Over the Counter Diet Pills That Actually Work: 5 Best Pills for Weight Loss

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 6 February 2022

Bottles of over the counter diet pills where no prescription is needed

Are there any over the counter diet pills that actually work? This is an important question to ask for anyone who is trying to lose weight. Dropping pounds and seeing weight loss progress is possible – but is it possible with non-prescription medication?

While diet pills are helpful for jumpstarting a person’s weight loss goals, these drugs are not miracle workers. It is important to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, and begin incorporating a rigorous exercise routine into one’s daily life for best results.

However, diet pills can be valuable for some people to buy on their journey to a healthier body. Many dieters report success while using various weight loss supplements. Here are five diet pills that may be beneficial for fat burning and weight loss- as well as other ways one can reach their individual health and fitness goals.

Top 5 Over the Counter Diet Pills That Actually Work

Altering one’s diet is never easy at first. If a dieter has tried multiple eating changes, exercise routines, or wellness plans, noon-prescription weight loss pills found in stores or online could be a useful tool to try. Obesity affects nearly two thirds of all adults in the United States – diet pills may help jumpstart weight loss for these individuals. [1]

Here are five potential weight loss supplements that don’t require a prescription – you can simply buy them. However, anyone altering their diet and choosing to consume supplements should consult with a health care provider or doctor before pursuing the diet pill of their choice.

1. Zotrim

Boasted as an all-natural weight loss supplement with years of proven results and effects, Zotrim could be an option for dieters wishing to lose weight and have enough energy to work out. Containing yerba mate and other forms of caffeine, this pill is designed to keep its user energized.

Zotrim is also manufactured with herbs that increase feelings of fullness and reduce one’s snack cravings, at least in theory. The ingredients in this supplement are designed to utilize stored fat for energy while the user is working out as well.

By taking one tablet before mainstay meals, dieters have reportedly lost weight, with or without exercising, and enjoy the effects of remaining fuller for much longer. Zotrim can also delay one’s stomach from emptying, increasing effects from that feeling of fullness. [2]

While there aren’t very many side effects from Zotrim, some users report nausea and vomiting, likely from the high amounts of caffeine present in this pill. Other than that, the primary side effects would be a decrease in appetite and more energy.

2. PhenQ

Claiming that PhenQ combines five separate weight loss pills in one may seem like a stretch. However, there are many supposed benefits and effects to this particular diet pill, despite it being a fairly new contender on the market.

PhenQ utilizes natural and plant-based ingredients to achieve a variety of results. The company claims that their pills can help their consumers enjoy effects such as: reduce fat production in the body, burn off existing fat, alter mood and energy levels for the better, and suppress appetites.

There is one ingredient in PhenQ that isn’t exactly plant based: it’s known as α-Lacys Reset, a trademarked formula that boosts its users metabolism. Other than this manufactured ingredient, the rest of the PhenQ ingredient list is fairly simple: caffeine, chromium, capsicum, and cactus fiber. 

Capsicum in particular is a contender in many weight loss supplements. This ingredient, found naturally occurring in most spicy peppers, has been studied (not by the FDA) for its energy burning abilities and effects as well as its appetite suppression characteristics. [3]

3. Green Coffee or Green Tea Extract

Caffeine is a popular ingredient in many weight loss pills, and this includes green tea extract and green coffee extract also. These ingredients are available in pill or tablet form, which offers consumers a highly concentrated level of potential fat burning effects.

While green tea extract has been claimed to be among the popular weight loss pills that truly work for some time, green coffee is more of a newcomer. While studies still need to be done to prove the effectiveness of this ingredient, there is evidence to suggest that green coffee behaves similarly to green tea. [4]

Both options claim to assist in weight loss effects, and are popular weight loss options. However, given their recent rise in popularity, the FDA wants its users to know and understand the side effects involved with taking any supplement, whether it be natural or not.

However, green tea extract and green coffee extract appear to be relatively safe- they boost energy levels and promote a higher metabolic rate, though updated information and research needs to be performed to truly understand these effects.

