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Statistics on Diet Pills Vs. Exercise

By Nicole Campbell ; Updated July 18, 2017

The website Health Insiders reports that about one in five women have admitted using diet pills at some point in their efforts to lose weight. While there are increasingly more diet pill varieties that promise results, it is important to use them with caution and as part of a well-rounded weight loss regimen. Talk with your doctor before taking any of these pills, as they affect everyone in different ways.

Modifying Eating Habits

All weight loss programs should involve a healthy diet. According to USA Today, even diet pills require healthy eating habits to see much by way of results. They cite a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health that recommends that people striving to lose weight should adopt healthy eating habits regardless of whether they are taking drugs to aid in their weight loss or not.

Strive to incorporate at least an hour of exercise into your routine a few times per week. If you are taking diet pills, more exercise will only increase your odds of achieving your weight loss goals. According to Fitness Magazine, women between the ages of 18 and 30 who walk at least 4 hours a day are 44 percent more likely to lose weight than women of the same age who did not.

Managing Anxiety

Diet pills have been known to help people manage their weight more easily, but not their stress. The American Council on Exercise recommends exercise as a way of managing the stress that can lead to health problems like heart disease. They also recommend good nutrition as a way to combat workplace stress.

While diet pills may provide a weight loss boost to people who cannot or will not work as hard in the gym as those who don’t take them, there is no evidence that supports the idea of diet pills as a means of managing anxiety. ACE reports that one hour of exercise can generate between 90 and 120 minutes of relaxation response. Incorporating a bit of exercise into every day should help keep your spirits high and your stress low.

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Suppressing Appetite

Diet pills can be helpful for people who have a tendency to overeat. This is because many weight loss pills are also appetite suppressants. Pills like these can trick the brain into thinking you’re full, even when you are not. While exercise can burn calories and spur weight loss, it can also lead to hunger. Some diet pills can help hold that hunger at bay.

Lifestyle Changes

For many people, weight loss is an ongoing issue. Maintaining a healthy weight requires a lifestyle change, and that is something that diet pills cannot provide. Troublesome side effects are often a deterring factor for those considering taking weight loss pills on a long-term basis, and it can be difficult to predict what the long-term effects will be. According to MSNBC, many people who stop taking weight loss pills end up putting weight back on. Ongoing exercise and healthy eating is the only way to keep the extra weight off for good.

The website PhysOrg.com cites a UCLA study that found that at least one- to two-thirds of dieters who lose weight end up gaining their weight back within five years, making true and permanent lifestyle changes so important for weight loss. Diet pills are not a healthy option for the long term.

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