5 Diet Drugs: Which One’s Work?


This was the title of a recent Medline Publication that caught my attention. The answer is:





It all comes down to the word “WORKS” and how it is defined. These drugs are appetite suppressants. Just like any drug, their affects are stronger in some and weaker in others. Taking the best case scenario, a person will experience a reduced appetite, therefore, reducing their quantity of food consumption resulting in weight loss.

Not so fast!

This WRONGLY assumes that most people overeat because of imbalances in the internal mechanism regulating appetite control. An imbalance may very well develop over time, but the mechanism most commonly leading to weight gain does NOT have this origin.  The NIH (National Institute of Health) lists the “causes” of overweight and obesity in the following order:

  1. Lack of Energy Balance (“A lack of energy balance most often causes overweight and obesity. Energy balance means that your energy IN equals your energy OUT.”) (Calories in vs. Calories out)

  2. An Inactive Lifestyle

  3. Environment

  4. Genes and Family History

  5. Medicines

  6. Emotional Factors

  7. Smoking

  8. Age

  9. Pregnancy

  10. Lack of Sleep

It is my opinion this list represents a major reason why our population’s weight has become such a prevalent problem. Understanding the science of “ENERGY BALANCE” will never address the underlying root causes of weight management issues. Listing EMOTIONAL FACTORS as a contributing “issue” so far down the list provides greater insight into understanding the disconnect between weight problems and LONG TERM SOLUTIONS.


Which diet suppressant contains chemicals that “FIX” the CAUSES of emotional problems?



They may contain ingredients to reduce anxiety and reduce the impact of negative emotions, but none of these drugs ADDRESS the CAUSE of EMOTIONAL DISTRESS. In most cases:



Numbing one’s senses to these problems with pharmaceutical drugs while taking appetite suppressants is a formula whose only “Success” is (likely) REPETITIVE FAILURE!



  1. One must seek out and identify emotional components causing distress.

  2. One must be willing to be patient and persistent in resolving these issues.

  3. One must truly desire to be HAPPY. People may verbalize this emotion, but, until it becomes a deep rooted emotional desire, the driving force to achieve this remains weak.

  4. One must be willing to pursue PURPOSEFUL LIVING. Living with “INTENT” (guided by moral and ethical principles) improves self value and self worth. Creating this value builds stronger foundations capable of supporting emotional responses to stressful situations.

  5. One must find PASSION in life which provides DAILY MOTIVATION. This creates greater clarity and direction while defining our meaning for existence. Passion replaces drudgery of mindless daily living. Passion awakens all our SENSES providing an opportunity to experience our surroundings in a highly energized manner.


Addressing the EMOTIONAL COMPONENT creates a MINDSET necessary for attaining GOOD HEALTH. Overweight and Obesity (to a large extent) is merely a SYMPTOM of a HEALTH IMBALANCE (not a pharmaceutical imbalance.) The central theme no longer focuses on calories and exercise, but rather LIVING A HAPPY, MEANINGFUL LIFE. Those following this path recognize that SELF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIORS impede the GOAL. Conversely, they recognize that POSITIVE ACTIVITIES which improve ATTITUDE, EMOTIONS and overall HEALTH are no longer viewed as PUNISHMENTS and SACRIFICES. Exercise, healthy eating, stress reduction techniques, social engagement, etc… all become part of a LIFESTYLE one CHOOSES because it reinforces PURPOSEFUL LIVING and fuels one’s PASSION for life.

Viewing solutions to overweight and obesity from this perspective offers a compassionate explanation of society’s shortcomings in correcting this epidemic. Following a path of self awareness, honesty and a willingness to work hard at becoming a PASSIONATE motivated individual will lead each person to a HEALTHIER VERSION of themselves while achieving greater HAPPINESS.



  1. I believe that emotional eating triggers are huge, especially for women. That carbohydrate-triggered endorphin rush is a powerful thing, especially for someone who is hurting or struggling in some area of their life. All the drugs in the world won’t fix the underlying problems that lead to the hurt. An endorphin rush just masks it for the moment. The tragedy for most women is that being overweight only contributes to many of the inner hurts causing the overeating in the first place…a vicious cycle.

    Excellent post! I’m so glad you placed emphasis on the emotional part of overeating, Jonathan.