4. LeanBean

Marketed as an effective weight loss pill made specifically for women, LeanBean is growing more popular by the day. While it contains many natural vitamins and minerals, LeanBean has roughly 300mg of glucomannan in each pill, a fibrous appetite suppressant with valuable effects.

Not only does glucomannan supposedly help with suppressing one’s appetite- it contains ample enough fiber to assist with weight loss goals. [5] LeanBean also includes potent vitamins for increasing energy levels and other effects, as well as choline and chromium for metabolic functions.

Taking one pill before each meal, up to three times per day, is said to make its consumer feel fuller, longer- mostly due to the high amount of glucomannan in each pill. While LeanBean is considered among the top non-prescription weight loss pills that actually work, especially for women, there remains mixed results.

However, the side effects for this supplement remain minimal. Most users don’t report much in the way of bloating, nausea, or abdominal upset. This could be due to less caffeine in this particular supplement, or perhaps the addition of many vitamins help with these effects.

5. Hydroxycut

Controversial given that its early formula caused liver damage, Hydroxycut remains a tentatively popular prescription-free weight loss option despite these studies. [6] Why might this be? With many different supplement options, including gummies and drinks, this weight loss assistance is much more than a pill.

Hydroxycut maintains an easy to follow weight loss plan and schedule, much like the majority of these supplements. This manufacturer suggests consuming a Hydroxycut product an hour or so before a meal, twice per day. With a standard 2,000 calorie diet and moderate exercise, the company claims its users can lose weight and enjoy many effects.

But does it truly work? The primary ingredient in Hydroxycut is known as coffea canephora, or robusta coffee, a caffeine-rich ingredient that is typically used as a diuretic. While this weight loss contender has other ingredients that can help with cravings and appetite suppression, the caffeine boost is the primary component.

There are a variety of different levels or strengths of Hydroxycut as well, which may appeal to some users depending on their overall fitness when starting the product as well as their fitness goals and desired effects. However, Hydroxycut should be used only as directed, and consulting with a physician is advisable as well, given its rich history of side effects.

How to Maximize Potential Weight Loss Results

While over the counter diet pills that actually work are easy to consume and buy, there is no overnight fix to reach your health goals. The pills can help, but they’re not magical. 

To see results and keep the pounds off, it’s best to take a holistic approach by slowly incorporating other weight loss methods as you go. It’s important to slowly add on different methods to not overwhelm yourself and see what works. Below are a few things that you can try adding, at your own pace of course. 

Work Out Regularly

While there are weight loss pills that work well without exercising, performing a moderate amount of exercise daily is also a surefire way to lose weight. There is hardly ever a single or correct way to reach a goal weight or fitness level, but choosing to exercise will surely promote weight loss.

Even walking a few times a day or getting your step count up can increase the rate in which you lose weight. We’ve seen people lose 50+ pounds by simply walking 30 minutes a day and watching their food portions. 

Exercising at a moderate to heavy rate for at least 30 minutes a day can be enough to lose weight. When paired with a low calorie diet and even an over the counter pill or supplement, these goals may be closer than ever before.

Biking, swimming, jogging, or another form of cardio is recommended for reaching daily exercise goals. Weightlifting can also be beneficial on its own, though it is important to raise one’s heart rate when trying to burn fat.

There are some people that struggle with exercise, including those with physical ailments or disabilities. Performing low-impact exercise is possible, along with lifting weights or simply choosing to walk daily. 

Some other low-impact exercises or sports may include:

  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Elliptical
  • Recumbent bicycling
  • Planks and other core workouts
  • Rowing

It will depend on the goals and abilities of the individual, but choosing to exercise can also help maximize many weight loss or fat burning pills although there are diet pills that work fast without exercise. It’s just not as effective. 

Given that weight loss pills are rarely used in the long-term, building healthy habits is often the surest path to weight loss goals.

Staying Hydrated is Beneficial for Weight Loss

Drinking water can be a simple and efficient way of staying full and suppressing appetite, especially when taken in conjunction with weight loss pills which can lead to weight loss. This can be especially true if any particular weight loss pills have diuretic properties, such as caffeine.

