Tag Archives: pills

Qnexa, the New Weight Loss Pill

From the New York Times: “A federal advisory panel on Wednesday overwhelmingly recommend approval of what could become the first new prescription drug to treat obesity in 13 years. The advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted 20 to 2 that the benefits from the weight loss provided by the drug, Qnexa, more than offset the potential risks of heart problems and birth defects.”

Qnexa is a combination of two existing drugs — the stimulant phentermine, which was the surviving part of the fen-phen combination, and the epilepsy and migraine drug topiramate, also known by the brand name Topamax. If you google around, you’ll get all sorts of details about the effectiveness in trials and the dangers.

I have had clients who have used these drugs. Sometimes they have helped, modestly. Sometimes they have done no good.  I’ve also had clients who have had the bariatric surgery, only with surgery, the dangers were greater, and the negatives were assured, not just possibilities.

As an obesity treatment expert, let me emphasize that weight loss cannot be achieved without behavior change, establishing habits that result in eating fewer calories than used. If a medication can help a person to do this, without adverse risk, I am all for it. The prospect of an effective medication that would make it easier to actualize healthy behavior is much better than surgery, though I encourage the surgery if it is the only way to sustain life, and time has run out.  

 As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a lifetime of treating mental disorders, let me make it clear that an array of thought and behavior disorders are affected by disorder in brain chemistry, and the effective treatment is medication. Good examples are depression and OCD, a relative of compulsive overeating. Treatment with medication alters the brain chemistry to relieve depression and OCD symptoms. We know that medications can reduce appetite and eating compulsions. Are drugs the solution to obesity? No. Behavior change is. But in some cases, drugs help, and in some cases, it seems behavior change is not possible without drugs. 

Let’s not forget that the solution to obesity is in behavior change. Sometimes, drugs can help, but drugs can only be a part of the answer. Most of the time, drugs play no part. Always, the answer is in Behavioral Medicine.

When I was young and obese, out of control and in the dark about how to solve my problem, I would have jumped at the chance of one of these miracle cures. I am so glad that I learned the real solution and lost not only the 140 pounds, but the risk and danger of these false promises. If you are overweight and hoping for a drug that will help with the problem, I am with you for that. But don’t wait to learn what you can do in regards to other Behavior Medicine technology to make the changes you’ll need to make. You’ll need to learn them anyway, even if a drug comes along that really works. Why not learn it now? You may find that you’ve solved the problem before a foolproof drug appears, which may or may not happen.

 

 

What do You Think of Alli, the Weight Loss “Miracle” Pill?

Does Alli work? The answer is yes and no.

As the prescription medication Xenical, it was promoted as the only weight loss pill that really worked. Then it became an over-the-counter pill and has made millions for the company that makes it. But does it really work to solve your weight problem?

(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he discovered Therapeutic Psychogenics,  and he’s kept it off for over 25 years. He has helped thousands to lose weight permanently with this approach. More about it at the end of the article.)

Alli works by preventing your body from digesting and utilizing fat, so when you take a pill when you eat a fatty food, the fat passes through your digestive system undigested, and you don’t acquire or accumulate the calories from it. For most of us, 30% of the calories in our diet or more come from fat. So, if you were eating a 1000 calorie per day diet in three meals with a pill at each meal, you’d only be taking in 700 calories, and if it was a 1500 calorie per day diet, you’d only be taking in 1050. If you stuck to your plan of eating only that amount of calories at those meals, you’d probably do well losing weight.

For this to work in actually producing weight loss, you’d first need to maintain the kind of control of your eating that my clients achieve with The Anderson Method (www.TheAndersonMethod.com) described in my book of the same name. With it, you enjoy real weight loss with or without the pill. With the pill, the weight loss is faster. Sounds good, right?

However, there are some other results that you need to think about before you start eating Alli pills. The most attention-getting is what they describe as “anal leakage”.  Fats, like butter and the fat in meats, become liquidy at body temperature. Fats like the oil in salad dressing and cooking oil are already liquid. With Alli, this oily liquid passes through your system without being digested, and then ends up in your colon, where it does not form a solid stool like the rest of your feces. You have the equivalent of cooking oil seeping out on a regular basis, or worse, all the time. If you are not controlling your eating, you have a lot of oil running, so not only are you not losing weight, but you also have poopy pants with oily stuff that seeps through layers of clothes. Not a pretty picture. I’m always all ears when I hear about some way to make weight control easier, but “anal leakage” is all I need to hear about Alli. Like other drugs, they have a whole list of possible nasty side effects, but I don’t need to know any more than “anal Leakage”.

Here’s the facts: to solve your weight problem, you need to shape your habits so that you eat the right number of calories per day, and these habits become permanent so that the weight stays off.  There is a way to train yourself to do this so that it is not hideous and you don’t have to deny yourself good food or eat diet food. That’s what The Anderson Method teaches, a method of behavioral medicine that has helped me and thousands of my clients and readers to lose weight the right way, and keep it off.  More about it at www.TheAndersonMethod.com

As long as you are looking for pills or procedures to relieve you of the need to change your behavior and figure out how to live on less, you’ll be putting off what you need to do to solve your weight problem.  If you use Alli and continue to live and eat like most Americans, you’ll still have your weight problem, and you’ll have a new problem on your hands (and elsewhere too).