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September 15, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Dangers of Weight Loss Pills - A Personal Account

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This Author

Around ten years ago, when diet pills were credited with overnight success stories of weight loss, my younger sister jumped on the band wagon. Though she was 19 and already slim, not an ounce of fat on her, like most women of this day and age, however, she found fault with her body.

Popping Pills Like Jelly Beans

Her friends were also eager to drop excess pounds, and one girl in particular began purchasing large quantities of diet pills from the Internet. She sold them to the other members of their group and, eventually, every single one of them was popping these pills like jelly beans.

These women, my sister especially, discovered the diet pills gave them an abundance of energy. They could wake early, efficiently attend work and stay up well into the wee hours of morning. During this time, my sister became notorious for grocery shopping and chatting wildly at midnight. She and I lived together, so I witnessed these dramatic events first-hand.

Living with a Demon

In addition to extra energy, my sister also shed weight. Like I said earlier, she was already slim, but the diet pills took her to skinny.

She lost her youthful glow and became haggard-looking.

My sister also, within several weeks, became addicted to the pills. This addiction manifested itself through abrupt mood swings that didn’t reflect reality. To demonstrate, she could quietly watch a movie one moment and then shout with rage if somebody was in our bathroom when she needed to use it.

It was like living with a demon.

I Gave Them a Try

I broke my leg during this phase and was confined to crutches for three months. The loss of mobility meant I spent long hours on the couch, and I gained some weight.

Desperate, I turned to diet pills, which I knew worked.

I didn’t purchase the ones from the Internet website, but instead sent a friend to a local pharmacy, where she selected a brand endorsed by celebrities.

After taking just one pill, I felt my heart race and the adrenaline pump.

If I had been able to walk, I would have cleaned my entire house, run a marathon and cleaned the neighbor’s house, top to bottom, in one day. I had more energy than I could expend with no desire whatsoever to eat. In short, I felt great.

Later, however, I felt terrible.

My racing heart actually worried me, and I felt fatigued although I hadn’t done any physical work.

Lose Weight - But Without The Uppers, Please?

The diet pill phase eventually wore itself out in our house, thankfully. Those available on the Internet were banned, and I lost my taste for spending $30 on a bottle of pills each month.

If any good came out of this situation, it’s that I learned diet pills are nothing more than a temporary fix.

My sister is still thin, but I am not - so, now I’m back to the old-fashioned solution of diet and exercise.

FIBER. Anyone who is interested in losing weight the right way should add fiber to their diet. Soluble fiber in particular can suppress the appetite, as it actually decreases the rate of digestion. It remains in the body long after eating, thus leaving a person feeling full longer. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots and barley.

EGGS. Eggs, which are full of protein, can also aide with weight loss. Similar to fiber, they make a person feel fuller for much longer. One study of 30 overweight women found that those who ate breakfasts of two scrambled eggs – with two slices of toast and reduced-calorie fruit spread – consumed less food in the following 36 hours than women who had a bagel of equal calories. Further research has shown that protein may prevent spikes in blood sugar, which can lead to food cravings.

Other foods that help me include:

  • Large salads (without creamy dressings)
  • Pears
  • Chicken noodle soup.
  • Cinnamon
  • Green tea
  • Olive oil

When the urge for a quick-fix to weight gain arises, fight it with sensible food choices. As I found, pills often contain dangerous ingredients that disrupt the body’s natural rhythms, lead to dependency and cause personality changes. They’re also expensive, with no real long-term effects.

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