Losing weight is not just a national obsession, but more of a global one. This explains why many U.S. fitness gyms have expanded to countries abroad, and why weight loss products like diet pills and weight loss patches have sold like hotcakes. Weight loss products, in particular, have gotten very popular because of their manufacturers’ promise of helping anyone lose weight fast and safely.
Diet pills and weight loss patches are the two slimming products that you might have come across with, what with the numerous TV advertisements promoting these goods. But do these slimming products really work? And if these products do work, which one works better than the other? Weight loss patches vs diet pills is the focus of this article.
Weight Loss Patches
Weight loss patches evolved from nicotine patches which became a hit amongst smokers who want to combat their addiction to nicotine and lessen their habit of smoking. According to their makers, these patches speed up metabolism while reducing the cravings of its users, thus helping them lose weight.
Diet patches are small, adhesive patches applied to the skin in the morning. Usually, people who want to lose weight need to wear these patches for 24 hours. The time would be enough for the patches to deliver weight loss ingredients through the skin, a process that is called transdermal.
Weight loss ingredients of these patches may vary, but some of the more common are fucus vesculosis, mangosteen fruit, and Guarana. Fucus vesculosis is a sea weed that is believed to increase metabolism and suppress apetite. Mangosteen fruit is said to block the conversion of carbohydrates into fats, while Guarana is a Brazilian plant that has fat burning properties.
The makers of diet patches say that their products are better than diet pills because unlike the latter, the use of patches is easier to remember. Diet patches are also advertised as being easy to apply, and can even be worn underneath clothes making it perfect for those who work in the corporate world.
Likewise, diet patches work 24 hours a day as the weight-loss ingredients are released to the blood stream throughout the day. Finally, manufacturers of weight loss patches insist that their products have no side effects.
There are lots of weight loss patches available in the market today, with the Slim Weight Patch being one of the more popular ones. Introduced in 2009 by the Amsterdam-based firm Roduve, it has ingredients like Fucus Vesiculosus, Yerba Mate, Garcinia Cambogia, Lecithin, and L-Carnitine.
Another type of weight loss patch is the Acai Patch, which highlights the health benefits of the acai berry, a plant that grows in the Amazon forests. Some of the ingredients present in the Acai Patch are dried acai berry, Garcinia Cambogia, Camellia Sinensis, and Chromium Polynicotinate.
Diet pills have been around for a longer time compared to weight loss patches. Makers of diet pills claim that their products can suppress appetite, speed up metabolism, block the body’s absorption of dietary fat, and increase feeling of fullness.
Like weight loss patches, diet pills are not subjected to rigorous standards. Thus these pills can be sold in the market with limited proof of effectiveness, unlike prescription drugs that require extensive testing and approval by the FDA before being released to the public.
Some of the more popular diet pills in the market are Alli; Green Tea Extract; and Conjugated linoleic acid. Alli is the over-the-counter version of Orlistat and is advertised as being effective in reducing the body’s dietary fat absorption.
Do Weight Loss Patches Work Better than Diet Pills?
It should be noted that many health experts are skeptical about the perceived weight-loss benefits of slimming patches. They agree that the supposed weight-loss ingredients of these patches are not all effective in helping people trim unwanted pounds.
For instance, the Wall Street Journal reports that focus vesiculosus was graded ‘C’ as a diet aid by a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group, the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. The grade C means that there is no clear scientific evidence about the effectiveness of the sea weed in promoting weight loss. The same report also noted that Garcinia Cambogia, another common ingredient in slimming patches, got a better B grade.
Experts also question the way that slimming patches transmit their ingredients through the skin. The same Wall Street Journal report quoted Mark Prausnitz of the Center for Drug Design, Development and Delivery of the Georgia Institute of Technology as saying that an ingredient should be very small and oily to be passed effectively through the skin.
On the other hand, there are some weight-loss pills which have been generally accepted as effective in promoting weight loss.
Alli, according to a report by the Mayo Clinic, is effective in helping its users lose weight, albeit the weight loss would only be modest. The report cited the opinion of Dr. Donald Hensrud who said that Alli promotes slimming by reducing the fat absorption of the intestines, which in turns lessens the amount of calories absorbed by the body.
According to Dr. Hensrud, Alli could help its users lose weight although the weight loss will likely be a few pounds. He said that regular intake of a low dose Alli can result to as much as 5 pounds of weight loss in a year.
However, the specialist warns that there are Alli side effects like diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, and gas with anal discharge. He said these side effects can be limited if users of Alli will maintain a low-fat diet.
Two years ago, the U.S. FDA approved the marketing of lorcaserin, a weight loss drug that has been clinically proven effective in promoting weight loss. In a Forbes report, lorcaserin was able to make 7.5 of its patients lost 5% of their body weight.
There is no scientific evidence that weight loss patches are effective in making people lose weight, so to say that weight loss patches work better than diet pills can be misleading. They may be easier to remember as you only apply them once a day, while weight loss pills usually require you to remember to take before each meal. However, this is not to say that all diet pills are proven to make people lose weight. As most health experts would tell you, diet pills are meant only to supplement and not replace regular exercise and healthy diet which are the best ways to lose weight.