Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Fighting the battle of the bulge can range from following a sensible diet to making ill-guided efforts that can have serious health consequences.

“People get so focused on weight loss they are willing to do unproven and potentially dangerous things that can backfire and cause serious health problems,” says Michelle May, MD, who teaches mindful eating.

pea on plate

Here are seven dangerous strategies you should avoid when trying to lose weight.

Starvation, Fasting, or Very Low-Calorie Diets

Severely slashing calories may lead to weight loss, but the lost weight includes precious muscle and lowers metabolism. Drastic calorie restriction also causes a shift toward a higher percentage of body fat, which increases the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Unless medically supervised, don’t cut calories below 1,200 per day. Otherwise, you will struggle to get enough nutrients to fuel your activities and satisfy your hunger. Keep in mind that when you lose weight quickly, you may be at risk to pack it back on -- with more fat and less muscle -- especially if you're over 50.

Supplements That Make Grand Promises

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Unlike makers of prescription drugs, companies that make supplements don't have to prove that their products are safe or effective before putting them on the market. Even products that claim to be natural aren’t necessarily safe or good for you.

If you're thinking about taking any weight loss product, ask your doctor first. It's best to focus on what's proven to work for weight loss, including your diet.

Cleanses or Detox Plans

At best, cleanses cause weight loss from water and stool weight. But they can be dangerous. They carry risks of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and more.

“Losing lots of fluid without medical supervision is risky, and when it's combined with fasting, even riskier," May says. "Your body is uniquely fine-tuned to detoxify and excrete toxins. So cleanses are unnecessary and can lead to serious complications by messing with your body’s system.”

Instead of detoxifying, be more mindful of what you eat. If you want to cleanse or detoxify your body, drink plenty of water and eat lots of high-fiber foods.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...