We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Best Weight Loss Pills in 2024 - A Complete Guide

Jan 7, 2024 5:00 AMApr 3, 2024 1:41 PM
Weight Loss Pills


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Research shows that up to 15% of Americans have tried weight loss pills.

With demand growing for this popular type of supplement, it’s no surprise the U.S. diet supplement market is worth 2.1 billion dollars per year.

However, with few rules in place to monitor claims made by manufacturers, it can be hard for you to know whether you’re getting an effective product or a dud. UNL is here to help.

In this article, UNL will review the best weight loss pills in 2021 and help you build a picture of which products actually work.

Top Five Weight Loss Pills

1. Elm & Rye Sliming Gummies – Best Weight Loss Pill - Overall Winner

2. Penguin CBD Capsules – Best Weight Loss Pill for Women

3. ShredFIERCE - Best Weight Loss Pill For Men

4. PhenQ - Best Fat Burner for Weight Loss 

5. Sculpt Nation

6. Alli/Orlistat - Best Medicinal Ingredient

Ranking Criteria

We know there is a lot of misinformation online about diet pills, making it tricky to decide what the best weight loss products are.

Here are three questions we asked when assessing the best weight loss pills for women and men:

1. Which medically proven weight loss supplements are currently on the market?

2. What are the ingredients in these products, and are they backed by science?

3. Do these products have positive reviews and are they genuine?

On top of this, UNL looked at how weight loss pills actually work, as well as other factors such as customer service, price-point, and whether the products come with a guarantee.

With these factors in mind, here are our best weight loss pills of 2021…

Best Weight Loss Pills for Women and Men: Reviews

#1 Elm & Rye Slimming Gummies- Best Weight Loss Pill - Overall Winner

Elm & Rye Slimming Gummies are your secret weapon for achieving your weight management goals effortlessly. These delectable gummies are designed to support a healthy lifestyle, combining the power of natural ingredients with great taste. Packed with potent fat-burning compounds like green tea extract and Garcinia Cambogia, they help boost metabolism and curb cravings. Plus, each gummy contains a touch of Elm & Rye's proprietary blend of essential vitamins and minerals to enhance overall wellness. With their convenient, on-the-go format and mouthwatering flavors, Elm & Rye Slimming Gummies make weight management a breeze. Start your journey towards a slimmer, healthier you today!

Penguin CBD Capsules- Best Weight Loss Pill for Women

Penguin CBD Capsules are a versatile addition to your wellness routine, offering the potential to support your weight loss journey in a holistic way. These carefully formulated capsules combine the benefits of high-quality CBD with a focus on overall well-being. While CBD itself doesn't directly promote weight loss, it may indirectly contribute by reducing stress and anxiety, which can lead to emotional eating and unhealthy habits. Additionally, CBD's potential to improve sleep quality can aid in regulating hunger hormones and reducing late-night snacking. Penguin CBD Capsules provide a convenient and consistent way to incorporate CBD into your routine, potentially assisting you in achieving your weight management goals while promoting a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

#3 ShredFIERCE - Best Weight Loss Pill for Men

Monthly Servings: 150 capsules

Following the female-focused Powher, let us introduce ShredFIERCE.

ShredFIERCE is one of the best weight loss pills for men on the market. This supplement is a masculine option designed for gym-goers looking for quick weight loss. We’ve included it in this roundup due to its focus on boosting metabolism.

And here’s why.

In the ShredFIERCE formula, you’ll find six ingredients with clear links to the increased metabolism of fats and macronutrients.

And what’s more, the doses are clearly and transparently labelled, rather than hiding within proprietary blends as is so common with supplements.

ShredFIERCE Brand Highlights ⭐ Packed with metabolic boosters to streamline fat storage and usage.

⭐ No proprietary blend: Full ingredient transparency.

⭐ This fat burner is geared towards men

⭐ Designed to help your body burn fat more efficiently.

⭐ Optimised 300mg dose of acetyl l-carnitine per day.

ShredFIERCE Ingredients

Let’s take a look at the metabolism boosters -

Green tea leaf extract: This tea, which has been a staple of traditional medicine for generations, claims to raise metabolism through thermogenesis - that is, slightly elevating your body’s temperature.

Cayenne pepper: Cayenne is a thermogenic as well, thanks to high levels of capsaicinoids - the chemical that makes spicy food spicy!

Acetyl l-carnitine: This amino acid has strong links to raised metabolism, and should help you to feel more energised to boot.

