Over-the-counter diet pills often appeal to women who have tried and failed countless diet programs and plans. Additional tools and tricks may help, but may also be dangerous and risky. It's important to set realistic goals, aiming to lose approximately 1 to 2 lbs. weekly, according to MayoClinic.com, although most women lose more weight initially as they shed excess water.
Some women assume that just because a product is labeled "natural" or is easily accessible over the counter that it is safe. This is a dangerous supposition. The experts at MayoClinic.com warn that dietary supplements are not subject to the same meticulous standards as are prescription drugs. Therefore, their safety is uncertain. For this reason, women should talk to their doctors before using over-the-counter weight loss pills.
Women's over-the-counter diet pills may help jump start their weight loss programs, but long-term weight loss requires more than pill popping. FamilyDoctor.org explains that taking drugs does not teach you how to change your eating and exercise habits. Making lasting changes is the way to lose weight and keep it off.
Examples of popular over-the-counter diet pills for women include green tea capsules, guar gum, chitosan and orlistat. Herbal stimulants and caffeinated green tea extracts promote thermogenesis -- a metabolic process that slightly increases fat burning. Guar gum, chitosan and orlistat are purported to block or decrease the absorption of fat.
Although some over-the-counter weight loss pills are effective at increasing energy levels and giving busy women the boost they need to sustain their weight loss efforts, there is no magic bullet for weight loss. It is important to remember that any plan can be effective if the basic principles of weight loss are followed: Burn more calories than you consume to create a calorie deficit. Talk to a doctor to find out how many calories you should consume based on your lifestyle, current weight and health.