    I had a relative who overcame such an emotionally driven carbohydrate addiction and lost a lot of weight. She was famous for saying that no food tasted as good as her sized-small clothes felt. She has maintained the weight loss for years and has had many other positive changes in her life as well. No drug could accomplish that. She has been a real inspiration for the rest of us.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with your assessment completely. I’m so glad you shared your relative’s story. People need to read about success stories that show overcoming emotional “deficiencies” rather than pharmaceutical “deficiencies” produce better LONG TERM SOLUTIONS and improve other aspects of well being. She is truly an inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She was for me! I keep encouraging her to share her story via blog or some other method. Lots of people could learn from it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. She really has a lot (in experience and SUCCESS) to offer this world. I hope she listens and takes your advice.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Not surprised by the final answer. I can relay this info to a couple of friends and my daughter who seek happiness in their food/snack intake, but if the underlying probably
    is their own happiness, it will be a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have come to understand my philosophy and know the approach I believe offers the best chances for people to find GOOD HEALTH and HAPPINESS. I truly hope you are successful at conveying this message to your friends and daughter. Sometimes they simply need to realize our words are not spoken in judgement, but rather heartfelt expressions of commitment and love for another person. Sometimes this is enough to bring down the “defensive walls” and help people find better direction in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Purposeful living”….a wonderful descriptor….as usual, you get at the root of the issue, rather than the symptoms….such a wonderful post, wonderful information, and a wonderful perspective….compassion and self-compassion can be sorely lacking when people feel they are somehow “defective”…which, as you so often highlight, makes us susceptible to the perpetuating circumstances–and marketing ploys–that further entrench the vulnerable in the cycle of dysfunctional dependence and false promises of delivery. Thank you for sharing…this was amazing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I believe your comment read better and defined my hypothesis better than my entire post! Bravo!! I like your use of the word “defective” and its illusion that often perpetuates emotional self deprivation. It is my belief that all mankind serves a purpose and is provided the gift of “LIFE” to make it possible to discover and pursue this goal. It becomes all of our responsibility to help each other when “obscured vision” causes deviation in the course we follow. What better gift can one RECEIVE than playing a part in the success in another person’s achievements in life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While I beg to differ with your humble assessment/compliment, I am in full agreement with (and love the way you express) our reasons for being here. We are given (in)sight so that it will never be, exclusively, a matter of the blind-leading-the-blind. None of us can make it on our own, and each of us has the ability to give someone something they would not be privileged to have otherwise…thank you for contributing so much to the good, to this world…your kindness reverberates…I hear it over and over in my mind…I play it like a favoured tune and it tunes out negative messages….you are very special and very appreciated 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you (as always) for words that find their place in the center of my heart.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Tho appetite suppressants might be helpful for some people as a *temporary part* of a holistic approach to living more healthily, I suspect that munching things like raw carrots or raw spinach would generally work better.

    Yes, the emotional factors need emphasis. For example, I weighed very close to 170 for decades. My weight crept up past 180 as my career was imploding, started creeping back down when I retired, and has wandered freely in the range from 161 to 164 for some years now.

    Love the Mark Twain quote, which applies to so very many things that people might be fooled about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Temporary use of suppressants are appropriate:
      1. when reducing a person’s calorie intake to required levels to prevent binging and to avoid cravings (as part of a game plan to address the weight component in improving overall health.) As you state, this would be a temporary part to help the body accept reduced calories without combating hunger.
      If a person, however, is not prepared to address and CORRECT the emotional impedence, the likelyhood of success is significantly diminished. Your own situation exemplifies how critical a role emotions play in the balance of weight and health. The average person must be made aware that exercise and diet do not complete the picture and should learn how and when these components are appropriate to add to successfully achieve the desired outcome.
      Thank you for sharing your situation and your thoughts on the subject.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Such a great post. The whole time I was reading I was nodding in agreement. Yep. Yep. and Yep. Thank you for stating it all so concisely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for participating in the comment section. Half the purpose of my blog is creating AWARENESS; the other half is to create dialogue to help ALL OF US share ideas that potentially offer better pathways to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really appreciated this post Jonathan. As a teenager I used appetite suppressants (I think Dexatrim was the popular one back then) because I had a very unhealthy view of my body that had nothing to do with how much I actually weighed. In fact I was underweight, but in my mind thought I was fat and so struggled with bulimia and an unhealthy obsession with body image.

