Before we get to the list of 7 over-the-counter diet pills that work without exercise, we should ask ourselves if there exists such a thing. The short answer is no. So, if you stumbled upon this article while trying to find some “magical” pills that will allow you to eat McDonald’s at lunch and have pizza every evening and still be in a shape that will make you feel good while looking at yourself in the mirror, you are in the wrong place.
Here’s the harsh reality: you won’t be able to lose weight without a change in your regimen. Here’s another thing that you probably didn’t know: exercise won’t make you lose weight. You’ll think it’s bulls**t, like our editor Tim did (Tim and I are both on weight loss regimens and sharing our experiences). However, according to an article in Scientific American, people tend to burn roughly the same amount of calories, disregarding their physical effort (editor’s note: I’ve lost 37 pounds this year through a ketogenic diet and regular exercise, so I’ll chalk that up as a win for exercise). So, if you are a couch potato or a hunter that runs all day around the Savanna tracking animals, you’ll reportedly burn around the same 2,600 calories a day (around 1,900 calories for women), as your body adjusts and saves energy from other processes (in the event of working out).
However, before you call your gym and angrily demand that they cancel your membership, you should know that exercising is still good for you, as it helps to shape your muscles and make you look leaner, as well as having lots of other health benefits. But if you want to lose weight and get rid of some body fat, the key is diet; you have to consume less then you burn so the body starts using its fat reserves to fuel itself throughout the day.
Here’s where diet pills come in handy. Among many supplements, diet pills help you with your diet (not to be confused with replacing dieting). They generally work in three ways: they help you feel less hungry, so you eat less, they can help reduce the absorption of nutrients like fat, and they help you burn more calories (though not enough to justify inhaling that extra-large pizza). So, diet pills can help you lose weight only in combination with other methods of weight loss, and actual dieting represents the largest part of that process (with exercise representing something like 10%-20%).
Developing effective diet pills has certainly been a priority among major healthcare providers, with AstraZeneca PLC (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)‘s BYETTA, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)‘s Belviq, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX)‘s Contrave, and VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)‘s Qsymia among the drugs on the market.
In a meta study analyzing the effectiveness of each weight loss pill, VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)’s Qsymia came out on top, with an impressive 75% of study participants losing at least 5% of their body weight. Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX)’s Contrave checked in at 55%, while Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)’s Belviq came in at 49%. AstraZeneca PLC (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)’s BYETTA was not analyzed in that study. GlaxoSmithKline PLC (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)‘s OTC treatment Alli (more on that later) came in at 44%. However, while the results are surely impressive, all of those offerings (save for Alli) are prescription-only, which may pose an impediment (or at the very least, an annoyance) for some people.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some over-the-counter diet pills that work without exercise, at least according to the internet’s claims (which are completely trustworthy, right?), and bearing in mind that you do need to change your eating habits. So, don’t forget to search for some healthy nutritious foods, add more protein to your daily food intake (protein itself is good for weight loss as it suppresses appetite and requires more energy to digest), cut carbohydrates and stay away from trans-fats. Also, keep in mind that most OTC diet pills are labeled as dietary supplements, so the manufacturer has no responsibility to regulators (or to you) to prove that they actually work. If you feel like diet pills are something that you absolutely must take to lose weight, it may be a good idea to actually consult a doctor and ask him or her to prescribe something more effective, like some of the aforementioned prescription drugs that we covered in Tim’s earlier article on the 7 most popular diet pills that work fast without exercise.