Lose 10 pounds in a week. Eat all you want and still lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight, it can be tempting to use diet aids or meal replacements that claim they have discovered the secret to fast and easy weight loss. The people on those infomercials seem to know what they are talking about. And pictures don't lie, right?
Wrong. The real secret is there is no miracle diet. And those pictures give you only part of the story. The truth is that most people who lose weight using diet aids gain it back. Any product that promises rapid weight loss is a rip-off. And some diet aids can even be dangerous. If you're thinking about trying that diet pill, get the facts first. back to top
Get the facts on diet pills
You can buy diet pills at your local pharmacy or convenience store, through television infomercials, and on the Internet. They include over-the-counter diet pills, diuretics
, and laxative
s. Diet pills usually contain large amounts of stimulants
. These stimulants block your body signals
. That means you don't receive messages from your brain that let you know when your body needs things like food and water
. It's like a friend sending you an e-mail invitation to a party that you never get.
Diet pills can also make you hyper, restless, and cranky. That can send your friends running the other way when they see you coming. Diet pills can also cause your blood pressure and heart rate
to shoot up, which can be dangerous. Maybe the biggest problem with diet pills is that you can become addicted
to them. That makes it hard to quit taking them no matter how badly you want to stop. back to top
Can diuretics make me skinny?
A diuretic makes your body lose water. Because the water in your body weighs something, when you lose water, you lose weight. Diuretics make you urinate frequently, so you have to pee all the time. Your body needs the water and minerals
you lose when you pee too often. Without them, you can get dehydrated
. Dehydration can make your mouth dry and sticky, and cause weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and intense thirst. back to top
Is it OK to use laxatives?
Some girls try using laxatives to lose weight. Laxatives are drugs that make you have bowel movements more often. They are dangerous because they can weaken the muscles in your colon
and cause irritation
. If you continue to use laxatives, you may become constipated
and unable to move your bowels. back to top
What about diet shakes and bars? Do they work?
Diet shakes and bars are called meal replacements. These flavored, nutrients
-packed products come in the form of shakes, soups, hot chocolates, and snack bars. Some say "diet" on them. Others say they give you power or energy. These meal replacements are safe to use, especially when you are in a hurry, as long as most of your meals are healthy. Check out the Food Guide Pyramid
to help you plan a healthy menu.
The bottom line is that to lose weight, it's important to combine a healthful, low-fat diet with regular exercise. In addition to helping you lose weight, this combination can help you increase your fitness level
. back to top