While every individual body is different, it is recommended to consume at least half a gallon of water per day, and even more than that if choosing to perform moderate cardio. While drinking large amounts of water can make a body look puffy or bloated, it is necessary for daily functioning and maintenance while losing weight and burning fat.

Drinking water has numerous other health benefits, including:

  • Clearer skin
  • Improved organ function
  • Promotes feelings of fullness
  • Can assist with urinary troubles
  • Replenishes the body after exercising
  • Assists with cardiovascular health

Choosing to drink more water, especially during and after exercising, can be just another step on a weight loss journey that works. Keeping the body hydrated has more benefits than one might initially think, and it is always a good idea to choose water over sodas, alcohol, or juice.

Avoid Those Cookies (And Other Snacks Too)

Proper diet works hand in hand with weight loss pills and exercise. This is the trifecta for weight loss in many ways- while everyone is different, prioritizing one of these three things over the other often isn’t enough to achieve results, especially in a timely fashion.

Taking the time to consider information about what goes into the body daily may be eye-opening to many dieters and people trying to trim excess fat and achieve weight loss. No diet pill will work as effectively if not also paired with a healthy and lean diet- some pills will even advise keeping fat consumption to a minimum, or else a diet supplement won’t work.

Choosing a nutritional diet without processed foods, sugars, alcohol, or saturated fats can help anyone lose weight, no need for a dietary supplement. Proper portion control as well as tracking calories to achieve a low calorie count for the day may also prove beneficial.

Some foods to avoid while taking diet pills include:

  • Cookies, cakes, candy, and other processed sugars
  • White flour or processed flour products, such as pasta
  • Starches, such as white, red, or yellow potatoes
  • Fast food or fried food
  • Fatty meats, such as beef or pork
  • Processed snack foods, such as chips or crackers
  • Sugary drinks, such as blended coffees or sodas

Changing one’s diet can be an extremely difficult and personal journey, but it works. Nutrition is often the hardest part when it comes to losing weight and achieving weight loss, given how trying it is to both afford and have the time to craft healthy meals.

However, there are many meal plans and services available nowadays that promote and benefit a healthy lifestyle. Keeping an eye out for dark, leafy vegetables and high fiber fruits is an excellent starting point. Simply choosing an apple over a bag of chips is enough to begin with!

The Risks Behind Over the Counter Weight Loss

While many of these weight loss supplements are easy to buy, take, and understand, there are risks involved with any medication. This is especially true for pills not prescribed by a doctor or health care professional.

Weight loss pills have many adverse side effects, ranging in severity depending on the person and how much of the supplement for weight loss is being taken. That is why it is really detrimental to always follow the set guidelines on whatever drugstore pill one chooses to take.

The FDA rarely approves supplements and weight loss pills for many reasons, primarily due to the lack of proper research and studies being performed on diet pill ingredients. Many non-prescription supplements don’t have proper warnings or labels for consumers, especially consumers that take other prescription medications.

Weight loss pills also often include potentially dangerous stimulants and unregulated ingredients- a simple recall of a product does not often result in a change in business practice. [7] It can be difficult to know what products are trustworthy, especially when most diet pills are marketed to a vulnerable audience trying to achieve weight loss.

There can be severe side effects to any weight loss pill, including negating existing prescriptions set by a doctor or medical professional. This is why users should always consult with their primary care provider before pursuing any fat burning or weight loss pill.

FAQ – Over the Counter Diet Pills

Having questions about non-prescription fat burning pills is only natural, and it is important to feel factually informed before pursuing any weight loss option. Here are some frequently asked questions for pills for weight loss and fat burners.

Is There a Pill That Will Make Me Lose Weight?

It will depend on one’s individual body, but a tentative answer is yes. Do diet supplements work? Some pills have been proven effective in weight loss, with placebo and double-blind studies being performed. However, as already discussed, it’s best to take a holistic approach and see diet pills as a kick start to weight loss and healthier habits.

What is the Most Effective Diet Pill?

The most effective diet pill will depend on the individual consumer. While some diet pills have much more research backing them than others, every single body is different and will produce different levels of effectiveness.

