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Legal and Illegal Drugs

Using drugs other than prescription weight loss drugs intended for weight loss is a mistake with dangerous consequences.

“The potential risks associated with abusing drugs such as cocaine, speed, and meds prescribed for attention deficit disorder, thyroid disorders, or diabetes to lose weight far outweigh any health benefit you may get from weight loss," says nutrition counselor Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD. Risks include addiction, relationship and financial problems, anxiety, severe headaches, stroke, and heart, lung, and kidney problems.

Using illegal drugs for any purpose is strongly discouraged, and using legal drugs for their unintended purpose without medical supervision is dangerous.


We all know that smoking has countless health risks. Yet some people -- especially young adults -- use smoking as a diet strategy.

Nicotine has been shown to be an appetite suppressant, but the risks of smoking vastly outweigh any benefits.

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body; causes cancer as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, and other diseases; and reduces the health of smokers in general.

Beyond the numerous health risks, weight gain is often a side effect when smokers try to kick the addictive habit.

Bottom line: Don’t smoke for any reason, least of all to lose weight.

Best Weight Loss Practices

Choose a diet that works for your lifestyle. The best diet is the one you can stick with long-term. Use common sense, listen to your body, be mindful of what you eat, and pass on expensive, risky, and worthless weight loss schemes or products that are unproven.

Seek expert advice from your doctor or a registered dietitian if you are concerned that your weight loss methods may border on extreme or unhealthy.

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