Why? Because they can give you a kick-start if you reach a plateau after you've tried diet and exercise. They're what can help you get over the hump. Weight-control drugs—in the form of doctor-supervised drugs, not OTC weight-loss fads—help you regulate your brain chemicals so you think less about "dieting" if you need help break plateaus, a bit like a coach helping an athlete through a slump.
Whatever their use, you do need to know that they're not miracle weight-loss methods—at least not at this point. They won't microwave your fat from your belly in 30 seconds. But they can help you achieve about a 5- to 10-percent weight loss while you're taking them. That's significant—especially when you're stalling.
But the only way to maintain the change is to simultaneously incorporate and supplement with lifestyle and behavioral changes in your overall waist-management plan (diet and exercise). Here are some hard numbers for the average person: Lifestyle change alone will usually get you 7-percent weight loss without major difficulty. Drugs alone will get you on average the same benefit. But if you combine efforts, you can double the benefits to 14 percent.
Find out more about this book:You, on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management