Do "Thermogenic" Diet Pills work?

I need to drop some tonnage for health purposes, and I was just wondering if the vitamin / amino-acid based diet pills really help. Basically I think of the body like a machine, i.e. Food + Stored Fat = Fuel, Activity Level = Fuel Use over time, so decrease food and/or increase activity level, fat decreases. I know this is simplistic, but it’s basicly correct, right?

So how would these pills work? They say you don’t have to decrease the food you eat to lose weight. They wouldn’t increase the usefull work done by your body, so it would have to increase the non-useful work. Would it be like siting in the driveway with your engine reved up? Also if they worked they should make you tired, right? And what’s with all the caffeine? I am really skeptical here, but if they have any merit than I want to take the easy route. I really like food.

Testimonials are basically worthless as evidence of effectiveness, so does anyone have any medical / scientific thoughts on this? Thanks. :slight_smile:

Engineer Don said "I know this is simplistic, but it’s basicly correct, right? "

Only thing missing from the equation is metabolic rate. As far as I know there are no pills on the market that change the metabolic rate - except for the heart rate of the guys selling the pills. I am sure their heart rate increases significantly when they see the profit from selling a few cents worth of worthless tablets for 35 or 40 dollars.

The only thing that works for me is reduced calories and exercise.

If they ever invent some pill that really does cause people to lose weight, you will hear about it in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, etc., etc., etc. So until then, ignore whatever claims you read about.

The idea behind “thermogenics” is that your body can do one of three useful (non-storage) things with ingested calories: burn them for energy, burn them to keep your body temperature up, or pass 'em on through without absorbing them. Thermogenics supposedly raises one’s internal thermometer, increasing the number of calories needed to keep one’s body temperature up, thus causing weight loss if you don’t consume excess calories to make up the difference.

Problem: most of them don’t work, and those that do work do some dangerous stuff to you. One combination known to have thermogenic effects (and I did this myself for a while) is a four-times-daily dose of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin, in a dosage of 30-100-300 milligrams respectively (information purposes only, people). Ephedrine does a number of icky things to you, notably speeding your heart rate. Heart attacks at fairly young ages have occured in people taking ephedrine for weight-loss or athletic purposes.

In my case, I lost a lot of weight, and, since I was working out like mad in order to work off excess energy, I had a hell of a build. However, my sleeping habits were slowly getting wrecked, and I was getting much more irritable and short-tempered. For example, on the day of my graduation, I got pissed at my brother and threw a couch at him. Realizing what the combination was doing to me, I stopped.

Summary: thermogenics can work, but it’s a very hazardous shortcut that I would not recommend to ANYONE.

Well, I learned something today. All “thermogenics” means is stuff like caffeine and ephedrine, some in natural herbal preparations, which the FDA doesn’t regulate, and some in pills, which they do.

A quick search of Google under “thermogenics FDA” turns up an article:
They don’t really work, and they might be dangerous.

Here’s the FDA’s list of 32 documents that came up under the FDA website’s search for “thermogenics”. Feel free to peruse them at your extreme leisure.

Here’s the FDA’s Search page, if you want to look for yourself.

I don’t see how extra caffeine would make you “burn off” extra calories. I know plenty of overweight people who drink lots of coffee. As for ephedrine, I personally wouldn’t mess with that except under a doctor’s supervision, for some specific medical condition. You can get dead, man.

Thanks for the info, all of you. OK. That is kind of scary. I think I get the point. They don’t work well on losing weight without dieting and excercise, but you might get irritable and have a heart attack. Cool, and for only $40+ per bottle.

Thanks. I can save the money and just diet and get irritable. When I want the heart attack I’ll just go to the BBQ Pit, flame a couple people I won’t mention now, and then read their replys.

All this to stop snoring/sleep apnea, just 'cause my wife won’t wear earplugs. The sacrafices I make…

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I love this guy already!