
If it works, you’re just going to gain the weight back.
Because you aren’t actually changing your lifestyle, you will most likely gain back any weight that you lose. You can’t stay on a pill forever. Also, if you’re relying on a pill instead of exercising and eating right, you aren’t going to build the muscle that keeps your metabolism revved up.
You aren’t learning anything.
Relying on a “quick fix” teaches you nothing about the underlying issues of weight gain or why you aren’t able to lose weight. Gaining weight is never as simple as just eating too much. There’s pretty much always an underlying psychological issue. It could be depression, stress, anxiety, or any number of things. Some people are addicted to food, literally. You have to figure out your triggers and learn from them.
There are risks to your health.
This is the big one. Check out this list of side effects:
- feeling restless or hyperactive;
- headache, dizziness, tremors;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth;
- diarrhea or constipation, upset stomach; or
- increased or decreased interest in sex, impotence.
And how about this: “Phentermine is a stimulant similar to an amphetamine. It acts as an appetite suppressant by affecting the central nervous system.” [source]
Sorry, I don’t want a stimulant doing weird things to my central nervous system and giving my diarrhea and constipation and keeping me up at night. I’m good, thanks.
Now, I know that many medications have side effects, but that kind of proves my point. Why put yourself at risk for that? In my mind, we should take as few medications as possible. When it comes to weight loss, there IS another way.
Diet pills like phentermine are marketed for people who aren’t able to lose enough weight through diet and exercise alone. But to me, there is a missing piece to losing weight that does NOT need to be fixed with a pill: accountability. If someone is supported, TRULY supported, through a weight loss journey, they are going to have much more success. It’s like an equation: FITNESS + NUTRITION + ACCOUNTABILITY = SUCCESS.
So please, if you are struggling to lose weight or are frustrated with your current routine, don’t take diet pills. You will only be hurting your body. Seek out support, learn to eat right, and find the right exercise routine for you. Make it something you enjoy.
If you have no idea where to start, there are plenty of people out there who can help, myself included. All you have to do is ask.