Why Weight Loss Pills Don't Work


With the gorgeous sunny weather we currently have, I know for one, it certainly got me thinking about summer, summer clothes and shifting those unwanted few extra pounds.

We can turn to panic mode, and look for fast results, however If it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is – and in the case of weight loss products and plans, if it sounds too good to be true then it more than likely is.

Let's look at some of the scams and fads designed specifically to target our desires and fears.


  • “No exercise or dieting needed!”

  • “Drop a dress size in a week!”

  • “Lose 21 pounds in 21 days!”

  • “Double your weight loss with our miracle pill!”

  • “Wrap, and watch the inches melt!”


You have likely seen these claims too.

The top scams and fads that I see regularly in my social media or email are:

  • Body wraps

  • Meal replacement shakes

  • Fat blocking pills

  • Herbal supplements

  • Weight loss coffees/teas and juices


I have worked one to one with clients where they have often admitted the thought of not having to cook, or think about food – sounds very appealing. 

If you look at the nutritional content of meal replacement shakes, sugar or sweeteners, tend to be the first ingredient on the list of ingredients; they are designed to give a quick burst of energy so the user feels great…and then need another one a few hours later to keep going, leaving blood sugar levels unbalanced and nicely lines the pockets of the sellers and manufacturers.

Here are 3 things you can do instead

  1. Time Saving Kitchen Appliances

Add in a few key time saving kitchen items like a George Foreman or a slow cooker, and quickly and very easily cook evening meals with lean quality protein, flavoured with herbs (ideally fresh at this time of year) or dried will do fine and save even more time, along with grilled vegetables mixed peppers, asparagus even broccoli works really well on this type of grill. Sweet Potato slices with some olive oil, salt and pepper only take 4-5 mins per side.


2. Add Flavour

One of the drawbacks to meal prep is eating the same food day every day for a week straight. Add flavour by spicing it up. Caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin will aid in reducing gas and bloating, as well as add taste. Caraway and cumin can be added to savoury dishes; cinnamon and cardamom add sweetness. Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory and adds some sweet tartness. Even simply a squeeze of fresh lemon and lime juice to add some easy tasty flavour.  Condiments such as tomato paste and Dijon mustard make good bases for sauces and spreads. They also add some natural sodium so you don’t need to add salt.


3. Online Grocery Shopping

Why not look at doing your weekly grocery shop online and meal replacements will quickly seem like a big waste of money ultimately not helping you sustain your goal long term.  

Consuming diet pills from an unreliable source or anything that changes the way in which your body metabolises food leads to all sorts of issues – bloating, gas, diarrhoea and the inability to control your body.  Not only do they cause all sorts of unpleasantness, but an important health risk is that they can prevent your body absorbing our fat soluble vitamins, Vitamin A, D, E & K.

With herbal ‘diet’ teas and weight loss supplements the main ingredient in many diet teas is caffeine, a diuretic which leads to water loss. So you are not losing fat, but water which is later replaced. 

We are all limited with our time, life is hard and we want it to be easy.

We are forever being sold stuff to help save time, money, space…and given the choice of a quicker option, it is very tempting. So save your money, most of these fads and scams come with the condition that they work well in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.

 Finally, let’s not forget that most weight issues can stem from emotions and behaviours…how is a pill or a meal replacement is going to help you address these areas?

Learn more about the weight loss process on our podcast with Elaine Baxter “Weight Loss, It’s More Than Just Calories” is available now.

Want to start a healthy lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Start our FREE course “Kickstart Your Health” now!


Elaine Baxter is a Nutritionist, weight loss expert and founder of Food Wise Weight Clinic based in Enfield, Co Meath Ireland. Elaine has a particular interest in the role our gut plays plays with our health, after experiencing her own digestive issues, she overcame these symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Food Wise provides one to one coaching, empowering people to make changes including simple mindset techniques.

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