Diet pills don’t work…


 (photo source)

I will qualify that remark, by saying, that in the short term, diet pills DO work, in that they can help someone loose weight, and burn off energy. I do know people use them, and also who sell them, as a business concern, so this is a touchy post for me to write.

I recently posted a comment on my personal Facebook about how I was struggling with all the feed I was seeing, of people pushing diet pills, pills that “help you get healthy” and diet drinks and fibre supplements to “help” with weight loss.

There are some genuine meal plans and weight loss products out there, that can help with diet and loosing weight. The genuine ones cost a lot of money, and usually have to either be approved of or prescribed by a medical practitioner or dietician.

I am not talking about those, I am talking about the stuff you can buy over the counter, or from the internet, that is not regulated, or controlled, or possibly even been through proper clinical trials, to see if it works, or more importantly, if it is safe to be used. No one monitors the use of these pills or supplements, and people don’t go and see their doctors about these things, so really, they have no fall back if they do suffer side effects. Also, diet pills and supplement, and fibre products  are at best a temporary solution. Whilst they may make you loose weight, what happens when you stop taking them? Do you gain all the weight back, because you have been relying on pills to suppress your appetite, and absorb the fat or carbohydrates you have been eating? From what I have read, a fairly large percentage of people do find this.

I am angry and fed up at the industry that promotes these pills and products as healthy, and as a solution to weight loss and other health issues. The whole notion that you HAVE to be thin, and that popping a few pills will help that, or taking a dose of a drink that makes your body shift your stomach contents faster, or “cleanses” you out, is not healthy, and it is not safe way to promote weight loss, nor does it teach healthy eating, or help people develop better ways to look after their bodies. It’s the usual quick, lazy solution to things. I have two friends, who have both lost very large amounts of weight, and look fantastic, and feel brilliant, and guess what? They ate less, ate healthily, and exercised, and it was a SLOW, steady process. That is how it is done. Sensibly and slowly and teaching yourself better eating habits.

I was bulimic, and anorexic. I took diet pills, to suppress my appetite, and absorb any fat I was eating (not much, when I was anorexic, and then I used them to help me to absorb fat when I binged and purged as a bulimic) and I also took laxatives and products to “cleanse” my colon. I made myself incredibly ill, in the process, and  at one point, ending up in hospital with a racing heartbeat, a kidney infection, and blood pressure bottoming out. My periods stopped for nearly two years, and it took years for my digestive system to heal, after I poisoned it with pills and potions. All of these products were obtained legally, with no scrutiny, in fact, I was actually sold tablets by a registered “diet and health” clinic, locally to me, that gave me what is actually “speed” to burn off extra calories. No health check, no medical notes taken, no concern that I clearly was already looking unwell. They were happy to take my cash and let me take pills. Yes, I was responsible, yes, I was an adult, but actually, they were just as culpable.

Thankfully, through therapy, support and help both from the medical profession and the church that I am part of, and a long journey to being well,  I am healed, whole and recovered, and do not struggle with eating issues, but many men and women, boys and girls don’t recover and the diet industry does not help, and society with it’s obsession over being “thin and beautiful” does not help, and the desire for quick fixes and fast answers to what are long term problems, do not help.

I am sick of seeing diet pills and potions being pushed as the answer, and that they are “safe” and “healthy”. If I was an recovered alcoholic, I would not want to be surrounded by adverts for wine, beer and spirits, or people getting drunk, or being told “oh, a little bit will be fine” or “this wine is not like the wine you drank when you had a problem, it’s organic, it’s healthy for you”. You wouldn’t offer a recovering drug addict some coke, with the excuse that “it’s good for you” so why are diet pills allowed to be marketed like this?

I have started hiding the feeds on Facebook, and other social media where I hang out regularly, of people selling diet products. It makes me feel uncomfortable, and whilst it may be a source of income, for some people, it’s  something I cannot get behind or support. I know this offends some people, but I cannot help how I feel.

I would love to hear what other people have to say on this. I am sure there are some who would think I was very wrong, and that diet pills, fat absorbers and fibre products are the answer.

I will say that I won’t be allowing comments from anyone promoting or selling such products. I have done a fair bit of reading and research, on this, and don’t feel I want to let these be pushed as safe or healthy, on my personal blog space.

Also, this IS not an anti fat post, I want people to be happy and healthy, whatever their body size, and I am not “thin” by any standard of society, but I am happy, relatively healthy, and whilst I am trying to loose some weight, it is because it will help me, personally and because I want and need to, not because I am trying to please anyone or achieve anyone’s approval.


Posted in Health and tagged Diet pills, Diet pills don't work, Diet scams, weight loss, weight loss plans.


