Are diet pills right for you?

Weigh the pros and cons of weight-loss supplements.

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

To combat growing obesity in the States, Americans toss billions of dollars each year toward weight-loss strategies that include gym memberships, personal trainers and diet pills. But before trying that last group, talk with your doctor. And arm yourself with research.

Types of diet pills

Research the three main types of diet pills to narrow down the best for your health goals:

  1. Thermogenic fat burners. This type works by increasing the body’s metabolism to burn more calories, even when at rest.
  2. Appetite suppressants. These pills trick your brain’s neurotransmitters into believing your stomach is full. They increase the number of those neurotransmitters, helping you to consume less calories.
  3. Absorption interference. This diet remedy interferes with how calories and fat are ingested by your small and large intestine, reducing and sometimes blocking absorption.

Diet pill side effects

Before you introduce diet pills to your weight-loss regimen, talk with your physician about your goals and overall health. Side effects could be worse for people with specific conditions:

  • Fat burners. Thermogenic burners tend to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can contribute to heart problems. If you’re already at risk for hypertension, look for alternatives to these weight-loss products.
  • Appetite suppressants. These pills can result in elevated blood pressure, and some users complain of nausea, headaches, insomnia, chest pain and difficulty breathing.
  • Absorption control. While inhibiting absorption of calories and fat, these pills can also prevent your body from taking in vital nutrients. Without essential vitamins and minerals, you risk malnourishment and weakness. Continued use is linked to organ damage.

Garcinia cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is a popular ingredient of weight-loss products. Derived from the rind of a tropical fruit, this supplement has been shown to aid appetite control and may reducing the body’s ability to turn sugars and carbohydrates into fat. Few users report adverse side effects unless it’s taken in large doses.

Despite this ingredient’s origins in plants, you should talk with a doctor before adding garcinia to your diet. If you have diabetes and take medicine to control your blood sugar, you find the extract reduces your glucose levels. If you take medicine to control cholesterol, you’ll likely need to avoid garcinia altogether.

Green coffee bean extract

Green coffee beans are like what’s in your morning cup of joe, only they haven’t been roasted. Their caffeine content may help speed up fat burning, and their chlorogenic acid content may help to slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates in your digestive system.

Keep in mind that green coffee beans come with similar side effects as other sources of caffeine, as well as diarrhea. Because it’s also an allergen for some people, talk with your doctor before adding it to your diet.


Derived from the roots of the elephant yam, this natural source of fiber helps you feel full while consuming fewer calories. It may also help lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.

For best results, take glucomannan with plenty of water, and at least 30 minutes before a meal. But talk with a doctor to eliminate interference with other medications you may take. Also watch for common side effects that include bloating and soft stools.

Back to top

How to benefit from weight-loss products

Honestly examining why you are overweight can help you decide the type of diet pill most effective for your needs.

Two main factors contributing to obesity in the US: overeating and an inactive lifestyle.


Compulsive eating is a main factor to obesity in the US. Eating out of boredom or to ease depression can lead to food binges. And this type of binging usually involves food that’s high in fat and calories, resulting in unhealthy weight gain.

If you believe that overeating is the cause for your obesity, speak with your physician about an appetite suppressant. If your overeating is the result of depression or similar factors, you may not be able to control your weight until you receive treatment first.

You’ll find natural solutions for overeating, like drinking water before you eat or adding fiber to your diet. Water can help you to feel full, and foods that are high in fiber take longer than other foods to break down, making you feel full longer. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of natural fiber that can help you control feelings of hunger.

Inactive lifestyle

A key element in controlling weight gain is keeping your metabolism at a level that efficiently uses the calories you consume for energy. If you’re spending much of your time watching TV or on the computer, your metabolism may be low, with calories converted into fat. If this is what you believe is causing your weight gain, a thermogenic burner may be a solution.

To maintain a healthy weight, find a balance between how many calories you consume and how many you burn daily. You can increase your metabolism by exercising daily, even if you just go for a walk. Diet pills that increase metabolism help to keep that level high throughout the day. This encourages weight loss as your body requires more energy than what you consume and starts burning excess fat to get it.

Where to shop for weight-loss supplements

Most health food and vitamin stores sell weight-loss pills, and many employ knowledgeable staff that can help you choose the best one for your needs. See what these top retailers have to offer:

Bottom line

Diet pills can be a useful addition to your health and fitness plan. But check in with your doctor before starting any diet supplement. Some weight loss pills interact with specific medications and may have side effects.

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site