The skinny on weight loss pills (and what works!)

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Everyone's looking for the latest, greatest weight loss scheme on the market. Many diet pills promise...

Everyone's looking for the latest, greatest weight loss scheme on the market. Many diet pills promise appetite-supressing and fat-burning effects that can help you slim down. But do they really work? Well, sort of.

What to choose

According to the Mayo Clinic website, most of these pills haven't been proven effective and can be dangerous. But on the bright side, there are a few ingredients in diet pills that may help you lose weight. The Mayo Clinic recommends choosing supplements approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and made with these key ingredients:

  • Alli: A non-prescription variation of the drug orlistat. This ingredient helps prevent the absorption of fat from your food.
  • Conjugated linoleic acid: This ingredient reduces body fat production.

The weight loss secret

In addition to taking a supplement, it's best to exercise at least three times a week, eat nutritious, fresh foods and avoid overeating.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends doing aerobic exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time to increase your heart rate and break a sweat. Aim for two-and-a-half hours of exercise a week.

When mealtime rolls around, leave processed foods - laden with sodium and saturated fats - at the supermarket. Microwave meals may be convenient, but they lack the nutrients found in steamed vegetables, raw fruits, lean proteins and whole grains.

To get a jump start on a healthier you, get a physical from an Atlanta physician and discuss the best weight loss plan for your physical condition, sex and age.

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