I've done the prescription speed thing as a teen in the 1960s. I've done the over-the-counter drug thing. I've done the ephedra thing. In the mid-90s, before I started the journey that would see me lose 120 pounds, I was even part of a study on the Phen-Fen combo. (I was lucky to get out of that one alive.) I am not tempted to take Xenical because (1) I don't really eat a lot of fatty food and (2) I spend too much on lingerie for the nasty side effects.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, worked, at least not for long.
There is NO magic bullet.
But now comes an experimental diet pill that gives me high hopes.
A weight-loss drug that suppresses "the munchies" could bring new hope to obese people.
Early trials found that those with weight problems given the pill consumed up to 22 per cent fewer calories than those taking placebos.
They also burned more fat and expended more energy when they were inactive.
Even people who took very small doses of taranabant experienced significant weight loss. Taranabant is the second anti-obesity drug developed as a result of scientists investigating why people who smoke cannabis often experience sharp increases in appetite.
It was discovered that the endocannabinoid system - which regulates the response of nerve cells to stimuli such as hunger, pain and anxiety - can become over-activated in response to cannabis.
This can lead to an increased desire to eat, known as "the munchies".
Researchers discovered the opposite effect could be achieved by blocking cannabinoid receptors on the surface of brain cells.
An anti-munchies drug that works 24/7? Cool!
But as the dose of taranabant increased, so did the adverse effects, including gastrointestinal and psychiatric problems. In the 6-milligram dose group, more than 53 percent reported some sort of gastrointestinal problem, such as diarrhea, nausea, frequent bowel movements or vomiting.
And more than 27 percent of those taking that dose had psychiatric effects. Anxiety was the most commonly reported problem, but also reported were mood swings, depression, insomnia, irritability or nervousness.
Hmm. I know the perfect antidote for that.
Trouble is, it will never be legal -- and it has a tendency to keep you on the sofa saying ''Far out, man!''