Friday, October 21, 2011

Serious Talk: Diet Pills

Well look at that, I finally found a free minute to sit down and blog Winking smile. As you probably figured out, it’s been another crazy week full of work and projects, but we’ve also been able to squeeze in a couple of good workouts and some fun as well.

Speaking of workouts, I am still keeling over in pain from Wednesday’s trip to the gym. Remember when I did that one glute workout this summer that left my legs the most sore they have ever been in my life? Well, I can honestly say that the following chest and back routine that Eric designed has left my chest the most sore it has ever been.

Quick and Dirty Chest and Back Workout From Hell

Each exercise began with one set of 20 reps, followed by three sets of 11 reps: 8 standard and 3 negative.

  • Bench press
  • Flyes (machine)
  • One-armed dumbbell rows
  • Behind-the-neck pulldowns

The grand finale of the workout was what really took it over the top. The goal was 100 push-ups and 50 pull-ups for Eric, and 50 push-ups and 25 pull-ups for me. We went one at a time so that we could motivate and push each-other, but this was so hard. I did the push-ups on my knees and used the assist machine for my pull-ups. I ended up just going back and forth between push-ups and pull-ups until all the reps were done. By the last push-up, I couldn’t even get my body up off the floor. I was done-zo.

Sandwiches and Beer

Food has been pretty standard for the most part, but apparently I’ve been on a sandwich kick lately:


Grilled turkey sandwich on Ezekiel bread with munester cheese, light mayo, and carmelized onions.


And another Tuscan Chicken Panini from Great Harvest Bread Smile.


Unfortunately my second trip here was not as spectacular as the first. They actually forgot to toast my panini and I had to send it back, but it was still delicious.

Oh, and Wednesday we made our weekly trip to Old Chicago, where an extremely large Screamin’ Pumpkin Ale was consumed.


It’s always fun meeting up with Drew


And the boys finally drank enough beer to get their World Beer Tour T-shirts.


They were quite proud Winking smile.

Diet Pills

So, time for some serious talk. One of the weekly discussions that we have at my academic rotation is something called “medical updates.” This is basically just a short session where each student talks about something medically/pharmaceutically related that they’ve seen on the news and gives his or her thoughts on it. While browsing MSN’s health news the other day, I found an article that quickly caught my eye.

‘Natural’ diet pills tainted with banned prescription drug’

(You may read the full article here.)

This appealed to me for two reasons, with the first one being that it is related to diet pills (anything weight loss in the news related usually catches my attention) and the second being that it involved a banned prescription drug. Well, to briefly sum up the article, twenty brands of over-the-counter “natural” diet pills were found to contain a prescription drug called sibutramine (which you may know by it’s trade name, Meridia®). However, the main concern here is that sibutramine was recently taken off the market because researchers discovered that the drug was linked to heart attack and stroke.

Here are some of the diet pills that were found to contain sibutramine:

  • A-Slim 100% Natural Slimming Capsules
  • P57 Hoodia
  • Phentaburn Slimming Capsules
  • Dream Body Slimming Capsules

Unfortunately, sibutramine is not the first weight-loss medication that has been pulled from the market because of these kinds of health concerns. In fact, most diet pills are pretty much guaranteed to come with unwanted, if not dangerous, side effects and I think that a lot of people are unaware of this.

I’ll come clean: I’ve used a “diet pill” before. A couple of years ago, I purchased Slimquick and it used for a few weeks before calling it quits.

I used the product in addition to my diet and exercise program to see if it made any difference in my weight loss. I was quite hesitant to try it because I didn’t want to do anything to hurt myself, but my curiosity got the best of me. The directions stated to start by taking one capsule twice daily for one week, then increase to two capsules twice daily. The first week was fine (though I didn’t notice any difference in my weight loss than with diet and exercise alone) but when I started doubling the dose in the second week, my stomach got all sorts of messed up. I was nauseous all the time and back and went back and forth between constipation and diarrhea.

I stopped using it shortly after that and have never used a diet pill since. The product had a laundry list of ingredients, but the only ones that stood out to me as potential weight loss aids were caffeine and green tea extract. Caffeine is a stimulant that supposedly “revs up your metabolism” and just about every weight loss pill on the planet contains caffeine. Green tea extract has also been shown to possibly help with weight loss, but I wouldn’t count on it. In my opinion, it would be much better to just drink coffee or have a cup of tea than take a pill that has a million other weird things in it. Or, even better than that? get your butt to the gym! Don’t take some bogus pill that will just tear up your stomach and could possibly cause something even more serious, like a heart attack. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but we all know that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is by diet and exercise. Period.

Have you ever used a diet pill? What was your experience like with it?


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