Phentermine, as it turns out, never went off the market. It has been low-key available on its own ever since fen-phen was pulled. And young women are taking it—even if they’re out here on Insta extolling the powers of Peloton. The most recent FDA study, from 2016, found that over 25 million prescriptions for phentermine were dispensed between 2008 and 2011 (65 percent of those were to women between the ages of 17 and 44). And the number of prescriptions doubled between 2007 and 2017, according to the health-care data company Iqvia. “Women are taking phentermine,” says Alicia Mundy, author of Dispensing With the Truth: The Victims, the Drug Companies, and the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle Over Fen-Phen. “They just don't want to talk about it because it's not a shiny new thing like the Keto plan or intermittent fasting.”
• Reducing appetite — Constant hunger can cause you to consume more calories than you can burn, which can eventually lead to weight gain. A ketogenic diet can help you avoid this problem because reducing carbohydrate consumption can reduce hunger symptoms. In one study, participants who were given a low-carbohydrate diet had reduced appetites, helping them lose weight easier.2
An addiction to diet pills is often caused by an eating disorder or other underlying mental health disorders. Becoming dependent on diet pills is not uncommon, as they can provide a false sense of control in a life that seems out of control. Because diet pills are readily available over the counter or by prescription, an addiction can develop quickly and quietly.
If "lose weight" is one of your new year's resolutions, it's time to put your money where your mouth is — and maybe even earn some cash while you're at it. All you have to do is join a game, some of which are hosted by celebrity fitness trainers (like Erin Oprea, who trains country singers Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini). From there, you place a bet on how likely you are to hit your weekly step goal, and your money is pooled with others who have joined the game. The app tracks your progress through Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch, or Apple Health on your iPhone, and whoever completes their challenge gets a cut of the cash.
Taken solo, the phen half of fen-phen doesn't melt pounds quite as miraculously as the infamous super-drug, but it's still an effective appetite suppressant, helping users lose weight without having to lift a dumbbell. Doctors believe it works by targeting the hypothalamus (the part of the brain responsible for satiety) and boosting neurotransmitters that help minimize hunger and cravings.
In open bariatric surgery, surgeons make a single, large cut in the abdomen. More often, surgeons now use laparoscopic surgery, in which they make several small cuts and insert thin surgical tools through the cuts. Surgeons also insert a small scope attached to a camera that projects images onto a video monitor. Laparoscopic surgery has fewer risks than open surgery and may cause less pain and scarring than open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery also may lead to a faster recovery.