  1. I won a pack of Formaline in a blog competition – these are fibre pills that contain something that binds fat so it passes through rather than being absorbed into the body. They came with full instructions, advice to check with my GP before taking and the caveat that they are not a miracle cure and should only be used as assistance to lose weight along with the usual calorie counting and getting more exercise. I checked with my GP and he said they were fine as they contained no “speed” or other appetite supressing drugs. I used them purely over Christmas which is the only time I allow myself to eat a lot of unhealthy food and I used them to prevent any further weight gain rather than to lose weight. As I can still fasten my tightest pair of trousers then I assume they did the job. I will continue to lose weight in the right way by making permanent dietary changes and trying to get more exercise, people have to realise there is no quick fix when it comes to dieting – in fact the very act of dieting makes most women gain more weight in the long run. Permanent changes, just small ones one at a time are the way to go but I do think these tablets have a place for people like me who come from a family where all the women are big boned and constantly struggle with weight problems to get a little help either when breaking our healthy eating habits briefly (Christmas) or to give a quick start to a proper healthy eating plan. Clearly the aim is to reduce fat intake over time rather than relying on pills. Pills containing ephedrine and other forms of amphetamine are not safe and should not be taken – full stop.

    • Thank you for commenting. I think as a short term use, for reasons like you described, it’s not a problem. You aren’t abusing them, and you checked with your doctor (this made me so happy, I have so many people taking these things on my FB that haven’t and it worries me, that they aren’t safe or could cause issues, and they have no medical input) and I am also from a family of women who are bigger boned, struggle with weight and don’t burn it off easily, so I totally get how a short term use of these things could help. (I can’t touch them, any more, simply because they are my addiction/trigger, if that makes sense?)

  2. Good for you! I agree with you on this and would even expound it further to say that those pushing pills, potions and quick fixes are just perpetuating the horribly harming media fixation that you have to be skinny to be anything. It hit me when a “plus” sized model (a size 10 for goodness sake) said that these days Cindi Crawford would not be able to walk the runway. She would have been too large. What the hell have we become? As you know my resolution for 2014 was to absolutely say NO to this media myth for myself, and for my two young girls. I understand there are some products out there that are purely for health and not sold as magic bullets. Those I take no issue with. But these “do this and you’re magically going to be thin with no effort on your part” drive me batty. Rant on sister. 🙂

  3. Another exceklent blog. As you mentioned slow steady weightloss is the onky way to keep it off. I was 4 stone over weight and morbidly obese according to my bmi. I knew as soon as I had my second child I had to do something about it. I hadnt put this weight on overnight. It was nobody else’s fault but my own. I knew I had to admit I ate too much of the wrong types of food and do something about it. I always want to get down to a healthy weight but set myself small goals along the way. I lost 56lb in 52 weeks so pretty much 1lb per week. Following a well known commercial weight loss plan. I know some people have issues with these companies taking a lot of money but the ethos and research behind them is healthy. When I was breastfeeding they got crozs with me if I was averaging more than 1lb a week. They were supportive and encouraging and most of all safe. At my lowest point when I weighed 14 stone and was a size 20 my skin was bad I was tired, grumpy and emotional. I never considered diet pills as an option. Maybe if I had a couple of lbs to loose to fit into a special dress I might think about it. But now I know I can do it without I dont think id bother. I put on a bit over christmas but im confident and realistic ill get it off again. Even if it takes me a month or so.

  4. Ps sorry about the spelling mistakes. Hate these touch screen keyboards (I still have chubby fingers hahah)

  5. Karen, I completely agree with you and 100% behind you!! I suffered with eating disorders from the age of 12. I starved and starved myself. When I was 16, I was obsessed with exercise and starving myself. I just didn’t eat. At all. By the time I was 17, I was just over 5 and a half stone. I lost 3-4 pounds in weight a week. I fit in age 9-10 girls clothes. My doctor nearly sectioned me and told me if I didn’t start eating, I would be force fed with drips. My kidneys were producing too much protein- which is pretty unhealthy. Periods stopped hair was dry and falling out. My face was sunk in and I had a grey complexion with black rings under my eyes.I began to have therapy. Lots of therapy. I started to eat but obsessively watching what I ate, how much I ate and still seriously restricted what I ate. I still over exercised. After I had my son, I lost 4 stone in four months. April 2012 my doctor diagnosed me with Anorexia. I was on ridiculous laxitives, Colon cleanse pills, diet pills. Overly exercising. If I ate, I would eat between 300-500 calories in a day, then burn it off with exercise. I would jog 2 hours a day. Walk for miles, zumba 3 times a week. All this because my ex husband told me I was fat after my baby. I am in no means looking for sympathy. I do not open up about this often. I had to give my testimony because its serious. Girls and boys and men and women DIE from these disorders. I brought diet pills the other day because I had a bad day. The next day I took them back. I believe I am free from the bondage of eating disorders. I thank God for everything. Yes I still struggle but the amount of pressure from society to be thin is growing. If you are not thin, people ridicule you. People mock you. The reality is it doesn’t matter what you look like. Its about peoples heart’s. If people can’t see ‘me’ for me, I am not interested. Life is too short to worry and be miserable if your aim in life is to be thin. People reading this, you are all wonderful. I am a Christian and believe that Jesus is my savior. I know I am happy in life. I am curvy in shape and I enjoy life. I wish everybody lots of love x

  6. I’m not sure I’d ban them entirely but I see where you’re coming from and I too have a history with eating disorders. I think promotion of things like this suggests a quick fix and we all know the only way to healthily lose weight is to eat less and move more…

Comments are closed.