Let’s be real, marketing sells. Unfortunately, a big part of how it sells is by telling you (1) you’re not okay (2) you need the whatever-we-are-selling-you in order to fix it.
Diet culture thrives off this mentality, and the dangers of the diet industry are rarely highlighted. The same goes for the way they promote diet pills. They promise to magically create weight loss by suppressing appetite, increasing metabolism or blocking the absorption of fat. So even if part of that is true (and most of it isn’t), the risks and side effects deserve to be talked about.
So what is the diet industry NOT telling you about diet pills?
- No pill really raises your metabolism. Our metabolism is optimized when we eat enough, not when we restrict. Diet pills say they raise metabolism, but in reality they are stimulating the central nervous system – raising your heart rate and blood pressure is NOT the same as raising your metabolism.
- They’re ineffective: Even if they suppress appetite and some weight loss results, the loss is typically temporary, and weight regain results – typically to a weight that’s higher than pre-diet. Hunger and appetite normally returns more strongly after the diet pills, as your body’s attempt at protecting you and ensuring your survival.
- Side effects: From mild to severe, they range from nausea, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, jitteriness and dehydration.
- Dependency and addiction: Some diet pills contain stimulants like caffeine or amphetamines, which can lead to dependency or addiction. This can result in tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the same effects, leading to potential abuse and health risks.
- Health risks: Certain diet pills have been associated with serious health problems, including heart palpitations, high blood pressure, liver damage, kidney problems, and even stroke or heart attack.
- Interactions with medications: Diet pills can interact with other medications you may be taking, potentially reducing their effectiveness or causing serious and dangerous side effects.
- Nutrient deficiencies: Some diet pills may interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies and other health complications.
- Lack of regulation: The supplement industry is not as strictly regulated as prescription drugs, so the safety and efficacy of diet pills may not be adequately evaluated before they reach the market.
- Unrealistic expectations: Diet pills may lead people to believe that they can achieve significant weight loss, which research has proven time and again is not sustainable, particularly if it involves restriction and deprivation.
The bottom line: anything that attempts to override your body’s signals and leads to restriction, deprivation and undernourishment, is destined to fail. Diet pills are simply another method to keep you stuck in diet culture and at the very least will be ineffective – and at the worst, dangerous.
I’m Christie, a registered dietician and nutrition therapist, and I want to share the TRUTH about eating for a healthy mind & body! I host in-person and virtual workshops so you can learn how to nourish yourself for health and happiness – no diet pills needed!
If you are finally over yo-yo dieting and nutrition confusion, I’m here to support you!
My programs are mindfulness-based, non-diet approaches that allow you to identify, understand and move beyond your eating struggles, and reconnect with your internal signals of hunger and satiety.
Nutrition Workshops – check to see what’s coming up here!
As a Nutrition Therapist, Christie Caggiani speaks regularly to groups of children and adults, and counsels individuals in such areas as eating disorders, preventive nutrition, women’s health, and wellness. She works as part of a multi-disciplinary team, at the Therapeutic Oasis
Her mission has been to work with individuals and families on their journey toward a balanced and fulfilling life with food, and to challenge the intense cultural and societal pressures around eating and bodies. Her mindfulness-based, non-diet approach allows clients in all body shapes and sizes to identify, understand and move beyond their eating struggles, as they reconnect with their internal signals of hunger and satiety.
Christie is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, providing one on one coaching to those who are determined to free themselves from diet culture. Additionally, she offers online workshops and courses to move the message of Intuitive Eating to groups of people in a safe, supportive setting.