Vitamin B6: A cause-and-effect relationship has been found between vitamin B6 and energy-yielding metabolism.

Vitamin B12: This vitamin also has a cause-and-effect link with energy-yielding metabolism.

Chromium: This mineral contributes to normal blood sugar concentrations as well as the metabolism of macronutrients. 

How ShredFIERCE Performs According to our Criteria

Container size: You’ll find 150 capsules in a pot, or 30 daily doses.

Ease of use: Take one pill five times a day.

Budget: This is also one of the pricier weight loss pills, although they offer regular discounts.

Discounts: As above, flash discounts are available often through their site.

Where you can buy it: ShredFIERCE is available to buy from the TruFIERCE website.

Refund policies: If you’re not satisfied after 90 days you can get a refund.

Customer service: Email, contact form, and phone contact are possible.

Side effects: ShredFIERCE is designed to have no side effects when taken as directed.

Prescription or OTC? This weight loss pill can be bought and used without a prescription.

Click for lowest price 

#4 PhenQ - Best Fat Burner for Weight Loss 

Monthly Servings: 60 pills  

PhenQ is known for targeting all elements of your weight loss at once. Rather than having to choose between a fat burner or an appetite suppressant, PhenQ offers you a powerful, all-in-one weight loss solution.  

PhenQ suppresses your appetite to help you cut calories while blocking fat production to stop you from gaining weight. At the same time, your mood and energy levels are boosted so you perform better, while the potent fat-burning ingredients ensure you burn stored fat quicker.  

This multi-targeting approach to weight loss makes PhenQ unique compared to any other pill on this list. So how does it target multiple areas all at once?  

By blending six highly effective, scientifically-backed ingredients. According to PhenQ, their prime ingredient is α-Lacys Reset®. This powerful thermogenic and metabolic accelerator enables you to burn fat quicker, and they have the research to back it up! 

Combine all these benefits with raving online reviews and the easy usage of only two pills per day (less than any product on this list) and you see why PhenQ is one of the best weight loss pills on the market.  

PhenQ Brand Highlights:  

⭐ Unique all-in-one weight loss solution  

⭐ Burns stored fat quickly  

⭐ Suppresses your appetite to curb your cravings  

⭐ Blocks fat production to stop weight gain  

⭐ Easy to use – just two pills per day  

PhenQ Ingredients:  

  • α-Lacys Reset®: This is the special ingredient that makes PhenQ different from other pills. α-Lacys Reset® speeds up your metabolism and turns up your body’s thermogenesis, giving you powerful fat-busting results.  

  • Capsimax Powder: Multiple studies have tested and proven the weight loss benefits of this powerhouse blend containing capsicum, piperine, caffeine, and niacin (vitamin B3). It’s a fat-blasting supergroup!  

  • Chromium Picolinate: Chromium is an essential mineral that has been shown to curb your appetite and cravings for carbs and sugar. By suppressing your appetite you lose weight more easily.  

  • Caffeine: Boosted energy, better mood, bigger weight loss results. There’s so much scientific evidence backing up caffeine’s benefits for weight loss that it makes sense PhenQ added it to the mix.  

  • Nopal: Less well-known is the nopal cactus, but the benefits are definitely there! It works as both an appetite suppressant (like Chromium) and an energy booster.  

  • L-carnitine Fumarate: This naturally occurring amino acid is found in many foods. Research shows it helps turn stored fat into energy, which means better performance and quicker fat burn.  

How PhenQ Performs According to our Criteria  

  • Ease of use: Best on the market on this front – just two capsules per day, one with breakfast and one with lunch.  

  • Budget: Premium price but this becomes significantly cheaper when you buy it in bulk. 

  • Discounts: Several multi-buy options are available, such as the popular buy 3 get 2 free option.  

  • Where you can buy it: You can only buy PhenQ through their official website to ensure you get the real product and the best price.  

  • Refund policies: Enjoy ease of mind with their 60-day money-back guarantee.  

  • Customer service: 24/7 customer support available. You can contact them via email, by phone, live chat, contact form on their site, and even through WhatsApp!  

  • Side effects: PhenQ claims there are no known side effects. We do always advise you don’t take a weight loss supplement if you have existing health problems.  

  • Prescription or OTC? You don’t need a prescription to buy PhenQ.  

Click for lowest price

Monthly Servings 60 capsules  

Brand Overview  

Sculpt Nation’s BURN EVOLVED is designed to burn your fat cells from the inside out. Branding itself as the “nuclear bomb for fat loss”, BURN EVOLVED works to control appetite while smoothly boosting daily energy levels.   

