How do you define "effective" when it comes to dieting?

If it's shaving off a few pounds and calling it a year, then you must be a Food and Drug Administration bureaucrat.

An FDA panel wisely rejected the diet drug Qnexa--but not because it's ineffective. The panel was largely concerned about the drug's potential for side effects, including the risk of birth defects, suicide, depression, memory loss, bone problems, kidney stones, and more.

But beyond that, Qnexa met and even exceeded the ludicrously low FDA targets for effectiveness--and may even be more "effective" than any of the diet drugs currently on the market.

And here's how they define "effective" these days: The FDA says a drug needs to help a patient lose 5 percent of his or her body weight over the course of a full year.

So if you're 250 pounds, an "effective" diet pill would help you lose about a pound a month. Qnexa did a little better than that--but only barely. Patients in the trials lost between 6 and 10 percent of their body weight, so the person in that 250-pound example could make it all the way down to between 225 and 235 pounds.

Lighter, sure--but not a whole lot healthier.

And even that little bit of weight-loss help came with a big catch: The people in the study who lost the weight also had to stick to a diet and exercise program.

They haven't made a pill yet that can cancel out Krispy Kreme donuts.

But you don't need to wait for that magic pill to come along--because you can easily lose that 5 percent in month or so--not a year--on your own... and that's only the beginning.

No matter how overweight or obese you are, simple lifestyle changes like getting rid of carbs will bring your body back to order, with no need to tolerate any drug side effects.

Just look at Drew Carey. The comic and "Price Is Right" host recently lost 80 pounds--and got rid of any sign of his type 2 diabetes--with a low-carb diet. He says he doesn't even take diabetes meds anymore.

You can find pictures of him online--he looks like a completely different person.

And if he can do it after decades of being so famously overweight, so can you.