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do weight loss pills work?

diet pills

When it comes to weight loss, there’s a lot of pills and potions out there promising quick and amazing results.

We love cookies just as much as the next person, so what could be more appealing than just taking a little pill everyday to counteract the calories and lose weight in time for summer!

The question is, do weight loss pills actually work or is it all a marketing spiel… Well here’s the lowdown on the five best selling diet pills with results that may surprise you!

Firstly, let’s look at how these ‘magic’ weight loss pills work. Because, obviously there needs to be some sort of science behind them right?

There are three ways in which weight loss pills tend to work. They either:

1. Reduce your appetiteeat fewer calories.

2. Reduce calorie absorption – of nutrients like fat, making you take in fewer calories.

3. Increase fat burning – making you burn more calories.


Garcinia Cambogia

You’ll have probably seen this ingredient on the side of weight loss protein or as the main ingredient of many diet pills. Garcinia Cambogia is a small green fruit the size and shape of a pumpkin, which has skin that contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

Test studies on animals (grrrr) show that it can inhibit a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase levels of serotonin, that  will help to reduce food cravings.

Does it work?

In a 2011 study, 130 people who had taken Garcinia Cambogia were compared with people who had taken dummy (placebo) pills. There was no difference in weight loss or body fat % reduction in both groups. jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=188147


Don’t waste your money.



This is a weight loss pill that has been around for years and contains a mix of ingredients such as caffeine and plant extracts to aid fat loss.

Does it work?

There has only been one study of Hyrdoxycut which showed that it caused weight loss over a 3 month period. There were however some side effects such as anxiety, tremors, nausea and diarrhoea.


Unscientific, not worth the cramps and craps.


Orlistat (Alli)

Orlistat is a pharmaceutical drug, most commonly known as Alli and works by stopping the breakdown of fat in the gut. This is supposed to make you absorb less calories from fat and help weight loss.

Does it work?

According to a review of 11 studies on orlistat, it has been shown to increase weight loss by 6 pounds (2.7 kg) compared to groups using dummy pills. There are many side-effects associated with orlistat however such as loose, oily stools, farting and diarrhoea.


It works in helping you to reduce the amount of fat your absorb but has many side effects which are pretty gross.


Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry ketones became popular in the last few years and are said to breakdown fat and increase levels of the hormone adiponectin that is believed to contribute to weight loss.

Does it work?

Not a single study has been conducted on humans to show the effect of raspberry ketones for weight loss. There has been one study on rats which showed it could work but only in huge doses.

Verdict: You’re better off eating real raspberries.


Green Tea extract

Green Tea extract are the ground stems and leaves of green tea which have properties to aid weight loss.

Does it work?

It’s been scientifically proven in numerous studies that the main antioxidant in green tea, EGCG aids fat burning, which is why green tea extract is such a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements.


Green tea extract can help you lose weight and is especially effective for belly fat. Pills generally contain lower quality leaves which contain less EGCG, so for the best results you should use Matcha Green tea which is 10x more powerful than regular green tea. What a full explanation of the benefits of matcha green tea pwoder, read our beginners guide to matcha.

So what’s the final verdict on weight loss pills?

Although it’s good to hear that the diet industry isn’t completely lying to us, the best results you’ll see from using these supplements without eating healthily and working out at the same time will be smaller than a micro, micro pig.

Basically babe, get your butt to the gym, eat healthily and drink green tea for the best combined results. Then again, isn’t that part of the fun? Looking after your body should be fun and feel good. If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated, then work out with friends and experiment with healthy, clean eating recipes to keep things interesting.

Shortcuts to weight loss don’t really work and you may find yourself piling the weight back on again if you crash diet. Aim to lose 2 lbs a week for long-lasting healthy results.


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