With the start of 2013, that means the start of New Year's resolutions. For many people, that resolution is to lose weight and get in shape.
But can you do it with just healthy eating and exercise? Or are diet pills and supplements the way to go?
For a lot of people, losing weight and keeping it off is a constant struggle. Advertisements that promise an easy way to lose weight by taking pills can be tempting, but according to doctors a quick fix can be dangerous to your health.
Family physician Michael Schrager says, "long-term weight control isn't going to be accomplished by taking a pill for a short amount of time."
Schrager helps many of his patients on their quest to get in shape. He says most marketed weight loss pills or supplements can actually do more harm than good.
"Frankly over the years, I've had some patients that have taken them that have gotten into potentially life-threatening situations," he says.
And that's because of what is inside them.
"Most of them are highly caffeinated, stimulant-type products," says Schrager.
Cathy Dunnihoo gets her cardio in, hitting the treadmill and working out at least four days a week. Before and after pictures show the transformation Dunnihoo went through over the past 6 months. She's lost 50 pounds and no longer takes the 8 medications she was previously on.
And she did all of this through healthy eating and exercise, without relying on drugs and weight loss pills.
"It's not going to change your lifestyle so even if you have it done your aren't going to learn in your mind what it is you need to change to do," says Dunnihoo. "So you're going to get fat again."
Dr. Schrager says he will sometimes prescribe medication that can suppress an appetite. But he adds that it isn't the answer.
"The prescription medications we use, they aren't the solution to the problem," says Schrager. "They are only a treatment for the problem."
Schrager says ultimately, the foundation of eating healthy and making an effort to exercise in some way everyday is the right way to get in shape and meet your New Year's resolution goals...even if it isn't the easy way.
"Doing it the old-fashioned way can work, but you really have to make a commitment," says Schrager. "And you need to get some encouragement on the way."
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:48 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:48:08 GMT
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