This unique fat-burner works via two mechanisms: increasing overall metabolism, as well as helping your body produce more brown adipose tissue or "BAT," a unique type of fat that breaks down other stored body fat.   

At only 100 mg of caffeine per two-capsule serving, about the same as a cup of coffee, BURN EVOLVED is designed to hit the sweet spot of increasing energy and calorie-burn without making you feel jittery or impacting your sleep. It can be taken for 30-60 days to help you prepare for a special event, but also as a daily pick-me-up. The dosage can even be halved by taking a single pill, making it a perfect "first" fat-burner to try out before upping to a full dose.   


Cayenne Pepper Fruit Extract (Capsimax)  

  • This patented form of red pepper extract is known to be a natural appetite suppressant and to increase overall metabolic rate.   

Yohimbine Hydrochloride and Rauwolscine 

  • These two compounds are both known to decrease body fat and increase the rate at which your body "mobilizes" and uses stored body fat during and after exercise.    

Grains of Paradise Seeds Extract (Paradoxine) 

  • This patented form of a popular herbal extract can help promote the creation of BAT. Increasing levels of this so-called "fat-burning fat" has been shown to burn more calories and increase overall leanness in animal studies.   


  • Caffeine is known to improve energy levels which allow you to burn more fat for a longer period of time. It can also act as an appetite supressor and help decrease fatigue during workouts.   


  • EGCG is a compound that has been used to increase the amount of fat burned during exercise. It works to promote a healthy metabolism and is also a potent source of antioxidants.   

Brand Highlights  

  • Smooth energy boost for long-term results 

  • Natural appetite suppression 

  • Premium patented ingredients and science-backed dosage 

  • 100% lifetime money-back guarantee  

Container Size 60 capsules in a container   

Ease of use 2 capsules per day for 60 days  

Budget Prices can be on the higher end, however, it can be significantly reduced by coupons and deals on the website.   

Discounts Discounts can be found on the product   

Where to buy it Sculptnation.com website   

Refund policy 100% lifetime money back guarantee  

Customer service Phone number, email, return shipping address and FAQ page   

Side effects None stated   

Prescription or OTC? Prescription not needed   

Does it really work?  

BURN EVOLVED contains science-backed dosages of some well-respected and well-researched ingredients. Its moderate caffeine level means it can also work as an energy booster before a workout, helping you maximize another important part of lasting weight loss.   

“Adding a fat burner such as Burn Evolved into your healthy routine could be just the thing that allows you to reach an ambitious goal,” says registered dietician Heather Hoffman. “This isn’t a magic pill, and you definitely still need to eat right and train hard. However, when you have those dialed in, it could be the ‘secret weapon’ that helps you burn off unwanted body fat and feel more energized doing it.”  

However, BURN EVOLVED works even better if you pair it with Sculpt Nation’s BURN PM, a cutting-edge night-time thermogenic fat burner and relaxation-booster. This stimulant-free fat-loss tool uses multiple pathways and established ingredients like raspberry ketones and green coffee bean extract to put your body in fat-melting mode without having to move an inch!   

Each capsule of BURN PM also contains efficacious doses of some of the most effective sleep-enhancing ingredients available on the market today, including melatonin and L-tryptophan. Because poor quality sleep is also associated with increased hunger and cravings--particularly for sweets--boosting your ZZZs can also help you gain better control over your diet and energy levels.   

Sculpt Nation guarantees that their customers get nothing but the purest, safest and highest quality fat burning ingredients available. All of their supplements undergo rigorous, 3rd-party testing to verify label claims. Plus, all supplements are tested at multiple points from start to finish.  


  • Only available online through their website 

  • Only available in capsule form 

  • Have to remember to take pills both during the day and at night  

Save more money with bundles...  

Sculpt Nation offers several pricing options to get the most bang for your BURN EVOLVED. Once you’ve tried this effective night-time formula it’ll become part of your nightly routine - so check out the 3 and 6 bottle bundles to save more. 

#6 alli - Best Medicinal Ingredient

Monthly Servings: 120 capsules

alli is an over-the-counter (OTC) form of a weight loss drug that’s usually prescription-only. So if you’re looking for the best OTC weight loss pill, this could be the one for you.

The only active ingredient in alli is Orlistat, a drug designed and approved for the treatment of obesity. As a medicine, Orlistat is placed under heavier scrutiny than supplements like those mentioned above and has more potent effects as a result.

