As nearly 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, there are more ways than ever to lose that weight. Many people make a plan to slim down by summer with the help of prescription weight loss pills or over the counter solutions. However, if you’re not prepared for how your body could react, you need to take learn a little about how they could help or hinder your weight loss goals.
Here are five things you might not know about weight loss pills.
1. Are You Trying To Block Fat or Eat Less?
There are a few different ways that weight loss pills work. While some are built to help you block fat or keep from putting it on while you’re eating a normal diet, others keep you from eating. With the help of these drugs, your appetite is curbed and you’re less inclined to eat as much as you normally do.
If you’re eating a normal diet and you can’t seem to keep the pounds from packing on, then you need some help blocking fat from piling up. However, be aware that the pills that block fat could end up offering you some unexpected gastrointestinal results. Over the counter medication could end up making it hard for you to function normally or result in incontinence.
Medication to help suppress your appetite tells your brain that you’re full faster. These medications have their own interaction issues, so make sure it doesn’t interact with your current medication before you take it. However, if there are no foreseeable problems, this type of medication ensures that you don’t fall into a habit of overeating.
2. Not Always Covered By Insurance
If you’re hoping that your insurance company is going to cover your weight loss medication, think twice about that. Check with your insurance company to see what sorts of restrictions they have when it comes to this medication. You might be pleasantly surprised or be eligible for surgeries or procedures instead of medication or pills.
Insurers often list information about what type of medication they cover. Weight loss medication that’s prescription-based is going to have a higher chance of being covered than medication that’s sold over the counter. However, you might find it easier to find over-the-counter medication at a lower price than prescription pills.
If your plan doesn’t cover the full costs, you could potentially submit your receipts for reimbursement. There are discounts available to take down some of the costs that people trying to lose weight incur when paying for medication. Since you could be spending a few hundred dollars a month on these pills, do some research to see how you could lower your fees.
3. Beware When Pregnant
While it’s normal and healthy to put on weight when you’re pregnant, some people who are overweight at the beginning of their pregnancy are told to lose weight. It’s sometimes dangerous to hold onto too much weight while pregnant. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible to decide whether or not this is worth your time and your health.
While you’re taking certain medications, it’s important to take contraception because of the dangers and risks connected to pregnancy while taking medication. Before you take these pills, take a pregnancy test just to be safe if that’s a possibility for you.
If you’re already pregnant, avoid taking this medication, you might have to rely on diet and exercise instead of medication to ensure that you’re able to stay safe. You want to have a healthy pregnancy no matter what your weight is.
4. Don’t Expect Miracles
While some people have unreasonable expectations when it comes to weight loss medication, the truth is that there are standard results. Most of the medication that you take can offer you a few pounds or a certain percentage of loss. Ask your doctor if they have access to this information before you take any new medication.
You’ll find that most medication offers anywhere between 5% to a 9% loss in body fat. This isn’t consistent for everyone and is going to have to do with how much you exercise and how old you are. It’s much harder to lose weight as you get older.
While losing 5% of your body fat is a reasonable and achievable goal for most people, some people need to lose more to get truly healthy. If you’re taking medication without making any major changes to how you live, the changes are going to be temporary and unsustainable. Medication helps to begin the process of weight loss to jumpstart you on a path to better health but you should use that medicated loss to start living better.
Losing more 10% of your body weight has a lot of potential health benefits like lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol. However, if you’re unable to keep the weight off, taking a pill might not be the right move for you.
Every decision you make about your weight must be accompanied by a conversation with your doctor. Medication is meant to by a supplement to a plan to get healthy, not a replacement.
5. Expect Side Effects
No matter what medication you’re taking, no two bodies are the same. Everyone has a different interaction when it comes to dealing with any disease or medical issue. When you take medication, expect side effects.
Your doctor should be able to warn you of the most common side effects and to help you to mitigate them with other treatments or tactics.
For a review of a common medication people are taking now, click here.
Prescription Weight Loss Pills Offer Help
The purpose of prescription weight loss pills are to help you to lose weight, but they’re not a permanent solution. They work temporarily to help you to get some weight off but you need to work hard to keep it off.
If you find yourself losing weight a little too fast, check out our guide to know what that means.