Diet pills are also not as effective when used on their own, with no attempt at altering one’s existing diet and exercise regimen. Choosing to take a diet pill or fat burner is one thing- altering one’s caloric intake and output is another surefire way to notice a diet pill’s effectiveness.

Are Prescription Weight Loss Pills Better Than Over the Counter Pills?

Prescription medication for weight loss may or may not be better than non-prescription options. Many of these supplements contain similar ingredients, but there is one important distinction between the two options: one is purchased online or in stores with little to no guidance. The other is prescribed by a medical professional who knows a patient’s body and needs.

This can often lead to more worthwhile effects, if someone is in the position to be prescribed a weight loss pill or other drugs. However, there are also many hoops to jump through to get a fat burning prescription, such as meeting a certain BMI number and attempting other, safer weight loss journeys first.

This can be discouraging to many people, especially those without insurance or affordable prescription options or information readily available. Many prescription weight loss drugs aren’t covered by traditional insurance plans, making them financially less feasible than prescription-free choices.

However, this more easily leads to misinformation and desperation on the part of the consumer, which is what many weight loss supplement companies are expecting. Non-prescription or natural supplements are often unregulated and untested by the FDA, or at least tested less than prescription weight loss options.

While no particular route is better than another, it is important to stay informed, and one’s health should always be the priority, not necessarily the size of one’s jeans. Talking to a doctor or primary health care physician is always a good first step to take, no matter which route someone is considering.

What Pill Can I Take to Flatten My Stomach?

There is no weight loss pill that targets stomach or abdominal fat alone. One of the simplest ways of flattening one’s stomach is through abdominal exercises and core strengthening workouts. However, some diet pills can help reduce a body’s overall fat, and this may include stomach fat as well.

Shrinking stomach fat can be difficult to achieve as well as target. Choosing to exercise and strengthen that general area of the body can be more effective, as well as choosing a lean diet and drinking plenty of water- information is key.

While bloating is possible while on diet pills or while staying hydrated, flattening one’s stomach can happen- but often over a longer period of time and as a part of overall fat loss. Certain individuals may struggle with belly fat more than others, which means losing weight in that particular area will be more trying.

No matter what, taking the time to adjust one’s diet and exercise routine will help with anyone’s goals of a flatter stomach. There is no single pill that will help someone reach this goal, especially if they consider it a troublesome area of their body.

Final Thoughts

Over the counter diet pills that actually work do exist, but ultimately the results will depend on the individual consuming them. Many other factors can assist with burning fat, such as adequate exercise, proper nutrition, and following the instructions carefully when taking a pill for weight loss.

No matter what, every single body is unique and different. There is no one way to lose weight, and this includes weight loss supplements and pills. Finding a method that works best for an individual is often a journey, but it is possible with some guidance and persistence. 


[1] Office of Dietary Supplements. 28 July 2021. Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss- Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. 4 November 2021. Web. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/WeightLoss-HealthProfessional/#disc

[2] Ruxton, C.H.S. 2004. Efficacy of Zotrim: a herbal weight loss preparation, Nutrition & Food Science. 4 November 2021. Web. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346650410516199

[3] Whiting, Stephen. October 2012. Capsaicinoids and capsinoids. A potential role for weight management? A systematic review of the evidence. 4 November 2021. Web. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22634197/

[4] Onakpoya, Igho. 31 August 2010. The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. 4 November 2021. Web. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20871849/

[5] [3] Keithley, Joyce K. 30 December 2013. Safety and Efficacy of Glucomannan for Weight Loss in Overweight and Moderately Obese Adults. 4 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892933/

[6] Hawaii Med J. August 2010. Hydroxycut® (herbal weight loss supplement) Induced Hepatotoxicity: A Case Report and Review of Literature. 4 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3118021/

[7] STRIPED, Harvard. 2021. Are Over-the-Counter Diet Pills and Muscle-Building Dietary Supplements Safe? Research Studies Show the Answer Is “No”. 4 November 2021. Web. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/striped/policy-translation/out-of-kids-hands/resources-for-advocates/science-summaries-3/

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.