In alli you’ll find a 60mg of Orlistat making slightly less potent than the 120mg which is usually prescribed.

First up, it is designed for people with a BMI over 28, so it is worth clarifying your bodyweight prior to considering alli. 

Secondly, the way Orlistat works is to block the absorption of fat by your digestive system. This means that if you eat lots of fatty food while taking alli, the fat will be expelled…

Because of this, Orlistat is usually taken under medical supervision to ensure that the patient understands the risks, and is advised on how to eat a low-fat diet alongside the drug to reduce any unpleasant effects.

Other prescription weight loss drugs to look out for include Contrave and Phentermine.

alli Brand Highlights

⭐ One of the few medically proven weight loss supplements.

⭐ An OTC form of a drug that’s usually only available by prescription.

⭐ Just one active ingredient.

⭐ Suitable for people with a BMI of over 28.

⭐ Widely available.

alli Ingredients

Orlistat: As a lipase inhibitor, Orlistat reduces the amount of fat absorbed from food passing through your digestive system. This reduction equates to fewer calories ingested and is used to help people with BMI of over 28. 

How alli Performs According to Our Criteria

Budget: alli clocks in at $53 per pack putting at the higher end of the price spectrum.

Discounts: alli isn’t usually discounted, although it’s available in numerous stores, so it’s worth shopping around.

Where you can buy it: alli is available from multiple retailers in the US and UK.

Refund policies: This depends on the refund policy of the store where you buy alli.

Customer service: As above - this depends on the store in question.

Prescription or OTC? A prescription is usually required to take Orlistat; however, alli is an OTC form of this drug.

Click for lowest price 

Which Weight Loss Pills Work Best? – How to Decide

When evaluating the best weight loss pills, understanding the ingredients and how they work is perhaps the most critical criteria for rating a product’s effectiveness.

Here’s what to look out for:

There are a few fundamental ways in which diet supplements claim to work.

This includes reducing your appetite so that you consume less food, as well as stimulating your body’s natural processes for converting fat into energy. 

Some prescription medicines can even stop certain fats being absorbed by your intestines.

Here’s some credible science on weight loss ingredients -

● In 2010 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) noted “a cause and effect relationship” between glucomannan and weight loss.

● In 2011, the EFSA noted a causal link between choline and lipid metabolism.

A clinical trial found that glucomannan caused body weight reduction in overweight participants.

● The US National Library of Medicine says that  Orlistat helps people to lose weight when taken with low-calorie, low-fat diets. 

● Papers like this one have linked Synephrine with increased fat oxidation during exercise.

● The ODS state that chromium has links with small amounts of weight loss and body fat.

Weight Loss Pills Side Effects - Are Diet Pills Safe?

All ingredients in natural supplements must meet the GRAS specifications set out by the FDA. 

Here’s what you need to know -

● GRAS = ‘generally recognized as safe’.

● GRAS ingredients are “generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use” (source).

● This standard was introduced in 1997.

However, you also need to know that just because an ingredient is GRAS, it may still cause side effects.

Some ingredients commonly found in the best diet pills have also been linked with side effects. 

Be aware of the doses you are taking each day and how strong they are. If you’re taking different medications or antidepressants for any reason make sure to speak to a doctor before introducing a weight loss supplement.  

Generally speaking, though weight loss products are safe to take if you follow the recommended dosage.

Here are some side effects associated with excessive amounts of ingredients found in diet pills - 

● Jitters 

● Anxiety

● Bloating

● Gastrointestinal discomfort

● Diarrhea 

To reduce the chance of encountering such side effects, take diet pills only as directed.

If you’re pregnant or nursing, we also recommend speaking with a doctor first to ensure that you or your baby aren’t at any additional risk.

How to Guarantee Results from Weight Loss Pills

Buying a weight loss pill is just the first step.

To get the most out of the product you choose, you need to know how to effectively integrate it into your lifestyle. 

Here’s how to get the maximum from the supplement you choose…

Take Weight Loss Pills Consistently

To see results, you need to take your diet pills consistently. Product directions usually require you to take one or more doses per day, and consistency is critical in delivering the expected results.

If you only take diet pills once every couple of days, the ingredients don’t have the chance to make their full impact. 

Some ingredients, like vitamins and minerals, contribute to ongoing levels in your body, and regular supplementation is key to maintaining these levels.

