Diet pills information

When June woodcock, 30, from Darlington, you can chocolate, never exercise, and still lose (below) came across a newspaper advert for a new brand of herbal slimming pills weight with just one little pill… sound too good to be three years ago, she thought she’d finally found the answer to her weight problems. true? There s a reason for that, finds Jenny Wood…

“I weighed just under 12st and had tried everything to slim down. But these pills promised to suppress my appetite, so I would eat less and lose weight fast. I thought I’d found a miracle cure” she explains. “The pills cost £30 for one month’s supply, but the ad was so persuasive, I’d have spent any amount.” But after taking the pills for four weeks, Julie hadn’t lost a single pound. “Perhaps I was naive, but as they were so expensive, I just expected them to work. However, I didn’t notice any change in my appetite. In fact, I got so depressed that I wasn’t losing weight, I actually ate more.”


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• Only works as part of a starvation diet

• Powerful laxative ingredient (with only a few side effects!)


Julie isn’t alone in searching for a miracle quick fix. Because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to take a pill that helped you lose weight in weeks, without having to change your diet or punish yourself at the gym? Well, that’s exactly what the manufacturers of many mail order slimming pills are banking on. “People are increasingly being sucked in by ‘magic’ supplements or drugs which make very generous promises,” says Sossi Yerissian, a nutrition consultant at London’s alternative health centre, the Joshi Clinic. “But, if you’re eating the wrong food and not helping your body by exercising, these tablets simply don’t work.”


indir (4)Andrea Murray, 28, an accounts clerk from County Durham (pictured, overleaf), tried taking ‘natural’ slimming pills in 1998 and found that, as well as not losing weight, she also suffered some distressing side effects. “I’d been struggling to lose a stone for a while, so it seemed a great idea,” she says. “But, after just a couple of days,
I started having side effects, such as sweating, headaches and mood swings and I couldn’t sleep at night. I did lose a few pounds, but after two-and-a-half months, I’d become such a nasty person, it began causing friction in my relationship. I decided it wasn’t worth losing my boyfriend over, so I stopped taking them.” In total, Andrea spent over £100 on the pills. “I look back now and think I must have been stupid. Not only were they a huge waste of money, but I could have damaged my health.”

Of course, not all ‘slimming’ pills are totally ineffective. Some may help you lose weight, but only in the short term. “Much of the weight loss is false,” says Sossi. “A lot of products contain diuretic or laxative ingredients, so you lose water, rather than fat.” As herbal slimming pills aren’t classed as medicines, they don’t have to be licensed. But, if a product says it’s ‘natural’, surely it’s not going to do you any harm?

Geraldine Clarke, from the National Pharmaceutical Association, disagrees. “Herbal remedies can sometimes be dangerous if they interfere with things you’re already taking, such as the Pill, or even certain painkillers,” she says. Geraldine recommends getting a list of ingredients and asking your pharmacist to advise you before sending off your hard-earned cash. “You’ll have a better idea what you’re buying, and you might also avoid wasting your money.”

Sadly, there’s not much to stop some manufacturers of slimming pills making outlandish claims. “The Trade Descriptions Act does cover false or misleading claims by slimming products, but it’s a hard area to police” says Phil Thomas from Trading Standards. “In order to prosecute, we have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that there’s absolutely no way the claims the manufacturers are making could be true. But, what works for one person might not work for others, and people might be too embarrassed to admit they’d tried these products, so it’s difficult to get evidence.” Julie now works for Changes At Slimfit, a local slimming club, after successfully losing three stone on their healthy eating programme. “I was so desperate to find a quick-fix solution, I was completely sucked in by the claims the advert made. I realise now that healthy diet and exercise is the only real way to lose weight. As far as I’m concerned, pills are never the answer.”

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