    None of my issues had to do with my physical body, as I always had a very good metabolism and was quite active. I had to get my head issues straightened out before any improvement could be made which I did thanks to the love and determination of my parents.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yours is an important story. When people think of weight issues, they often focus on excessive weight hiding the fact that distorted “body image” is present in underweight as well as overweight individuals. The KEY overlapping detriment is the presence of EMOTIONAL PAIN. There isn’t a PILL on this planet that (by itself) will ever correct the root cause of this pain.
      Thank you for sharing your story. It is an important one and needs to be read and understood by EVERYONE.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right about emotional pain being the core issue Jonathan. So many (all?) addictions stem from this.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If only people realized, believed and took action on this premise, few would have to achieve the level of devastation they often experience.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I think honestly the two biggest causes of being overweight for almost everyone on some level is 1. being inactive and 2. emotion. You have stated it very well here. I don’t think people understand how much they “emotion eat”. If we can over come or at least learn to control that part I think the rest will fall into place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you people do not realize how significant a role EMOTIONS play in the degradation of our health. Sedentary lifestyles and sugary processed foods are the other two evils that interfere will quality living.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So interesting and so enlightening! Really overeating is a complicated issue not solved by pills!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. If people understood the real complexity it might be approached from a more realistic perspective. Solutions can be VERY UNIQUE to each individual. Realizing the answers are not found alone in exercise and diet is essential.


  10. I love that quote (“One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.”)

    And don’t most “diet drugs” contain caffeine? Not know to reduce anxiety or calm people. Do they actually put in other ingredients that do?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Drugs often contain synthetic elements that cause secondary complications resulting in the need for additional prescriptions to counter the original medications. In my opinion, this is NOT an approach to health and the restoration of BALANCE , but rather a combative war against SYMPTOMS and an ever losing struggle to “plug” new symptoms caused by pharmaceutical intervention (in many cases.)
      Some appetite suppressants do contain anti-anxiety elements. My question becomes, “how do these anti-anxiety medications address the ROOT CAUSE of the anxiety itself?” IT DOESN’T! Treating symptoms (by themselves) is NOT a LONG TERM SOLUTION.


  11. Elune Bleu · · Reply

    Very informative post! It really can be a vicious cycle, as one poster commented. You gain weight so you feel lousy. You feel lousy so you don’t do the things you need to do to feel better, and make poor eating choices because you don’t have the motivation to make good ones. Then you gain more weight and feel lousy.

    I noticed it’s such little things that can really help improve quality of life. For instance, a while back I cut sugary drinks out of my diet completely and only stuck to water and tea without sugar. I hadn’t really noticed a huge change, till I had a soda one day and felt like absolute crap! Lol, it made me very lethargic. Let’s just say I’ll never go back to drinking soda again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our thinking is based on taking actions that produce tangible changes. If we don’t “feel” any difference we believe nothing beneficial (or harmful) occurred. This philosophy has lead to an ongoing consumption of the standard American diet (S.A.D.) regardless of the detriment it ultimately causes. Conversely, (as you shared,) improving the nutrients we feed our bodies may or may not produce noticeable outcomes. It doesn’t matter whether we cognitively experience change, our bodies recognize the nutrients as INFORMATION as well as life enhancing elements (on a cellular level) improving the quality and health of our bodies.
      You made a wise decision to remove sugary drinks from your diet. I’ll bet many of the doctors you mentioned in a different post consume diets harmful to their bodies. The REAL winners in life near the end have an opportunity to reminisce and ask themselves, “would I have lived life in the same fashion if I had the chance to do it all over again?” Those who die smiling provide the silent answer!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post….and until I realized the reason for over eating (emotional and stupidity) and then how to control it, and not by a chemicals…..for me its helped to understand the metabolic issues my body faces and needs to avoid to be able to let my body loose weight and maintain it….the hardest part of weight loss for me was to get over my addiction to food….until I realized that it was a drug to me, (the carbs and sugars) afer getting those in check the weight fell off….its been and up and down journey but I am winning and having you there to encourage and help by posting such informational info, it all helps….Thanks Jonathan…..kat


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