Building these supplements into your mealtime routine is a great way to maximise the chances of success.

Drink Plenty of Water at Mealtimes 

Water aids with absorption of the ingredients in diet pills, and helps to ensure that the capsules reach your digestive system before they start to break down.

Also, with supplements containing glucomannan, water is required to facilitate the expansion of this dietary fibre. As glucomannan expands and takes up more space in your digestive system, you feel the need to eat less as a result.

Good hydration is linked with a host of other positive health effects, too, so drinking water at mealtimes is a great habit to build.

Reduce Your Calorie Intake

Weight loss relies on your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) being higher than the amount of calories you consume.

On one side of the scale is the need to increase your energy output (see the next section), but people often neglect the need to reduce their energy input.

Reducing your caloric intake means suppressing your appetite in order to eat smaller meals, snack less, and so on. 

If you are just starting out and are unsure how to approach your diet, a weight loss calculator can be a useful tool to understand your macros and get you heading in the right direction. 

Get Regular Exercise

As we just said, weight loss pills only work if your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) exceeds the amount of calories you intake.

For this reason, exercise is a vital part of the weight loss regimen, even if it’s low intensity.

Try to incorporate some daily exercise into your routine. If you’re new to an active lifestyle, this could be a gentle walk, a short jog, or a few minutes at the gym. As you get more confident and your strength begins to increase, you can build this up to a longer session.

More exercise means more calories burned and a more favourable TDEE, which paves the way for the weight loss results you’re looking for.

Weight Loss Pills – FAQs

Here are some common questions about weight loss pills. We’ve covered this info in the guide, but here it is in a quick at-a-glance format.

What weight loss pills actually work?

There are a number of weight loss pills that have credible science behind. Orlistat has shown to be effective and has regulatory approval from the FDA.

For those looking for natural weight loss, Glucomannan in doses of 3g per day has been proven to work by european regulatory bodies. Leanbean is an example of a product that uses this safe appetite suppressant in its formula, making it a top pick for customers wanting to lose weight safely. 

How to buy phentermine weight loss pills?

Phentermine is a prescription weight loss drug that alters chemicals in your brain in order to help reduce your appetite.

Phentermine is commonly sold under brand names like Adipex-P and Lomaira and is not available over the counter. However, if you have a prescription, you can buy it from online pharmacies like CVS.

Be aware that many supplement manufacturers seek to imitate Phentermine in their brand names and packaging, these products are natural supplements and have no link to this well-known drug.  

What is the best carb blocker for weight loss?

Whilst many diet pills focus on appetite suppression and boosting metabolism as a means of increasing your weight loss results, very few can actually claim to be effective ‘carb blockers’. Whilst limited research shows that white kidney beans may have some benefits in this regard; however, the evidence is far from conclusive. 

The weight loss drug orlistat has been shown to reduce your absorption of certain fats. However, this does not extend to sugars or carbohydrates. 

How to ask your doctor for weight loss pills  

Any consultation with your doctor will begin by looking at your specific circumstances.

This will involve an evaluation of your current BMI and whether your weight is having a negative impact on your health. 

Before making an appointment with your clinic, it is important to know exactly how much weight you are looking to lose and whether you are healthy enough to go on a diet. 

Other important factors will include if you’re pregnant or taking separate medicines such as Wellbutrin. 

Do I need to exercise whilst taking a weight loss pill?

Technically speaking, not all diet pills require you to exercise in order for you to see results.

However, your chances of losing body fat quickly will greatly benefit if you exercise regularly.  Remember, your daily energy expenditure needs to exceed the calories you consume. Exercise is a key factor in raising your energy expenditure.

Can I take a weight loss pill whilst intermittent fasting? 

Yes, but it is best to take pills around food if possible. If this is not possible, make sure to drink plenty of water with them. Bear in mind that the scientific evidence for intermittent fasting is still contradictory, for some it might be more sensible to follow a balanced weight loss program such as Octavia or Noom. 

How long should I take a weight loss pill for?

A natural supplement can probably be taken for longer periods than a prescription drug although there is no hard and fast rule. Many people try a weight loss pill for 3-4 months in order to see noticeable weight loss. 

Should I buy an OTC weight loss pill or a prescription weight loss drug?

Unless you have a medical need for a prescription weight loss drug, and you have received a prescription from a clinic or qualified medical professional, you should not take prescription weight loss medicines.

These pills are designed to be stronger than OTC products and are unsafe to take without medical need and professional supervision.

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.